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Is NRI required to file an income tax return? – a very common question. In short – an NRI is liable to pay taxes under certain conditions. This post will cover that… We have also touched – How to NRI file NRI income tax returns online?

Let us look at the various aspects of NRI tax filing in India.

do nri need to file tax in india
How to NRI file NRI income tax returns online?

Must Check – How Can NRIs Save Tax On Their Income In India?

Cases when Income Tax is applicable to an NRI

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) has to pay taxes on any income that is received, accrued, or arisen in India. If you are an NRI and have one or more of the following income sources and your income in India exceeds Rs. 2,50,000, you are liable to files taxes returns –

  • Interest earned in NRO accounts – It is subject to taxes.
  • Rental income – It is subject to a TDS of 30%. The tenant is responsible for deducting TDS and submit Form 15CA (and in some cases Form 15CB also) and then pay rent to the NRI.
  • Capital gains on house property or other assets – It is taxable and has to be added to the total income earned.
  • Income from fixed deposits or interest on savings bank account – Income is earned/accrued in India and therefore taxable.
  • Income earned – If you earn income while in India for part of the financial year, you have to file returns for the same.
  • If you have earned income in India for work done abroad, you have to file returns too.
nri tax filing in india
Do nri need to file tax in India

Due Date for Filing Income Tax Returns for NRI

The due date for filing income taxes returns in India is on or before 31st July for the preceding financial year. So for the financial year – Apr 2020- Mar 2021, you have to file taxes on or before 31st Dec 2021.

If as an NRI, you are a working partner in a firm that has not had the accounts audited yet, then you have to file taxes by 31st December.

Check – Income Tax for NRI- Exemptions, Deductions and Allowances

How to File an Income tax return for NRIs

NRI does not need to be physically present in India to NRI tax filing in India. You can send all the relevant documents, complete the relevant form and sign it and send it to a taxes expert in India who can file it for you.

But nowadays it is best to file Income tax returns online –

  • Get the documents and information such as PAN card, bank statements, income details, and deduction details.
  • Register on the Income Tax India website
  • Choose the right ITR form.
  • Select the option on how to file returns. You can e-file your returns or download the relevant ITR complete and upload it.
  • Fill the form and submit it
  • Verify the ITR-V. It can be verified by printing it out, signing it, and sending it via normal post or speed post to CPC Bangalore within 120 days of submitting the form. The address is –

Income Tax Department – CPC

                Post-Box No – 1

                Electronic City Post Office,

                Bangalore – 560100, Karnataka

  • You will get an acknowledgment on receipt of the form. It can also be verified online or e-verified by using Netbanking, Aadhaar OTP, or Bank account number.

The process of Income-tax Refund for NRIs

You will get a refund only if you file your tax returns.

So even if you do not have to pay any taxes but are eligible for a refund, you will still have to file taxes returns. If you want to offset your capital losses against capital gains to lower tax liability, you have to file tax returns.

“If you want to offset your capital losses against capital gains to lower tax liability, you have to file tax returns.”

Hope this helps you to file your tax returns this year smoothly. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section regarding NRI Taxation.

Note – We are not CA but will try to answer based on our learning while working with NRI clients.

Published on May 16, 2018

Hemant Beniwal

Hemant Beniwal is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and his Company Ark Primary Advisors Pvt Ltd is registered as an Investment Adviser with SEBI. Hemant is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, U.S.A and registered as a life planner with Kinder Institute of Life Planning, U.S.A. He started his Financial Planning Practice in 2009 & is among the first generation of financial planners in India. He also authored Bestseller book "Financial Life Planning". 

  • I am an NRI as well my daughter, Now my Daughter PPF account got matured and I opened an NRE/NRO account and wanted to deposit the matured account and also wanted to transfer the Money received in my daughter account to my NRO, will there be a Tax issue or Income tax will send notice

    • Hi Balasubramani
      There should not be any tax implications on transferring the funds from the PPF account to the NRO account, as the PPF account has already matured, and the funds are now available for withdrawal or transfer. However, you must comply with FEMA regulations and provide appropriate documentation for the transfer, including evidence of the PPF account maturity, withdrawal or transfer request, and proof of deposit in the NRO account.

    • Hi Balasubramani,

      Transferring money from your daughter’s account to your NRO account may have tax implications. Tax authorities would inquire about the source of funds and the reasons for the transfer. It’s recommended to maintain proper documentation to justify such transfers.

    • Hi Vicky

      As per my knowledge you satisfy the basic condition of being the resident in India. Hence your income will be taxable.

    • Hi Vicky

      As per my knowledge you satisfy the basic condition of being the resident in India. Hence your income will be taxable.

  • If I don’t have a bank account or any sort source of income, should I still file income tax in india?

  • Citizen of USA,Having NRO account in India.In Feb 2022 I got maturity value of my Life insurance policy (with provision of 10D, yrly premium was less then 10%) which is has 4 Lakhs of capital appreciation.TDS on gain was not deducted as policy is exempt.
    Do I have to file income tax and to show such gain?

  • Sir you have mentioned that Fixed Deposits deposited in India are Taxable. I have been having NRE FD’s for many years but they have been tax free.

  • I am an indian citizen and my current status is NROR for FY 2021/2022. Do i need to report my US income when i file taxes in India?

      • Thanks . Hope you could answer for these queries also. Also can i speak to you, if yes what number i could call you and use your services. Here are my queries:

        1) I will have an NROR status for financial year 2022/2023.

        2) I am planning to sell my house in New Jersey before the current year ends. After i sell the house, should i bring the proceeds of the house from US to India in phases (i.e. some before the current year ends and some in the following year i.e. before March 31st 2022) or should i bring in the money in one shot to reduce my taxes in India for the financial year 2022/2023? Currently i do not have to pay any capital gain taxes in US for the house proceeds i get in USA.

        3)Is it also correct that i do not have to pay taxes in india for the funds i remove from the self managed IRA i.e. “Individual Retirement Account” account prior to Dec 31st 2022 in USA?

        My name is Mohan.

  • I am 81 years old , & I do not have any taxable income in India! But I have some small amounts of saving bank a/c, interest may be less than Rs20,000. Is this taxable ! Pls advise

    • Hi Sadashiv,
      As per my knowledge, The maximum deduction available for NRIs on savings account interest is Rs. 10K.
      But you can refer to a CA for better information.

  • I came to US in December 2019. I have rental, interest and dividend income and in India but no income in US. I have to file my ITR for the year (calander) 2020 in US. I understand I have to include all my Indian income in my US tax return. Do I need to file my tax return in India too for the FY 2020-21?

    • Hi Jai,
      If you want to avail the benefits of DTAA then you will have to file ITR in India, Plus if your income is above Rs. 2.5 lacs then you will have to file the ITR.

  • Asking on behalf of my friend. He is outside India for the last 10 years and has no income in India. He is having some policies in India which he had started before coming to the USA so he is sending the installment of policies from the USA to his Indian accounts. So my question is do he need to file income tax returns in India?? and if yes what to do as income?

    • Hi Amit,

      As per my knowledge, If Your friend doesn’t have any income in India then he doesn’t need to file ITR for that, But for better knowledge you can consult a CA.

  • As an NRI, if i my total taxable income in India is less than 2.5 lakhs (exemption limit), does it mean i can get my TDS on my mutual fund capital gains refunded? Or are MFs always taxed separate to the 2.5 lakh exemption limit? (so no exemption limit applicable to MF capital gains)

  • I am an NRI, I transferred money of above Rs. 3,09,000 to my Indian savings bank account and the bulk of it was transferred to my parent for her expenses. I also used some of the money in my Indian account for purchases from online e-commerce platforms. Do I have to file an income tax return in India?

    • Hi Rajeev,

      You can claim it if the TDS deducted is below 50K, there is a form for the same. An accountant will be able to tell you the details regarding the same.

  • “Choose the right ITR form” – what is the right ITR form for NRI? Where can we find list of forms if it depends on individual status?

  • Which ITR form should I use to file my return. I am an NRE and want to get a refund for the interest deducted from my NRO account.

  • I am an NRI. I have filed income tax returns for all previous years. I do not have any income over INR 250,000 in India. Should I continue to file income tax returns?

  • i am out of India for past 45 years and plan to go back by end of 2022, i have NRO FD and i am paying tax , when i have to start paying tax on my NRI /FCNRE saving .

  • I am an NRI since FY 2017-18. In FY 2018-19, I received approximately Rs 15 lacs EPFO refund from my past employment in India for the period 2008-12. Do I need to file ITR for FY 2018-19 and do I need to pay tax on it?

  • Hi My Name is Samina from January-2019 i am working in Kuwait so how should i file my Income tax i mean ITR 1 or 2 and what income should i take as Income from Salary and i have NRI account in India so please let me know how income should i fill.

  • I am an NRI and had NRO deposits in 2012 and coverted them all to NRE deposits with TDS taken by bank. My total income after that is less tha 250000. Now IT department has asked me to file response for AY 2013-14 for the TDS transactions , time deposits etc during 2012-13. What resposnse to be given. I understand ITR cannot be submitted for 2013-14 now. Please help

  • I have a Savings account in INDIA and i get an interest of around 1 lakh . Which is the ITR form that i have to submit is it ITR 1 or ITR2? I have NRE account that is recomended .

  • I am in US for last 2 years and in the last financial year i was less than 60 days in india. DO i need to file ITR?

  • An NRI has NRO FDs on which TDS has been deducted and he has no other income. The total income of the assessee falls very well below Rs.250000. Kindly clarify whether by filing ITR refund of the TDS can be claimed?

      • Sir, thank you for your clarification. I shall ask the NRI to have NRO FDs with interest on them up to Rs.250000/- in a financial year and claim refund by filing ITR. Thanks once again
        Thanks and regards

  • My son is in the U.S. and started earning there recently. I got converted his status to NRI on 01st June 2020 (Savings A/c status to NRO & applied for opening his NRE A/c).
    I have Mutual Fund investments (Growth Scheme) in his name that were made 2 years ago (when he was RI).
    If I redeem these MF investments now, what will be the Tax implication on these redemption amounts (for investments made as Resident Indian?)

    • Hi Sameer

      Firstly you need to convert the status in his MF holding also. The redemption will be taxed as per the type of MF you hold and for how long.

  • Hi, I am NRI and working & paying tax in china. I often transfer money to my Indian NRO account through friends by giving them Chinese currency and in return, they give me INR. With that said, do I have to pay tax in India, or do I have to do any annual tax settlement in India since I don’t have income and it’s all tax settlement done in China?

  • I am an NRI. I want to open an NRO Demat account in India. The trading will be done through the NRO account in India. The trading account and Demat account will be of a discount broker in India and HDFC NRO account in India. Suppose I transferred an amount of INR 200000 from my NRE account to NRO account or directly in NRO account from abroad and that money will be used to purchase shares of a listed company like TATA motors through a discount brochure in India like pro stocks. How the tax will be calculated?

  • Dear – I am NRI. In case of Capital Gain by selling the property in Delhi. Will I fall under slab system or flat 20% tax as NRI?

    • Hi Sameer

      It depends upon when you had bought the property and when you sold it. If in case it more than 2 years then the buyer will deduct TDS 20% else 30% and you need to file the Income tax return to adjust this with your rest of the income if any.

    • Hi Sameer,

      Income Tax slabs are same for NRIs and Residents. For FY20-21, there are 2 options and among them the tax payer can choose any 1.
      Taxable income Tax Rate Tax Rate
      (Option 1) (Option 2)
      Up to Rs. 2,50,000 Nil Nil
      Rs. 2,50,001 to Rs. 5,00,000 5% 5%
      Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 7,50,000 20% 10%
      Rs. 7,50,001 to Rs. 10,00,000 20% 15%
      Rs. 10,00,001 to Rs. 12,50,000 30% 20%
      Rs. 12,50,001 to Rs. 15,00,000 30% 25%
      Above Rs. 15,00,000 30% 30%

      Some Tax deductions will differ in both the options, kindly consult with your Tax – Advisor before opting.

  • Sir, I am and NRI from Year 2000 , i visit india for 1 month every year. I have Income in india per year from my bank FD the total interest 2,40,000/- per year from which the bank deducting TDS amount almost 30% of the interest. I have LIC approx 10 Lakh , Share for 2 Lakh and ICICI Prudential Life invested 5 Lakh in the year 2011 and the value now is 9 Lakh , do I need to file Tax in india. Do i am eligible to get back the TDS deducted from the year 2010 onwars..

    • Hi Roy

      Yes, you are required to file Tax returns to claim your TDS or to pay tax if by any means your Income crosses the limit.
      For knowing the eligibility to get back the TDS amount for so long, kindly consult a Tax expert.

  • I have been an NRI since 1997. I have not filed my tax returns so far. My earnings in India, which is house rent is deposited in NRO and TDS is regularly applied directly from the bank. Do I have to submit my returns? Since I have not submitted these many years, can I submit in the future?

    • Hi Ganesh

      Yes, It is advisable to file Income Tax returns as you can also get your TDS refunded, if not come under taxable range.
      You can submit your returns in future.

  • I am out of India for two years. I have not submitted any tax returns at this time. I do not have any income in India. Also the Interest I earn from Bank accounts is less than Rs.10000 per year. I did not sell any property. Do I need to file Income tax in India?

  • Sir, It seems like the information about NRI income tax return is old ( 2017-18). Now it is 2020.
    You didn’t mention the income from monthly Govt. Pension after retirement from government job. I request you please update the information.

  • Hi,
    I don’t have any income in India and am NRI, but I sent mothly 25000 Rs to my Indian Saving Bank account which is used by my parents every month, so do I require to file ITR in India? I do tax reconciliation abroad where I pay IIT.


  • I was a tax resident in india in the financial year 2018-19 (resident in india for 190 days)…but moved out of the country, I know that i have file return in india for income earned in india but do i need to show my abroad income in the return

  • I want to file the tax as NRI but not getting any option to select the residential status or ‘Filing as NRI’ on the government tax portal. Please suggest how to file the tax as NRI for free online

  • I am an NRI. The last 2 years my Indian income was over Rs 250,000 so I submitted returns to Indian IT dept. But this year onwards my income will fall substantially below this limit. Can I stop submitting future returns?

  • I am working on ship and have been nri for 10 put of 12 years. Do I have to pay tax for those two years in which one was less than 182 days outside india

    • Hi Tejas
      I think in those 2 years your residential status will also be NRI. And if you have income accrue or arise in india during those 2 years, you have to pay tax in india as NRI

  • i am working abroad for last 7 years , my company remitt my salary directly to my NRE account in india , will this salary be taxed

    • Hi Sanjay,

      In your case, your income is accrued or arise abroad, so there is no question of tax in india irrespective of the fact it is credited in NRE Account.

  • I am a seafarer works on merchant foreign going ship, for FY 2017-18, I have not completed my nri days, am I need to file income tax? Kindly advise

    • Hi Palu,
      Yes, you need to file the Income Tax and you will be liable to pay tax as per the rules applied to NRI.

  • I left India in 1996 and have been living outside India since and have been visiting india only for short periods every year ( once or twice for 2 weeks at a stretch maximum ). I have investments in various banks and have FDs ( both INR and FCNR ) and hold NRE and NRO accounts. My rental income, mutual fund investments is through my NRO a/c only. I have not filed tax returns as yet and tax is deducted at source on my NRO accounts. Apart from these, I do not have any other monies anywhere else to declare. Do I still need to file Income tax since I continue to hold NRI status or should I only file as and when I get back to India?

    • Hi Raja,

      If your status is NRI and your total income in india exceeds 250000, you have to pay tax in india and file your return. If your tds is deducted on any income in india, you can easily claim it by filing return.

  • i m nri and my employer send money which i hv earned outside india. i m working outside india he send money directly to my nre account ….is it taxable ?

    • Hi Narendra, As you have mentioned your salary is being sent by the employer to your NRE account, hence it is NOT Taxable (same as they pay you in your place of employment abroad and you send it to your NRE account), but is this the only income source you have. Or else if you have an NRO account or partnered with any business obligations in India then you have to file tax like any Indian resident.

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