After the massive tax evasion of GST by cryptocurrency service provider WazirX, the Directorate General of GST Intelligence has come down heavily on cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country, said sources.
"Around half a dozen offices of cryptocurrency service providers have been searched and massive Goods and Service Tax (GST) evasion has been detected by DGGI," sources told ANI.
Crypto wallet and exchange are platforms where merchants and consumers can transact with digital assets like bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, etc.
According to sources, around Rs 70 crore worth of tax evasion has been detected during the crackdown on cryptocurrency trade by Mumbai CGST and DGGI.
"The DGGI is investigating Coinswitch Kuber by M/s Bitcipher Labs LLP, CoinDCX by M/s Neblio Technologies, BuyUCoin by M/S I Block Technologies and Unocoin by M/s Unocoin Technologies," sources said.
Official sources further said, "They are providing facilitation intermediary services for buying and selling of crypto coins.
"These services attract GST rate of duty of 18 per cent which all of them have been evading."
Another official source, who was part of this search, told ANI, "These service providers were charging a commission for their facilitation to indulge in exchange of bitcoins but were not paying GST tax.
"These transactions were intercepted by DGGI and they were confronted with evidence that proved non-payment of GST."
A top source told ANI that they paid Rs 30 crore and Rs 40 crore as GST, interest and penalty for non-compliance to the statutory provisions of GST law.
For violating GST laws the CBIC has recovered Rs 70 crore from cryptocurrency service providers including WazirX.
On Friday, GST Mumbai East Commissionerate of Mumbai Zone detected GST evasion of Rs 40.5 crore from cryptocurrency exchange WazirX and recovered Rs 49.20 Crores in cash pertaining to GST evaded, interest and penalty.
As per the claim made CoinDCX their crypto app allows buying of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies instantly in India and has more than 7.5 million users and more than one crore downloads with Rs 7 billion cryptos purchased.
As per the website which CoinSwitch Kuber trading platform has processed over $5 billion, BuyUcoin based out of Delhi-NCR in India has more than one million users and traded more than $800 million.
Unocoin is also a platform to trade bitcoin, ether, tether, among other such platforms of crypto assets has offices in Bangalore which have processed more than 10 million as per their website.
Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters