Virtual Digital Assets

News: Finance Minister in her Budget 2022 announced a 30 per cent tax on income from virtual digital assets (particularly aiming Cryptocurrencies).

What are Virtual Digital Assets?

  • To define the term “virtual digital asset”, a new clause (47A) is proposed to be inserted to section 2 of the Act.
  • A virtual digital asset is proposed to mean any information or code or number or token (not being Indian currency or any foreign currency):
  • Generated through cryptographic means or otherwise
  • Providing a digital representation of value which is exchanged with or without consideration with the promise or representation of having inherent value
  • Functions as a store of value or a unit of account and includes its use in any financial transaction or investment, but not limited to, investment schemes
  • Can be transferred, stored or traded electronically.
  • Non fungible token (NFT) and; any other token of similar nature are included in the definition.
  • Virtual digital assets have gained tremendous popularity in recent times and the volumes of trading in such digital assets has increased substantially.
  • Further, a market is emerging where payment for the transfer of a virtual digital asset can be made through another such asset.
  • There has been a phenomenal rise in such transactions and the magnitude and frequency of these transactions have made it imperative to provide for a specific tax regime.
  • The gifting of virtual digital assets is also a popular mode of exchange.
  • The bill provides for the definition of virtual digital asset which is wide enough to cover emerging digital assets including NFT, assets in metaverse, cryptocurrencies etc.
  • This recognition of digital assets under income tax is NOT akin to granting legal status.