According to a report by the Economic Times (ET), international crypto exchanges that provide services in India could have to pay an extra 18% tax even if they’re not based in India itself.

At the time, nearly all exchanges based outside of India don’t pay the GTS (Goods and Services) tax. But India is rethinking this approach now. It’s attempting to get foreign cryptocurrency exchanges to pay an additional tax, seeing how they offer particular “data” services.

The Gist

The Indian government is seriously considering a slew of new laws to regulate digital assets.

As we have said, this means additional tax to overseas crypto exchanges.

The usual 18 percent GTS is aimed towards capital goods and industrial intermediaries. The most significant 28 tax is applied to luxury items, such as cars. It’s equal to the tax on brokerage with trading in traditional shares on the stock marketplace.

India-based exchanges already charge users for the GST. The tax is part of the trading expenses. Then, the exchanges pay the tax to the Indian government.

Seeing how foreign exchanges are not made to pay these taxes, the Indian policymakers are now thinking about categorizing these exchanges as Online Information Database Access and Retrieval (OIDAR) services. Such a move would make the exchanges susceptible to the GTS tax.

What is OIDAR?

Online Information Database Access and Retrieval rules say that any digital or data service offered to Indians or people residing there needs to be taxed. Even if there’s no physical interface. This way, the service supplier from a non-taxable territory can come under the umbrella for GST payments.

Some Parts Still Unclear

Nobody argues that crypto exchanges from other countries shouldn’t be taxed, even the same as local ones. But one fundamental question remains unanswered – are crypto coins a financial asset, security, or currency?

There is no answer to if the 18% Goods and Services slab will apply to all transactions or just the ones on the margins. At the moment, the 18% Goods and Services charged by traditional brokerages are on the margins or the commission taken by the company — not the whole transaction.

India’s Crypto Craze Not Slowing Down

Even with the government clamping down on cryptocurrencies in India, people are rushing to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

To be more precise, Indians had about 6.6 billion US dollars in cryptos. That is a striking difference from the 923 US dollar million that has been invested until April 2020. India is actually on the verge of cracking the top 10 nations regarding cryptocurrency adoption. It’s now 11th out of 154 countries.

Cryptos are in part popular due to the tech-knowledgable young population. Also, India’s government guidelines are still quite loose.

Conclusion: Worldwide Shift

Overall, crypto-enthusiasts had a shaky start to the summer. That isn’t solely related to Bitcoin news, but regulations, as well.

Sure, we heard of some positive developments, such as declaring Bitcoin legal in El Salvador, but China’s crypto-crackdown quickly turned the atmosphere sour and the marketplace bearish.

And what India did is a stark show of where crypto regulations may go from here. That may be straight into the airtight and narrow-minded territory.