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What is Self Certification of NRI Bank Accounts?


Self Certification of NRI bank accounts is now mandatory. NRIs who fail to do so may not be able to conduct banking transactions. How to self certify your NRI bank account.

Self Certification of NRI Bank Accounts - How to Self Certify your NRI Bank Account

As news reports of mandatory self certification of NRI bank accounts have started to appear in the news media, some non-residents [NRIs] holding NRI bank accounts may be wondering what this is all about. Generally NRIs who hold bank accounts in India should have already received information from the banks where they hold their NRI bank accounts of the new regulations that come into effect in 2017/2018. Banks should have sent a self certification form to each account holder so that the account holder could self certify his/her account.

For those who either did not receive the notification from their banks or perhaps failed to respond to their banks request to send in their completed self certification form and documentation, here is an overview of what all this means.

The government of India has entered into an agreement with other countries to exchange bank account information of non-residents holding NRI bank accounts in India, with the tax authorities of the account holders home countries. This is supposedly a step to combat tax evasion.

Here is some information for NRIs regarding self certification of NRI bank accounts

Q. Why is self certification required?

To comply with FATCA/CRS agreements the government of India will submit to foreign countries information about bank accounts in India held by their residents & citizens. To prepare to submit account holder information abroad, Indian banks are gathering information on their account holders residency status, tax identification numbers they use abroad to file their taxes etc. Indian banks are getting this information from their NRI bank account holders by asking them to fill out a ‘Self Certification form’

Q. How do I self certify my NRI account?

Banks have a self certification form that they are asking their NRI account holders to fill and return to them. The information requested is fairly simple and form is just one page. Along with the form, account holders also need to send in copies of their Identification/citizenship documentation. For sample click here...

Q. I already completed KYC so bank already has all my information. Do I still need to self certify my bank account?

KYC and FATCA/CRS are not related. KYC is for Indian banking security checks, whereas FATCA/CRS is to comply with agreements India has signed with foreign countries to combat tax evasion. Some of the information required for FATCA/CRS such as account holder’s foreign tax identification number is not included in KYC.

Q. What if I do not complete the self certification?

Failure to complete the self certification will probably result in your NRI account being blocked. Which would mean the account holder would not be able to conduct any transaction until they eventually self certify and the bank removes the block on the account.

Q. My bank where I have a NRI account has not sent me any self certification form. What to do?

All banks that offer NRI banking accounts have their own version of self certification forms. The information is generally the same but the format may be different. Visit your banks website and download the form. This can then be sent to your bank by email along with the required documents. You can also contact your bank for further guidance on this topic.

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