Binance-owned stock exchange WazirX targeted by the Government of India for alleged tax evasion

The Mumbai tax authorities announced on Friday that they had revealed tax evasion from the Binance-owned crypto exchange WazirX.

According to a declaration from the GST Mumbai East Commissionerate of Mumbai Zone, “while investigating the business activities of the cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX has discovered GST evasion of Rs 40.5 Crores. The Commissioner has also recovered Rs 49.20 Crores in cash regarding. [goods-and-services tax] evaded, interest and punishment. ”

That amount equates to more than $ 6 million. WazirX var acquired of crypto exchange Binance in November 2019.

In its Friday statement, the commissioner indicated that it was also investigating other crypto exchanges.

“The above case is part of the special effort against tax evasion, which relies on intensive data mining and data analysis, initiated by the CGST Mumbai Zone,” the commissioner said, adding:

“The officers in the CGST Mumbai zone are investigating business transactions related to new economic spaces such as e-commerce, online games, non-fungible tokens to identify areas of possible tax evasion. The CGST department will cover all cryptocurrency exchanges that fall in the Mumbai zone and will also intensify this drive in the coming days. “

The movements are remarkable given the broader background of the still unresolved regulatory framework for crypto in India today. According to a report from The Economic Times, other exchanges have been the subject of search and investigation in the light of the WazirX study.

According to the report, the Directorate-General for GST Intelligence – a law enforcement agency under the Ministry of Finance – is also involved in the investigations.

Among the exchanges mentioned in the report are CoinDCX, Unocoin, Coinswitch Kuber and BuyUCoin according to the Times report. Per CoinDesk’s searches took place on Saturday.

CoinDesk reported that according to WazirX: “There was an ambiguity in the interpretation of one of the components which led to a different calculation of paid GST. However, we voluntarily paid additional GST to be cooperative and compatible. There was and is no intention to evade taxes. “

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