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Taxation Rules For NRIs | NRI Tax


NRIs need not pay all taxes that are applicable to residents. Here are some exemptions, deductions and tax-saving tips they can avail of.

Here are some exemptions and tax-saving tips that non-resident Indians can avail of juggling finances in one country is bad enough; having to do it in two can be baffling. When it comes to filing taxes, NRIs find themselves in this unenviable position as the Income tax rules for NRIs are different from those that are valid for residents. Here's a quick guide to NRI taxation.

Taxes applicable:

Income which is earned outside India by an NRI is not taxed here. An NRI doesn't have to pay tax on the interest income in a non-resident external (NRE) account or foreign currency nonresident (FCNR) account. But you must be careful about taxes you pay in your new home country as some income that is exempt in India is taxed abroad.

Filing returns:

There is no need to file income tax return if you don't have any income here. However, if the income accruing in India through capital gains, rent, dividend or interest is beyond the threshold limit, you will have to file tax returns. Here, too, you can claim certain deductions. So, for 2011-12 , an NRI (male, below 60 years) whose income exceeds 1.8 lakh and a person above 60 years who earns more than 2.5 lakh should file returns in India.


If, as a resident, you made some investments and redeemed them after becoming an NRI, these will be treated differently . For instance, NRIs cannot extend the tenure of their PPF account. Capital gainslong-term or short-term—will be applicable when you redeem/sell your past investments.

"If you sell shares that are listed on a recognised stock exchange in India after holding them for more than a year, you will not have to pay tax on the capital gain provided the securities transaction tax has been paid,"

If an NRI sells shares and debentures of an Indian company that he had acquired using foreign currency, the taxation process will require currency conversion and re-conversion for capital gains calculations.

An NRI doesn't have to pay tax on property or assets he inherits in India. "However, any rental income or profit from such property or its sale will be taxable in India,"

Tax-saving tips:

NRIs can save on these taxes by investing in pension plans, life insurance policies and tax-saving mutual funds. The repayment by an NRI towards principal amount of home loan is eligible for deduction up to 1 lakh, while the interest payment is also allowed as a deduction. NRIs can also buy a health insurance policy here for themselves, their family and dependent parents , and claim deduction up to 35,000 for the annual premium paid.

If you have been repaying an education loan, the interest paid can be claimed for deduction . NRIs can put their money in tax-saving bonds too. Capital gains up to 50 lakh earned from selling a capital asset can be invested in bonds of NHAI or REC. Investment income foreign currency bonds, are subject to tax at 20% as against the maximum rate of 30%. NRIs can invest in such assets and benefit from the lower rate. Also, an NRI can avail of lower tax rates on interest income through beneficial treaty provisions.

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