Virtual digital assets (VDAs) are any information, code, number, or token generated by cryptographic means that are not an Indian Rupee or a foreign fiat currency. VDAs include cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, BNB, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as digital art, collectibles, and games.
How are VDAs taxed in India?
The Indian government has introduced measures to regulate and tax the profits made from VDAs in the Union Budget 2022. According to the new rules, VDAs are classified as capital assets and the gains arising from them are subject to capital gains tax at a flat rate of 30% (plus applicable surcharge and cess). Additionally, there is a tax deducted at source (TDS) of 1% applied on the transfer of VDAs.
The tax rate of 30% applies to most transactions involving VDAs, such as trading, selling, or gifting. However, there may be different tax rates for different events in the crypto lifecycle, depending on the individual’s tax slab rates. For example, if a person receives VDAs as a salary or a reward, they may be taxed as income from other sources.
How to calculate and file taxes on VDAs?
To calculate and file taxes on VDAs, one needs to keep track of all the transactions involving VDAs and their fair market value at the time of acquisition and transfer. The formula for calculating income from VDAs is:
Income from a Cryptocurrency = Transfer Value of Crypto – Cost of Acquisition
The transfer value is the amount received in exchange for the VDA, while the cost of acquisition is the amount paid to acquire the VDA. The difference between these two amounts is the profit or loss from the VDA transaction.
To file taxes on VDAs, one needs to report the income from VDAs under the head “Capital Gains” in their income tax return (ITR). The income from VDAs should be bifurcated into short-term capital gains (STCG) and long-term capital gains (LTCG), depending on the holding period of the VDAs. STCG applies to VDAs held for less than 36 months, while LTCG applies to VDAs held for more than 36 months.
One also needs to pay advance tax on their estimated income from VDAs in four installments during the financial year. The advance tax liability is calculated by applying the applicable tax rate on the estimated income from VDAs and deducting the TDS already paid.
What are the challenges and solutions for paying taxes on VDAs?
Paying taxes on VDAs can be challenging due to various factors, such as:
- Lack of clarity and guidance from the government and tax authorities on the taxation of VDAs
- Volatility and complexity of the crypto market and its valuation methods
- Difficulty in maintaining records and documentation of all the VDA transactions
- Risk of penalties and notices for non-compliance or under-reporting of income from VDAs
To overcome these challenges, one can seek help from professional services or platforms that specialize in crypto taxation and ITR-filing. For example, TaxNodes is a crypto taxation and ITR-filing platform that helps crypto traders and investors calculate, evaluate, and file their crypto gains and taxes accurately. It has partnered with WazirX, India’s leading crypto exchange, to provide a seamless and user-friendly solution for crypto taxation.
TaxNodes provides features such as:
- Automatic import of transaction data from WazirX and other exchanges
- Accurate calculation of income from VDAs using various methods such as FIFO, LIFO, HIFO, etc.
- Generation of detailed reports and statements for capital gains, advance tax, TDS, etc.
- Filing of ITR online with one-click integration with TaxNodes
By using TaxNodes or similar platforms, one can save time, money, and hassle while paying taxes on their digital assets.