Why Financial Planning?

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it NOW.

NRIs have many questions & at least I haven’t found a single source where they can get all the answers – and then I started WiseNRI. I keep getting a lot of questions from NRI clients & blog readers so I am sharing the most frequently asked questions by NRIs.

You can also ask questions in the comment section.

NRI Questions And Answers
NRI Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

 Must Read- Who is NRI – New Definition & Scenarios

NRI Questions And Answers

1) I am an NRI. How can I e-file my tax returns?

As an NRI, if you earn income in India and it exceeds Rs.2,50,000, you are liable to file tax returns. You can file your returns online. The process is as follows –

Register on the Income Tax India Website

Choose the correct ITR form.

You can e-file your returns or download the relevant ITR complete and upload 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 using a digital signature.

Must Check – How to File an Income tax return for NRIs

2) Can I buy real estate in India as an NRI? Are there any restrictions?

There is no restriction on NRIs for buying residential or commercial properties. But NRIs cannot buy agricultural land or plantation property or farmhouses in India. NRIs can avail of loans for the purchase of real estate and are provided the same tax benefits that are provided to Resident Indians for the purchase of the property.

3) I will be sent abroad for an assignment/project for the short term. How will my income be taxed?

Going abroad on assignments and projects is exciting. You get to work with people from a different culture and you get the opportunity of visiting a new country. Usually, people get a tidy sum which can be added to their savings. If the assignment is for a duration of 3 months to one year, you will get your salary in India and an allowance.

If you stay in India for 60 days or more, the salary and the allowance are taxable unless the allowance is paid for expenses incurred above and there are valid receipts for the same.

If you go abroad on a long-term assignment which means the duration is one year to three years, then you are on the payroll of the company unit abroad. During this assignment, if you stay in India for less than or equal to 182 days, you will not pay tax on income received abroad. If you stay in India for more than 182 days, you will be liable to pay tax on the income received abroad.

If you pay taxes abroad, you will have to check if you can avail of tax concession or exemption under DTAA.

NRI Questions

4) As an NRI, what are some of the investments that I can make in India?

You can invest in equity shares and mutual funds. But you cannot short sell or be involved in intraday trading. You can invest in fixed deposits in FCNR deposits and  NRE accounts. You can also invest in real estate, gold, etc. Investments in bonds issued by the Government of India, public companies, and private companies are also permitted. If you think you will retire in India, you can invest in National Pension Scheme (NPS) too.

Check – 10 Best NRI Investment Options in India

5) I am an NRI. Can I transfer the proceeds of the sale of property received to the country I currently reside in?

If you purchased the house when you were a resident Indian, then the sale proceeds need to be credited to the Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Account.

If the property was purchased out of income earned in India or using a home loan taken in India and sold when you are an NRI, the amount must be credited to the NRO account.

If the house is purchased by using funds earned abroad, then the repatriation can be only till the extent of the funds used for purchase. The excess sale consideration over the amount paid in foreign exchange can be remitted out of the NRO account subject to USD 1 million per financial year per person. This is limited to the sale of two such properties.

Must Check- Home Loan Checklist For NRIs

6) When do I not need to file an Income Tax Return?

As an NRI, if you have invested in certain assets and TDS has been deducted and you do not have any other income except the income earned in these investments, you need not file tax returns. The assets applicable to this rule are –

  • Shares in a public or private Indian company
  • Debentures issued by a publicly-listed Indian company
  • Deposits with banks and public companies
  • Investment options of the central government

7) Should I disclose my foreign bank accounts while filing taxes?

It is not mandatory for NRIs to disclose the details of their bank accounts in the country of residence when they file tax returns. You can mention the details of the bank account in India so that the refund if any can be transferred there.  If you do not have a bank account in India you can give the details of the foreign bank account so that refund can be remitted to you.

8) How can I make an Aadhaar card?

A circular issued on November 15 by Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of the UIDAI, has directed federal ministries and departments to issue directives to state governments and other relevant agencies that NRIs are not eligible to apply for an Aadhaar card.

Few of the above questions are answered by Vidya – she is an NRI.

If you have any questions related to NRI status – feel free to add them in the comment section.

Published on December 24, 2021

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". 

    • Hi Roney,
      Any money transferred to your wife’s account is not subject to income tax, and she does not need to report it as income.

    • Hi Roney,

      Transferring funds from your NRI account to your wife’s account typically won’t incur any immediate tax liability in India. It’s important to consider the tax implications based on her individual income and the nature of the transferred funds.

  • I am a seafarer ,working on merchant ships. I stayed more than 183 days outside india in FY 2022-2023. But this financial yr i wont go outside but next year i will go outside. Should i change Nro bank accout to saving and vice versa everytime?

    • Hi Sanu,

      You do not need to change your bank account status every time you go in and out of India. Instead, you can maintain an NRO account depending on your income and tax status.

  • I am an NRI and I purchased a property in India in 2014 and for that purchase the government is asking me for my source of income in foreign country. I am a businessman and am an resident of UAE for past 35 years, So am I bound to answer the government?

  • Thanks for a very good article, detailing all the sitiations for NRIs.
    As NRI, purchased a flat in India and paid for it thru 9-10 installments between 2005-2011. All the payments except 2 payment were made from my NRE/NRO accounts. Now we are planning to sell the property, preparing my paper work. We have deed, registration, mutation/upadated tax papers, electric bills, PAN/OCI card. Will get the sales deed when we sell it along with 15CA/CB, income tax declaration, Bank forms.
    In order to repatriate the sales proceed thru NRO, what other paper works do I need? What papers do I need for “source of fund” that I see listed on the bank web page.

    Also I see “If the house is purchased by using funds earned abroad, then the repatriation can be only till the extent of the funds used for purchase. The excess sale consideration over the amount paid in foreign exchange can be remitted out of the NRO account subject to USD 1 million per financial year per person.” – what does it mean? If I have paid Rs 20Lakhs for the property and I sell it for Rs 50 Lakhs, Can I only repatriate Rs 20 lakhs? what happens to the remaining 30 lakhs?
    Thanks again for a real informative post.

    • Hello Hansa

      The remaining 30 lakhs amount can be remitted out of your NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account, subject to a maximum of USD 1 million per financial year per person.

    • Hello Rajan,

      As per the new rules, you can stay for 120 days in India if your income arising in India more than Rs.15 lakh.

  • I am non resident Indian I do not have nri or nro account but I want save money in saving bank any problem comming and can I file income taxe return file for saving bank account

    • Hi Kamal,
      Having a Resident Savings Account while you are an NRI, is illegal. You will need to convert your Resident Savings Account into NRO and NRE A/c as soon as possible.

    • Hi Pradip,
      To enable international transactions on your Debit or Credit Card:
      Login to Netbanking > Cards > Credit/Debit Cards > Request > International Enable.

  • I am outside India for a project work for more than two years on temporary work permit, so do I need to open NRO/NRE account and send money on it and invest from my NRO/NRE account or I can send money to my normal savings account and do my Indian investment transection like FM/stocks investment?

  • I have moved abroad recently to stay with my son. I am 84 years old, have no income abroad but have taxable income in India. Can I stay more than 182 days in India when I have no foreign income

  • Pankaj was born in lahor in 1945 his family immigrantd to India after independence he is currently holds green card is residing in usa with his family what is his orgion

  • I bought IPO shares of Indian company from my NRE account. I do not have record of purchase. I want to sell those shares. Can I sell these shares without Opening PIS account? What is long term gain tax?

    • Hi Thakor,

      While buying the shares you must have used the Demat account, you can sell those shares using the same Demat account. The Long term taxation on Equities for NRIs is 10% plus cess.

  • I am NRI for last 10+ years. Due to covid complete FY 20-21 stayed in India. I am aware that my resident status for FY-20-21 will be RNOR. I have a PMS account and purchased real property also but my total income from India is less than 2.5L. Do I need to file ITR for FY20-21?

  • If my income is more then 10 lakhs wat is my tax liability (should it be as same tax structure as normal ordinary individual ) and my 2nd questions are wat is the maximum no of days you can stay in India to maintain NRI STATUS

    • Hi Rakesh,

      As per my knowledge, Yes it same structure as a Normal Resident in the Old Tax slab. You can live maximum upto 180 days.

  • Hi Hemant,
    I am an NRI living in Ireland. I have some investments in India in the form of mutual funds (equity and debt) and equity. I have no income in India except for some interest from a saving account (<10,000 INR) and dividends (<5000 INR). Do I need to pay income tax on profit worth 3.5 lakh earned by selling my mutual funds and shares? I know about 1lakh exemption for long-term capital gain available for non-resident/resident individuals and 2.5 lakh of tax exception limit. I know that a resident individual (self-employed) doesn't need to pay any taxes if he/she has the same condition as mine. But as an NRI I am not sure. I checked my status on the income tax website
    The result as NRI from this website is 26,000 INR tax liability (1lakh LTCG is not included in the calculation, don't know why)
    The result as a resident from this website is 0 INR tax liability.

  • Thank you so much for your quick answer Neha. You cleared my doubts. Is there a legal way that I can buy agriculture land by selling my current property in city? I am from agriculture family & after my father’s demise my brother is taking care of the property but it is still in my father’s name. Because my father’s property is small I want to buy my own property. This will help me to plan my future. Thank you once again from bottom of my heart for your great support for all NRIs

  • Hi,
    I really like your wisenri.com and your kind efforts to answer so many questions every NRI will have. I am an NRI & has Aadhar card & PAN cards. If I take up the citizenzship of the country I reside, should I surrender my AAdhar card?

    Also, I have my property in India and want to retire in India even if I take up citizenship of the country I reside. Hence my in-laws will buy agriculture land & transfer to their daughter by will. For this I want to sell my property & give that money to my in-laws to buy agri-land. Is this possible? What should I know before.

    • Hi,
      You don’t have to surrender the aadhar card.
      In your 2nd Query, this transaction is looking suspicious and it might create a problem in the future while considering Benami Act.
      So for better clarification, kindly consult with your CA.

  • How does a PIO selling property in India obtain 100% of the sale proceeds (ie without the TDS deduction) and invest the capital gains in capital-gains bonds immediately?

    • Hi,
      As per my opinion, You can invest in capital gain bonds but when you selling the property, TDS will be deducted and after that, you can claim for the same while filing the ITR.

  • I forgot to change my Indian savings account to an NRO account, where I have Fixed deposits. How to handle this during tax file? 10÷ interest has been deducted as TDS. The remaining 20÷ should be paid or not required?

  • I wish to know that if a person returns to India after working abroad for 9 years, how long he is not liable to pay taxes for income earned outside India.

  • Hi Hemanth
    Looking for some guidance in regards to buying property in India, How are gains treated and what are the tax implication if i need to bring them back to US.
    Example — I bought a land for 1.5 crores with registration but in that register cost is 85 Lakhs and rest becomes black. After development i get around 4.5 crores in total. 80% of it will be white(3.6 crores) rest will be black(0.9). How can i bring back 3.6 crores. Could you please guide me..
    Did send money to India in past but not sure how to bring them back to US, but now want to know better before sending again money to India.

  • If someone is returning to India for a year or two and settling back abroad, should they convert their bank accounts from NRE to Resident savings and change back ? or they can continue to maintain in NRE account?

    • Hi Namrata,

      They should convert there accounts as per their residency status before holding NRE accounts after becoming Resident and vice versa.

  • I am Indian passport holder who left for abroad on job assignment in Dec 2016. Payroll was shifted to abroad.
    My assignment ended on Oct 2019. I have spent 180 days in India in FY 19-20.
    Will I be considered NRI for FY19-20?
    In previous 4 years, I have spent 731 days in India.
    In previous 7 years, I have spent 1462 days in India.
    My FY19-20 income is less than 10 lakh.

  • i am working in qatar and i have investment in Philippine i have question can i transfer money from Philippine to my india NRE account?

  • My husband earns in foreign and has NRO account. I also live with him but I am a housewife and do not have any income abroad. Do I have to convert all my saving accounts in India to NRO?

  • Hi Hemant, I had a PPF account when I was in India. I stopped contributing to it from the last few years assuming NRIs can not contribute to the PPF account. I got it reactivated recently by paying a 50 Rs penalty per year.
    Can I contribute to the missed years I’ve missed? if I’ve missed 4 years, can I contribute 1.5lakhs*4 years= 6 lakhs?

  • I am NRI and wish to invest say 75lacs in company Fixed deposit with bajaj or Mahindra for a period of say 3 years. When the Fd matures and I am in India as resident Indian ( as planning to settle in India next year) the amount with interest will credit to my NRO account. So tax will apply on the whole amount 75lacs + interest?

  • I am NRI and wish to invest say 75lacs in company Fixed deposit with bajaj or Mahindra for a period of say 3 years. When the Fd matures and I am in India as resident Indian ( as planning to settle in India next year) the amount with interest will credit to my NRO account. So tax will apply on the whole amount 75lacs + interest?

  • I am NRI, working overseas till July 2020. In this case, I am paying tax for this year overseas as the financial year overseas is from Jan – Dec, and I exceed 182 days here. When I am back in July end, do I need to pay tax in India for my overseas earning?

    • Hi Bhooshan,

      As per my knowledge, if you are paying taxes in the overseas country for your overseas income then you don’t need to pay taxes on that income in India.

  • I have lived in Saudi Arabia since June 2018. I will be returning to India permanently in June 2020. Will I have to pay tax on the income earned from April to June 2020.

    • Hi Anu,

      As per my Knowledge, Budget 2020 proposes that if an individual who is a citizen of India or person of Indian origin visits India for 120 days or more in a financial year and had spent more than 365 days in last four years, then such an individual become ‘resident’ in India Otherwise NRI.

  • if a person working in the company of gulf country with schedule rotation of one-month duty and one month leave, is it taxable or not?

  • A person returned back to India from abroad as retired NRI in 2002 and invested his gratuity amount plus sale of a property into Fixed deposits and Mutual fund. Until now there has been no income tax returns filed. However now if we file for returns which years will be taken into consideration for Income tax returns? Will the earnings from 2002 on wards be also taken into account?

    • Hi Arul,
      As per my knowledge nre interest is not taxable in India so you won’t be able to take DTAA benefits for it in the UK.

  • I may become a resident Indian by June 2020. In the Financial Year, will IT department consider my income for the months April – June 2020 as Indian income?

  • CAN NRI OPEN AN HUF ACCOUNT IN INDIA, AND IF YES INCOME EARNED IN THAT ACCOUNT IS TAXABLE IN THEIR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE TOO.

  • Dear Hemanth, I have returned after being overseas for 9+ yrs. I returned on 26th April 2019. I do not wish to have an RNOR status as I don’t expect any funds. Please advice when am I liable to change my bank status from NRE to Ordinary Resident. Please advice.

  • i went for work overseas in 2017 oct but did not know at that time i have to convert my account to NRO, i sold my shares through my earlier demat acc and also traded in futures options & got money in my regular Sb a/c. i came back to India recently and came to know that there are some requirements of PIS etc, besides some regulation to remit money from NRO, which i didn’t have, so i had loaded through my forex card. Is it right or wrong, & i should convert to NRO now?

  • Hello,
    I love your site! It has so much information for NRIs.
    I have a question about selling a house in India.
    In order to use DTAA, I am planning to obtain Tax Residency certificate from USA. I would like to know the process involved and also what other documents I need to get.
    Thanks.

  • I am in USA right now and shall remain upto Sept 19 end. I have to file IT return by 31st July. I requested my indian banks to send me form 16A on my regisered email with them. They are not responding, even after sending so many reminders. Whom should I approach to report the neglency of banks. I found Banks are not tuned to work on net-banking properly

  • I am an NRI and had obtained Aaadhar card during my India Visit when there was no clarity as to how NRIs can obtain it or whether they are eligible . Now what do i do with my current Aadhar card ?

  • It would be desirable if you publish similar questions and answers for people who have opted for citizens of a foreign country and have OCI card. They come to India to stay for a period of six months or a year and go back.

  • Hello. I am an NRI based out of Dubai and I loaned INR 20 lakhs (through a cheque cashed on my NRE account) to my cousin, residing in India, in Dec 2018. He shall be returning the same to me in Jan 2020. Will I be taxed on the 20 lakhs when he returns it to me? Thank you

  • I understand that by adjusting the purchase price of a property in India using cost inflation index (CII), one can decrease the amount of long term capital gains (LTCG) taxes paid in India. Let’s say the original property purchase price is X, and adjusting for CII, the effective price is Y.

    Let’s say the property sale price is Z. This means that property taxes in India are based on LTCG of (Z-Y).

    I am a US citizen. I understand that US residents need to pay taxes on worldwide income including LTCG for property sale in India, but the amount can be offset by taxes already paid in India.

    My question is: Is the federal LTCG tax owed in the US computed based on (Z-Y) or (Z-X)? How about state taxes for the state of California – is that based on (Z-Y) or (Z-X).

  • Hi hemant.

    It is very nice of you to furnish so much of pertinent details that will help many NRIs to comply with GOI regulations. TY for this yomen service.

    My question to you,sir:

    My daughter bought a property in India in 2007 out of funds earned abroad. She was NRI at that time. Now she has become a USA citizen with PIO status. The information with regard to tax and repatriation of funds given in your blog- is it still applicable if she sells her property now, being a PIO?

    I will appreciate a post from you please.

    Regards,

    A.Mohan

  • Official procedure to withdraw matured PPF amount at concerned post office of NRI without his presence in India when even Special Power of Attorney is not considered by authority.

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