“The extant statutory provisions on scope of total income for taxation as per section 5 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, envisage that total income shall include all income from any source derived,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman explained in response to a question by Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi during the winter session of Parliament on November 30. She added that there is no separate section or provision in the Act which “deals specifically with the rate of tax, applicability and collection of tax on the income earned by crypto exchanges” presently. The response elaborated that the income earned by these exchanges is liable for tax under the head Business or Profession stated in Chapter IV of the Act. Sitharaman also clarified that there is no ready information on tax collected from investments made in crypto assets during the question hour in Rajya Sabha. The government had earlier revealed that it has no information on Bitcoin transactions in the country. The response sheds some light on how crypto investors can compute their tax liabilities. It also highlights some of the questions that the government will need to address in the upcoming crypto bill slated to be introduced in the winter session. Is the government exploring blockchain technology? The finance ministry informed the upper house that two public banks— State Bank of India and Canara Bank— are part of a company called Indian Banks’ Blockchain Infrastructure Company Private Limited (IBBIC). They are exploring how blockchain technology can be used to provide various…
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