Income Tax Rules and Process to File Tax Return for NRIs
Do you know Non-residential Indians, i.e. NRIs, have to pay income tax in India?
Not only residential Indians but NRIs also come under the taxation system. In this piece, we have discussed income tax for NRI, available deductions and exemptions. Stay tuned!
What Is Income Tax for NRI?
As stated in the introductory paragraph, the taxation system applies to both residential individuals and Non-residential Indians, i.e. NRIs in India.
Here, residential individuals have to pay taxes on global income, meaning that it is taxable whether they have earned in India or outside of the country.
On the other hand, income earned or accrued in India is considered to be taxable India. To be precise, for NRIs, income from other countries is not taxable in India.
From the above discussion, readers can get a brief idea about the grounds of applicable income tax for NRI. Now, let’s take a deep dive into the various aspects of the NRI taxation system in India.
How Does the Taxation System for NRIs Work in India?
According to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), a civilian is considered NRI if he/she has spent a specific number of days abroad and subsequently was absent in India.
In India, primarily two acts govern NRIs. These are,
- The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA)
- The Income Tax Act, 1961.
Coming back to the NRI taxation system in India, though income earned outside India/globally is not taxable in India, there are certain cases where the income in India is taxable. These include earning via source term deposit, property rent going beyond the fundamental limit (as stated in the Income Tax Act, 1961), mutual fund, capital gains from investment inequities. In all these cases, filing for an income tax return for NRI is mandatory.
As per this tax imposition, TDS is applicable at the highest rate on the interest generated on the capital gains from term deposits, shares and mutual funds. Usually, these incidents eliminate the need for filing a tax return.
In other cases, it may happen that the overall TDS does not add the Non-residential Indian’s basic tax liability. Here, NRIs are left with no choice but to file a tax return in order to file a claim for tax refunds.
Now the basic definition of NRI and the taxation system is clear to individuals, let’s focus on the exemption, deductions, taxable income and benefits. So, let’s start!
What Are the Income Tax Exemptions for NRIs in India?
Tax exemptions for NRIs is available on the following types of income -
- Interest earned on Government-issued saving certificates and bonds.
- Capital gains (exempted as per Sections 54, 54F, and 54EC).
- Long-term capital gains from listed equity shares and equity mutual funds.
- Interest generated from NRE or FCNR accounts.
- Dividends accrued from the Indian company shares.
What Are the Applicable Income Tax Deductions for NRIs in India?
Deduction of Income Tax for NRI is mentioned under several IT acts. These are as follows:
1. Section 80C
As per this section, NRIs can claim an income tax deduction in the following instances:
- Principal repayments on home loan
- Payment of premium for a life insurance policy
- Payment of tuition fees for childre
2. Section 80E
A deduction is available under Section 80E in case an NRI earns interest on an education loan
3. Section 80TTA
Under Section 80TTA, NRIs can claim a deduction of ₹10,000 on interest earned on a savings bank account.
4. Section 80D
An income tax deduction is available under Section 80D. Here, Non-Residential Indians can claim a deduction on the premium paid for a health insurance policy.
5. Section 80G
As per this section, NRIs can claim deductions on donations related to social service activities.
What Are the Taxable Income for NRIs?
Below are discussed incomes that are taxable for Non-Residential Indians.
1. Income from House Property
For NRIs, any income from property located in India is taxable as per the IT Acts. Here, the tax calculation process follows similar rules as that of Indian residents. To be precise, Non-Residential Indians can enjoy the following advantages,
- Deduction on property tax
- Interest deduction in case of home loan
- Deduction on the principal amount of home loan is available under Section 80C of the IT Acts. Along with this, a deduction is available on stamp duty and registration charges on the purchase of a property.
- NRIs can calm a standard deduction of 30%.
2. Income from Salary
Salary of NRIs is taxable under two conditions. These are,
- Condition 1: Here, if an NRI receives a salary in India directly into an Indian bank account, it will be taxable as per the income tax rules for NRI. The condition applies in another situation when someone else receives the income on behalf of that NRI.
- Condition 2: As per this condition, if an NRI earns a salary for services rendered in India, it will be considered as taxable income in India.
Both the cases follow the applicable income tax slab for NRI.
3. Income from Other Sources
Income (interest on fixed deposit and savings account) which are sourced in India is taxable.
4. Income from Capital Gains
Any income generated by transferring capital assets located in India will be taxable.
What Are the Benefits of Filing Income Tax for NRI?
Filing Income Tax ensures numerous benefits for NRI. These are,
- The Income Tax Act allows exemption from wealth tax for NRIs on bank deposits within the country.
- Gifts given through NRE and FCNR accounts are free from gift tax in India.
After learning about deductions and exemptions of income tax for NRI, concerned individuals can follow the step-by-step guide discussed in the next section.
How to File Income Tax Return for NRI in India?
Here, we have discussed both the online and offline methods of filing income tax returns.
Follow the steps mentioned below to file ITR,
- Step-1- Apply for the PAN card as per the demand of Form No. 49A.
- Step-2- Collect tax return forms and fill them in with essential information.
- Step-3- Upload required documents and digital signature at the online portal of the Income Tax Department in India.
- Step-1- Collect the ITR form and fill it with the required information.
- Step-2- Submit the form along with the Acknowledgement form to the Income Tax Officer. The income tax return and filing must be verified and attested by an authorized person outside India.
The above-mentioned sections thoroughly talk about various aspects of income tax for NRI. Read the details carefully and apply for an income tax return if it is a taxable income.