National News

Income Tax Department sends notices to thousands of Indians trading cryptocurrency

A survey found that more than Rs 2,235 crore worth of transactions were conducted over 17 months.

Thousands of Indians dealing in cryptocurrency got tax notices, after a nationwide survey by the Income Tax Department showed that tmore than $3.5 billion (Rs 2,235 crore) worth of transactions were conducted over a 17-month period, Reuters reported on Friday.

Tax officials told Reuters they are gathering data from nine cryptocurrency exchanges in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune.

Cryptocurrency exchanges allow customers to trade digital currencies for other assets or different digital currencies. They are largely unregulated currently.

The I-T Department’s data showed that young investors, real estate players and jewellers were among those who have invested in bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The notices were sent to find out patterns of the virtual currency trade, BR Balakrishnan, a director general of investigations at the department in Karnataka, told Reuters.

“We cannot turn a blind eye,” he was quoted as saying. “It would have been disastrous to wait until the final verdict was out on its legality.”

Reuters accessed the notices to find that the tax department has asked people dealing in bitcoin and other virtual currencies to pay tax on capital gains, apart from details of their total holdings and source of funds.

“We found that investors were not reflecting it in their tax returns, and the investment was not accounted for,” Balakrishnan said.

The unregulated nature of the system and its soaring popularity have governments across the world on its toes to protect investors from fraud.

The Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India had earlier warned users against virtual currencies. The government even compared them to ponzi schemes and warned traders of the risks, including “permanent loss of money”.

An Indian Finance Ministry official told Reuters a committee was looking into imposing restrictions on virtual currencies.

On Thursday, South Korea said it is considering shutting down domestic virtual currency exchanges. Japan and China, too, have been mulling over a regulatory crackdown, the Reuters report said.

Policymakers are likely to discuss the subject at a G20 Summit in Argentina in March.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The qualities of a high-performance luxury sedan

A lesson in harnessing tremendous power to deliver high performance.

Gone are the days when the rich and successful would network during a round of golf, at least in the Silicon Valley. As reported by New York Times, ‘auto-racing has become a favourite hobby for the tech elites’. However, getting together on a race track would require a machine that provides control while testing extreme limits. Enter the Mercedes-AMG range of cars.

Mercedes-AMG’s rise from a racing outfit to a manufacturer of peak performance cars is dotted with innovations that have pushed the boundaries of engineering. While the AMG series promises a smooth driving experience, its core is made up of a passion for motorsports and a spirit that can be summarized in two words – power and performance. These integral traits draw like-minded people who share and express Mercedes-AMG’s style of performance.

The cars we drive say a lot about us, it’s been said. There are several qualities of an AMG performance luxury sedan that overlap with the qualities of its distinguished owner. For instance, creating an impression comes naturally to both, so does the ambition to always deliver an exceptional performance. However, the strongest feature is that both the owner and the AMG marque continually challenge themselves in pursuit of new goals, stretching the limits of performance.

This winning quality comes alive, especially, in the latest Mercedes-AMG marque – the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+. With the most powerful engine to have ever been installed in an E-class, this undisputed performance sedan promises immense power at the driver’s command. With 612 HP under its hood, the car achieves 0-100 km/h in just a few seconds - 3.4 to be precise. Moreover, the car comes with the latest driver-assistance technology that promises intelligent control and provides an agile and responsive ride.

But, the new AMG is not just about work (or traction in car lingo). One of its core features is to provide its owners a challenge on the race track. Its drift mode, which converts the vehicle into a pure rear-wheel drive, offers pure exhilaration and adds a work-play dynamic to the car. In that sense, the new AMG is a collaborator of sorts - one that partners with its owner to create an impression through performance. And on the weekends, the car pushes him/her to express absolute power using its race mode with a thunderous roar of the engine - the pure sound of adrenalin. This balance between work and play has been achieved using cutting-edge features in the car that together create an almost intuitive driver-machine relationship.

If you’re looking for a car that shares your enthusiasm for driving, you’ll find a partner in the new AMG. However, buying an AMG is not just about owning a powerhouse on wheels, it’s also about adopting a driving philosophy in which power is just the starting point - the main skill lies in how you manoeuvre that power on the road. A performance sedan in its sportiest form, Mercedes-AMG’s latest model takes vehicle performance to an unmatched level. A decade ago, this amount of speed and power in a luxury 4-door model would be un-thinkable.

Play

The new Mercedes-AMG comes with a host of individualisation options through designo, the artistic side of Mercedes’s innovation, so the car becomes an extension of the owner’s distinctive personality. An expressive design with a new radiator grille and a muscular front apron showcase its athleticism. A new-age driver environment, widescreen cockpit, the AMG performance steering wheel and sports seat delivers an intensive driving experience. With the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+, AMG has created an undisputed performance sedan that can rip the race track as well as provide reliable luxury sedan-duty. To know more about the most powerful E-class of all time, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mercedes-Benz and not by the Scroll editorial team.