Demystifying Crypto Taxes in India: A Comprehensive Guide (2024)

Tax on crypto in india: The Indian cryptocurrency market has witnessed a surge in recent years. However, navigating the tax implications of cryptographic transactions can be a complex task. This article aims to demystify crypto taxes in India, providing a clear and concise overview of the current regulations, tax rates, and reporting requirements.

Classification of crypto assets in India

Unlike some countries that have banned or restricted cryptocurrencies, India takes a different approach. The Indian government classifies crypto assets as “virtual digital assets” (VDAs). This classification subjects them to taxation under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Key Crypto Tax Rules in India

  1. Income Tax on Crypto Gains (Section 115BBH):
  • Introduced in the 2022 budget, Section 115BBH levies a flat 30% tax on income earned from the transfer of crypto assets. This includes profits from trading, selling, or exchanging cryptocurrencies.
  • It’s important to note that this tax is applied to the entire sale consideration, not just the profit. No deductions are allowed except for the cost of the acquisition of the crypto asset.
  • Additionally, there’s a 4% cess levied on the 30% tax, making the effective tax rate 30.4%.
  1. Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on Crypto Transactions (Section 194S):
  • Effective July 1, 2022, Section 194S mandates a 1% TDS deduction on the sale consideration of crypto transactions exceeding a specific threshold.
  • This threshold is INR 50,000 (approximately USD 610) for the entire financial year. However, in certain cases, such as transactions between unrelated parties, the TDS applies even if the sale consideration is above INR 10,000 (approximately USD 122).
  • The deducted TDS is deposited with the government by the crypto exchange facilitating the transaction.
  1. Treatment of Crypto Losses:
  • Currently, there’s no provision for offsetting losses incurred on crypto transactions against income from other sources.
  • Losses cannot be carried forward to subsequent financial years to adjust future crypto income.
  1. Reporting Crypto Transactions:
  • Crypto gains and TDS deducted by exchanges must be reported in the Income Tax Return (ITR) under a new schedule, Schedule VDA.
  • Failing to report crypto transactions or under-reporting income can attract penalties and legal consequences.

Impact of Current Crypto Tax Regulations

The current crypto tax regime in India has generated mixed reactions. While it provides clarity on taxation, some key concerns remain:

  • High Tax Rate: The 30% tax on crypto gains is significantly higher compared to capital gains tax rates on other assets like equities. This might discourage investment and stifle market growth.
  • No Set-off for Losses: The inability to offset losses against gains or carry them forward creates an additional burden for investors, especially in a volatile market like crypto.
  • TDS on Gross Consideration: The 1% TDS deduction on the entire sale consideration, irrespective of profit or loss, adds another layer of complexity.

The Future of Cryptotaxation in India

The Indian government is constantly evaluating the evolving cryptographic landscape. With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, there’s a possibility of future amendments to the tax regulations. Potential areas of change include:

  • Rationalizing Tax Rates: A revision of the current 30% tax rate to a more moderate level could stimulate investment and market activity.
  • Allowing Set-off of Losses: Introducing provisions for offsetting crypto losses against gains or carrying them forward could provide much-needed relief for investors.
  • Clarification on TDS Applicability: Clearer guidelines on the applicability of TDS, especially considering the distinction between profits and sale consideration, would be beneficial.

Additionally, the government may consider:

  • Introducing a separate tax regime for long-term crypto investments to encourage long-term holding.
  • Bringing greater clarity on the tax treatment of crypto mining and staking activities.


The Indian government’s approach to crypto taxation signifies its recognition of this emerging asset class. While the current regulations provide a framework, there’s room for improvement. As the crypto market matures, future amendments are likely to address investor concerns and foster a more vibrant crypto ecosystem in India.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax advice. Please consult a qualified tax professional for personalized guidance on your specific crypto tax situation. tax on crypto in india