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Returning to India? An NRI’s perfect guide for Income Tax Planning

A Warning: What would be the impact on you and your family members if personal finance things don’t work out as per your expectation when you return to India…?

Bad news: 90% of NRI investors are not with the right financial planner.

Good news: You can choose the right financial planner now.

As an NRI returning to India, you need a well-thought-out financial plan. Making any impulsive decision will have an adverse effect.

Returning Nri

Schedule your free appointment to get more personalised advice related to NRI Taxation, Financial Planning, Retirement Planning and Investment Advisory.

Returning NRIs can save tax on their overseas income through their Residential Status until a period of 3 years after return. You may be curious to know more about that. This article is an attempt to clarify the tax implications for NRIs returning back to India.

By the way, if you are retiring and permanently returning to India, then you need a fool proof retirement plan as an NRI.
 

Table of Contents

1) Residential Status in India & its effects in taxability

Residential status describes the duration of the physical presence of a citizen inside Indian Territory. The Income-Tax Act defines the provision for determining the residential status of a person. The taxability of an individual is highly dependent on the residential status of that person for a particular financial year.

Under the Income-Tax law, a person must fall into one of these three categories,

  • Non-Resident
  • Resident but Nor Ordinary Resident in India (RNOR)
  • Resident and Ordinary Resident in India (ROR)

a) Who is an NRI?

To determine your residential status as per the Indian Income-Tax law, you need to examine these two basic conditions given below.

(i) If an Indian citizen is in India for more than 182 days in the relevant Financial Year

or

(ii) is in India for more than 60 days in the relevant financial year and more than 365 days in the preceeding 4 Financial Years

then the individual is determined as a Resident of India if at least any one of the condition is satisified. The individual is determined as a Non-Resident only if both the conditions (i) & (ii) are not satisfied. For better understanding take a look at the infographic given below,

residential statusThere is an exemption for individuals belonging to certain categories to satisify only the first condition as mentioned below,

  • Indian citizen who leaves India during the previous year for the purpose of employment
  • Indian citizen who leaves India as a member of the crew of an Indian ship
  • Person of Indian Origin (POI) or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) who comes to visit India on a visit during the previous year

Individuals who fall into these categories need not satisify both the conditions. They will be determined as NRI if they satisfy the condition (i) alone, i.e. if they stay outside of India for more than 182 days in the relevant year, then they are still considered as an NRI.

b) Who is an RNOR?

RNOR stands for “Resident Not Ordinary Resident”.

As per the Indian Income-Tax law,

(iii) If you have been a non-resident in India in 9 out of 10 years preceding that financial year.

OR

(iv) If you live for less than 729 days out of 7 years preceding that financial year,

Then you are considered as RNOR for that particular financial year you are returning to India and the subsequent year (2 years).

A Resident other than an NRI or NOR is generally referred to as an Ordinary Resident (ROR).

You can find out your residential status through the Official Income-Tax Residential Status Calculator.

c) NRI/RNOR status after returning to India

Your NRI status after returning to India will be deemed as RNOR status for 2 years and then eventually when the conditions for RNOR status is not satisfied, your residential status will become a ROR (Ordinary Resident). However, taxability of an NRI and RNOR are the same.

You must know the important things to do before losing your RNOR status (NRI 2 years includes the year of returning and the immediate subsequent year). Because once you lose your RNOR status you will be restricted from many tax benefits.

I will elaborate on the checklist of the to do’s before losing the RNOR status at the end of this article.

2) Income Tax implications for a Returning NRI

What do you think you need to do to ease you financially when you return to India…?

How about understanding the tax implications for a returning NRI…?

In order to potentially reduce the taxability & ease the finances of an NRI returning to India, it is mandatory to understand the Income Tax implications for a returning NRI.

Income earned in India is taxable for an NRI in India. Income earned outside India is not taxable for an NRI in India.

It means the taxability of your overseas income (such as rental income, capital gains, bank interest, dividends, etc.) arising out of your assets outside of India (such as bank accounts, stock market/securities, life insurance policies , loans, company deposits, debentures, bonds, residential properties, etc.) largely depends on your residential status in India.

Let’s see an example – As an NRI/RNOR returning to India, you want to buy a new property in India by selling one of your overseas assets.

In this case, if you sell your overseas assets and receive the sales proceeds (money) in your overseas bank account, you do not have to pay any taxes in India.

But, you need the sales proceeds (money) to be in the Indian account to buy your new property in India. Now, if you can simply transfer the money from your overseas bank account to your bank account in India, you do not have to pay any taxes in India.

a) Income Tax rules of an NRI returning to India

Income received or received on your behalf or accrues in India during a financial year by a NOR/NRI are fully taxable as per the Income-tax slab.

Income which accrues or arises outside India and received outside India in a financial year from any other source, by a NOR/NRI is not taxable.

Income which accrues or arises outside India and received outside India during a financial year and remitted to India during that financial year, by both ROR and NOR/ NRI are not taxable.

b) Income Tax Benefits when you are an NRI/RNOR

When you are an NRI/RNOR, you will be exempted from income tax in India for your following incomes:

  • Capital gain arising from the sale of fixed and financial assets held overseas (like properties and shares)
  • Interest received from FCNR and RFC deposits
  • Withdrawals or pension from the retirement account or pension scheme held overseas
  • Interest or dividends earned in deposit or securities held overseas
  • Rent received from properties held overseas

Based on your return date to India, you stand to enjoy these tax benefits for 2 to 3 years. However, all your Indian income will be taxed.

Unlike the US Federal Reserve, the Indian Income-Tax Act does not ask for its citizens to provide
with the details of foreign investments in the form of FATCA .

3) After losing the NRI/RNOR status

When you are returning to India as an NRI, you will be considered as an NRI only for a limited
period of time and then you will become an RNOR on certain conditions.

Over time, you will lose your RNOR status also as and when you stop satisfying any one of the conditions mentioned for being an RNOR.

When you move out from RNOR and become an ordinary resident then even your global income will be taxed in India.

Suppose if your global income is taxed abroad, then you can claim the tax benefits as per the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. Therefore, you will not pay tax twice for this global income after you return.

If you are planning to sell an overseas property or withdraw from overseas retirement accounts, it is advisable to do these when you are an NRI or RNOR to avoid taxation in India.

a) What an NRI should do on return to India

What should be your next step after you return to India?

i) On return to India, you should re-designate your bank accounts as domestic Resident accounts or transfer the balance in your NRE/FCNR accounts to Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) accounts, if you feel the need to do so.

ii) FCNR accounts can be continued till the date of maturity and upon maturity, can be converted to RFC accounts.

iii) Also, you need to open a resident Demat account, to transfer the shares from your NRI Demat account and should close the NRI Demat account.

iv) If you have invested in mutual funds as an NRI, then as and when you return to India, you need to update them with your resident bank details and change the residential status in mutual fund investments from NRI to a resident.

v) What happens to the NRE FDs on returning to India? Can the returning NRI continue the NRE FD till maturity? Does the NRE FD need to be closed on return?

This is a common and important query about the NRE FDs on return to India. Let’s understand the problem with an example.

Siva returns from the US to India by September 2019, and the NRE FD that he holds will mature only by June 2022 i.e. after three years from the return to India. Now what should Siva do about the NRE FD after returning to India?

When Siva approaches the bank regarding this query, a bank which is not properly instructed of the RBI regulations would give either of the two answers below,

The bank would either suggest Siva to continue the NRE FD as such until maturity which is a violation of FEMA and can attract serious retribution – or – the bank would ask Siva to prematurely close the NRE FD and open a new Resident FD which will attract penalty for premature closure of the NRE FD and also a reduced interest rate.

But as per RBI norms, Siva’s NRE FD account can be converted to Resident FD account without any penalty and without any change of interest rate and date of maturity. The only change is that the interest earned will be taxed according to your slab if applicable.

As per the RBI Master Directions, upon returning to India permanently, the existing NRE FD account of the NRI account-holder is required to be converted to Domestic Resident FD account without any changes in the promised Rate of Interest.

The interest earned from NRE FD is not taxable, however after it is converted to a Resident FD the earned interest is taxed as per your income tax slab. TDS will be deducted if applicable.

b) How long can I maintain my NRE account after returning to India?

You cannot maintain your NRE account and NRE FDs when you are an RNOR. You need to convert your NRE account to resident account immediately upon returning to India.

You need to convert these accounts to resident accounts within a reasonable period of time. The reasonable period can be assumed as 3 months. If you have not converted the NRE account to resident account within 3 months, it would be considered as FEMA violation. It is better to avoid those hardships and convert the NRE accounts within a reasonable period.

Even after becoming a resident if you continue your NRE account and FDs, then the interest from them will be taxable. Interest from NRE account and FDs are tax-free only for non-residents.

What’s the FIRST (and easiest) step you must take from the above as a returning NRI?

c) RFC Account

Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) is a Scheme approved by Reserve Bank of India permitting persons of Indian nationality or origin, who have returned to India on or after 18th April 1992 for permanent settlement (Returning Indians), after being resident outside India for a continuous period of not less than 1 year, to open foreign currency accounts with banks in India for holding funds brought by them to India.

Simply, Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) accounts are bank accounts maintained by Indian residents for Global-scale transactions in Foreign Currency. Only returning NRI’s can open RFC account since it is specially established for NRI’s who want to bring their earnings in foreign currency from their overseas bank account to their bank account in India.

Interest income from RFC accounts is taxable. But if you qualify as an RNOR, then the interest income from RFC account is not taxable.

RFC accounts can be opened in different forms like current account or savings account or term deposits.

d) Retaining Overseas Assets

It is not necessary for the NRI returned and turned Resident, to obtain any permission from RBI or any other authority to retain your overseas assets.

Section 6 (4) of FEMA has granted permissions for returning NRIs to retain the overseas assets.

4) Final Thoughts

To summaries, an Ordinary Resident (ROR) is liable to pay tax on his global income, while an NRI is liable to tax on the income ‘earned’ in India.

You may reap the above tax benefits until you claim that you are an NRI, but once you pronounce your residential status as Resident, you will avail no benefits and will be considered as a full-time resident of India and will have to follow the regular tax format.

That is you will enjoy NRI income tax benefits until the time you hold the NRI status in India.

What human resources do you have access to mentor your personal finance-related issues before and after returning to India…?

A Certified financial planner can make all the difference to your personal finances. Here’s a step by step guide to choose a right financial planner for NRIs.

What is the one step you could take right now that would indicate you are moving forward in the right direction as an NRI…? How about having a short discussion with a financial planner about your challenges and difficulties…?

To invest your savings properly and become wealthier after your return to India, you need a route map to take you from where you are financially and where you want to go financially. You will have a clear route map only when you create a financial plan for yourself and your family.

I hope this article has given valuable insights about the tax implications for you as an NRI. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

If you want to create a workable financial plan, then I firmly vouch for you to take advantage of

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96 thoughts on “Returning to India? An NRI’s perfect guide for Income Tax Planning”

  1. I first time came to UK for employment purpose in November 2017 and never came back to India till date.

    I am planning to come back India permanently in December 2019.

    I have below quries.

    1.what will be my residential status for F.Y 2019-2020?

    2. Will my foreign income taxable India for year for F.Y 2019-2020.

    1. 1. Your Residential status for FY 2019-2020 is Non-Resident.
      2. No, you do not have to pay tax for your income generated overseas till you return to India (i.e. till DEC 2019). But you will have to pay tax in India for the income generated between your return to India-Dec 2019 to Mar 2020.

  2. I went to Sweden on work visa in July 2016, came to visit India in December 2017 for 18 days and returned back to India permanently in July 2018. I have been working in India since then. For FY 2019-20 (AY 2018-19), will I be considered an NRI, RNOR or ROR?

    1. In the FY 2018-2019(AY 2019-2020), you will be considered as RNOR.
      In the FY 2017-2018(AY 2018-2019), you will be considered as NRI.

  3. Hi,
    This article is so helpful, Thanks for writing this. I’m staying outside India since October -2013. Planning to return to India on September 15th, 2019.
    So, will I be consider with RNOR status is it? if so what ever i’m earning during Fiscal Year 2019-2020 after post September will be considered as taxable amount? also being as RNOR I could transfer the money whatever I have in overseas accounts can be transferred easily to India during 3 years without tax.? does my understanding is correct. Thanks in advance

    1. Yes, your understanding is correct. You will be considered as RNOR for 3 financial years(including FY 2019-2020), which you can use to transfer your overseas money to India. Income earned in India in the fiscal year 2019-2020 post September will be taxed.

  4. I have been to US for higher studies in Aug 2015. I have been visiting India for not more than 20 days in a year. After completing studies I started Job in US in Feb 2017 and continued till Nov 2018. Due to visa issue my company relocated me to India and I returned to india on 2 Dec 2018 and started earning from Dec 2018. Kindly clarify my residential status from IT return filing point of veiw for AY 2019-2020

    1. For the Assessment Year 2019-2020 you will be considered as an NRI. So you do not have to pay tax for the income you earned until Dec 2018.
      The income you earn from Dec 2, 2018 to Mar 31, 2019 (4 months) is earned from India, so that income will be taxed as per your income tax slab.

  5. Hi,
    I am working in abroad since September 2009 and since then used to come and stay for vacation around 20 days(average every year). But during FY 2018-19, I happened to stay in India for about 250 days and got continuously paid by my employer. Still I am under employment visa and will stay in abroad for around 200 days during 2019-2020. Should I file IT returns for financial years 2018-19 & 2019-2020 for my overseas income. and Can I continue to hold my NRE accounts/deposits?

    1. As per the information you have provided on the number of days of your stay in India during FYs 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, you will fall into the NRI category.

      You need NOT pay tax for the income you received from your overseas employer for both the FYs and you can continue to hold your NRE accounts/deposits till you have your NRI status.

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for the Informative article. If an NRI wants to settle in India & start working as a Freelancer for Overseas outsource jobs, will there be Income Tax on the amount received from Overseas client? If not then till when I can evade Income Tax?

    1. You will be taxed for any income from an overseas source if you are a resident.

      If you are a returning NRI, you can enjoy RNOR status and tax-exempt from global incomes for 3 financial years. But the tax-exempt is for pending payments or income received for work done while in the foreign country.

      When you work as a freelancer for a foreign company, your source of income is from abroad and the income is received on a regular and will be questionable by the authorities and thus will be taxed.

  7. I will be filing my IT Return as RNOR in FY 18-19 & FY19-20. Do I have to declare my foreign bank account details, balances and overseas investments in my IT Returns as RNOR.

    1. No. You don’t need to declare your overseas bank details in your IT returns. However, when you lose your RNOR status, you have to provide all the details of overseas income including the percentage of tax you paid in the foreign country.

  8. I am a non resident Indian for last 39 years. I want to return to India by 30/07/2019 for permanent settlement. Can I avail RNOR status? if so for how many years?

  9. Dear Sir,

    I have taken Retirement after working in the Middle East for nearly 30 years of service in February 2019.
    I have NRE accounts with more than one Nationalised Bank.
    Sir, how long can I maintain this NRE accounts and when do I need to intimate the banks that I have returned back to India. I have NRE FDs only with the banks.
    I have not submitted any tax returns.

    Please advice.

    Regards
    Devadasan

    1. Immediately. You are NOT ALLOWED to continue an NRE account once you become a resident of India as per FEMA regulations.
      But the NRE FDs can he held until maturity by redesignating the FD to a Resident FD.

  10. I have been an NRI Since August 2010 and I am returning permanently to India by end of July 2019. For the past years I have been visiting India during my annual vacation for a period of 20 days or so.

    I want to know my status for this FY 2019-20 and also whether I can claim RNOR status for two years. Also, If I convert my NRI deposits into RFC accounts am I liable to be taxed on the interest amount ? Can I remit directly from my RFC account to my children’s account who stay abroad.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Yes. You can enjoy RNOR status tax benefits for 3 financial years(1st April to 31st March). Your interest income for deposits in RFC account is not taxable until you are an RNOR.
      Yes you can directly remit from your RFC account to your childrens’ account or any account in the country using the same currency.

  11. I recently returned to India after living abroad for 15 years. I have a NRE account with NRE FDs (in INR). When I approached the bank about status change, they said that they will close the NRE account and open a new resident saving account.
    Since some of my NRE FDs are less than 1 year old, bank said that they will break the FDs without giving any interest and start new FDs with the same principal amount for the remaining duration in the new savings account.
    Can I continue my NRE account as I will be in RNOR status for 3 years? Is the bank correct on not giving interest on FDs. Looks like I am getting penalized for moving back to India.

    1. NO. If you’ve decided to return to India permanently, your NRE account must be converted to a Resident account immediately.
      The Bank is NOT correct about NRE FD. You don’t need to break/prematurely close your NRE FD even if it is less than 1 year old you can continue the NRE FD account until tenure.
      As per the RBI Master Directions, an NRE FD can be converted to a Resident FD without any change in the interest rate until maturity.
      TDS will be charged if applicable.

  12. Dear Sir, I was having NRE status for last 15 years. While I was NRE I had sold approx . 300000.00 rupees equivalent US dollars to Kotak bank in Foreign Exchange contract . At maturity after five years as per the contract they have paid me 500000 rupees in my resident saving account as I am no more NRE. What tax do I have to pay. Please advice.

    1. If the investment is in the form of FD then whatever the interest amount is that needs to be added to your income and based on your income tax bracket, you will be taxed.
      If your investment is in the form of a bond, since your investment period is 5 years, it comes under Long Term Capital Gains which is 20% with indexation benefits.

  13. Hello .

    1) I am NRI for last 19 years. I am returning back for good in May 2019. I also have the same issue NRE FDs maturing in next 2 – 3 years. RNOR status I will have for FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 so interest on such FDs is not taxable I understand but you are saying NRE FDs are to be immediately converted in Resident FDs , does that mean I prematurely close all my NRE FDs , pay penalty and open new Resident FDs at current interest rate for same amount or less for two years or less ?

    2) Will the Bank not deduct TDS on such Resident FDs as their Core Banking Systems will not understand those are not to be taxable?

    3) If any Bank even allows to redesignate NRE FDs as Resident FDs , what will be taxability if FDs are maturing beyond 2 years >

    Thanks i

    1. 1) NO. You don’t need to break/prematurely close your NRE FD even if it is less than 1 year old, you can continue the NRE FD account until maturity by redesignating the same to residnet FD. You don’t have to pay any penalty for converting. You have to pay penalty only if you break your NRE FD.

      2) The bank will deduct TDS for such Resident FDs if applicable for your tax slab. Because, when you convert your NRE FD into Resident FD, you are declaring that you are going to be a permanent resident of India, so your income from interest will be taxed as per your income tax slab.

      3) As per the RBI Master Directions, ALL Banks must allow to convert NRE FDs to a Resident FD without any change in the interest rate until maturity.
      TDS will be charged as per your tax slab if applicable.

  14. I am NRI living abroad past 14 years, visiting India less than 60 days/ year . I have NRE FDs. I will be returning to India in end April 2019.
    1. I understand I should covert my NRE FDs resident FDs as soon as possible and pay tax on the FD inter from the year I return. Please Confirm
    2. Upon my return if I close my FDs and proceed into my NRE sav A/C, and than designate my NRE A/C as resident A/C is there any tax liability.
    3. Is it beneficial to hold FDs till maturity or close them prematurely?
    Kindly advise

    1. 1) Yes. You are right, you will be taxed for the interest income if applicable.

      2) If you close your NRE FD, you may be penalised once. Taxability depends only on the income you earn i.e. your tax slab.

      3) It is beneficial to hold your FD. On premature closure you have high probability of being penalised.

  15. Team, i am NRI coming back to India after 4 years in June 2019 , Should i pay taxes in India for the earnings made from April till June 2019 ?

  16. Great article.I’ve been in US since July 2012 and Returning back to India in Late March 2019/early April 2019. I’ve started sending money from my assets to Indian NRE accounts. For FY 2018-19 I’ll still be an NRI so no Indian taxes on US Income. What about 2019-20? I believe RNOR doesn’t apply to me. What are my different options then?

    1. Hi Nitish,

      In 2019-20, you will be a Resident Indian and taxed accordingly.

      You need to work out a careful and proactive returning plan to suit your long term needs.

  17. Residential status has to checked as per FEMA Guidelines or as per IT Act for the purpose of “conversion of NRI & NRE Accounts to Resident Accounts”?
    Resident is defined separately as per IT and FEMA

    1. Dear Vikas,

      For the purpose of NRE/NRO account conversion to resident accounts, to decide the residential status, we need to check the provisions only in IT act and not in FEMA. However, not converting will lead to a violation of FEMA.

  18. Hi, I am and NRI returning to India after working 2 years abroad. I have about $50K mutual fund investment in Luxembourg stock exchange which gives me a decent monthly dividend. I understand that after I return to india I have to pay taxes on the dividend. But my question is: If after 3 years I want to close the mutual fund and transfer the fund purchase amount +/- capital gains, how will IT department tax that amount? Will only the capital gains be taxed or the entire fund amount? Can please explain this be giving an example? I have purchased the fund with my salary money in 2018.

    1. Dear Souza,

      After becoming a resident and if you sell a foreign mutual fund which you held for more than 3 years, you need to pay 20% tax on the gain after adjusting for indexation.

      As this is a foreign mutual fund, this will be taxed at this rate.

      However, if there is some tax you need to pay in the (foreign) country in which you made the investment, you can get tax credit in India to the extent you paid tax there.

  19. I had been an NRI since April 2016 – to – Dec 2018 and now I have returned back to India and serving in a new organization since Jan 2019. Does my income earned in India, from my new job in India, taxable for the financial year 2018-19.

  20. NRE account is rupee dominated and RFC account is maintained in foreign currency. Is it beneficial to convert rupee in foreign currency just to njoy tax benefit and bear the risk of currency fluctuation.

    1. Hi Tanu,

      It depends on your requirement.

      If you have any goals that needs to be met in foreign currency (ex: Sending your kid to abroad for higher education), then you can convert it to foreign currency and keep it in RFC account. Otherwise, you can keep it in Rupees.

  21. Dear Sir,

    Many thanks for your most informative article and beautiful answers to returning NRIs on tax matters. Much appreciated.

  22. I am an NRI since last 22 years and I will be returning to India in March,19. However, I shall proceed to Australia as a permanent resident in Sept., 19. I have NRE FDs in Rupees and US $ in FCNR.
    Please advise what to do

    Can I convert NRE FDs ( in Rupees) into US $ to keep it in RFC account. This is in case my going to Australia is delayed.
    Thank you

    1. It is always advisable to NOT break the NRE FDs.
      You can create an RFC account and upon maturity, NRE FDs will be converted to your RFC account.

  23. This article has been very meticulously written, and is extremely useful.

    I was an NRI and returned to India during July 2016. I had old SIP investments in UAE, that i stopped contributing to after coming back. This investment will mature in the next 7 years. My questions are (1) Do I need to disclose these SIP investments in my IT returns; and (2) If I repatriate these funds to India upon maturity, would there be any Tax liability

    1. 1) Yes. You have to disclose the investments while ITR filing.
      2) As you are withdrawing your overseas investments after you become a resident (not when you are RNOR), regardless of you repatriate or not, you need to pay tax on that in India

  24. In your article, you mentioned: “If you are planning to sell an overseas property or withdraw from overseas retirement accounts, it is advisable to do these when you are an NRI or RNOR to avoid taxation in India”. I understand no tax in India but I ma not sure whether I still have to pay tax in Canada when I dispose properties?

  25. I have come to UAE in 27 feb 2016…I have stayed in india for total 75 days in different visits..since then.
    if i return to india permenantly , as below… what will be my NRI Status & will my income in uae will be taxable in india
    1. returing in End Dec 2018
    2. returning in End April 2019

    1. 1. You will be considered as an NRI as you stayed for more than 182 days abroad for the FY 2018-19.
      2. You will be consdiered as a Resident for the FY 2019-20. So Your April salary will be taxable in India

  26. Hi,

    I am an Indian citizen. I am now working in Dubai for the last 12 months. (November 2017 to now).

    If i chose to return now (January 2019) what are my tax implication on the earnings I have made during my employment in Dubai and earned in Dubai.

  27. Hi. I am an NRI for the last 36 yrs I am planning to return by year end
    I had come for 24 days this financial year. To maintain my RNOR status for 3 years how many days/months should I stay overseas in 2019?
    I would have spent 114 days in f.y 2018-2019+365 (in 2019 -2020)= 479 days
    If I venture out for another 115 days in 2019-2021 by April can I benefit RNOR status
    Pls advise

  28. Dear Sir ,

    I hold some shares of Indian companies purchased while I was working at Riyadh . These shares have not been demated as yet .
    My NRE A/c is held jointly with my wife and she is the 1st Account Holder in the Bank Records , while I am the 2nd Account Holder .
    Please advise me on how to go about with demat of my shares .

    1. As you have returned to India, you can’t hold NRE accounts. That needs to be converted into resident accounts asap. You can conver the physical shares into demat shares by opening resident demat account.

  29. Dear Sir ,
    I had been working abroad since 31st July ,1991 . During the current financial year i.e. Apr18-Mar19 , I had visited India on the 6th May’18 and returned back to Riyadh on the 22nd Jun’18 .
    Thereafter I returned back to India for good on the 15th Sep’18 .
    What would be my residential status for tax purposes for the Assessment Year 2019-20 ?
    I hold some shares of Indian companies purchased while I was working at Riyadh . These shares have not been demated as yet .
    My NRE A/c is held jointly with my wife and she is the 1st Account Holder in the Bank Records , while I am the 2nd Account Holder .
    Please advise me on how to go about with demat of my shares .

  30. Hello,
    I was in US for short period (one year) doing a job in an academic institution. I paid all US taxes on my income during my stay there. I didn’t open any NRE/NRO account in India.
    Now that I have returned back to india. (1) Is my savings in US bank is taxable when it is transferred to my s/b account in india? (2) Is my foreign currency taxable when I convert it to INR?
    Thanx

    1. 1) The principal is not taxable. Interest will be taxable in India.
      2) Not taxable.
      You need to have a a proof that the deposit and currency are from your salary income earned abroad.

  31. Very Good Article. Still have some doubt though

    You mentioned “If you are in India for less than 182 days during the fiscal, you automatically become a non-resident. While that is true in most cases, there is also an alternative condition for being a resident of India, namely, if you are in India for 60 days or more during the year and 365 days or more during the earlier four fiscals. If you fulfil both these conditions, you are regarded as a tax resident of India, though you have been in India for less than 182 days”

    As per this a person going abroad for first time doesn’t becomes NRI although s/he may be have spent less than 182 days in that FY, as criteria of 365 days or more during earlier four fiscals will mandate her/him as RI.

    Thank fully there are a few exceptions though:
    1. Condition 2 is not applicable if you are leaving India for employment or as a member of crew of Indian merchant ship. For such cases, 60 days in condition 2 is replaced by 182 days. Hence, condition 2 automatically becomes ineffective.
    2. Condition 2 is also not applicable of Indian Citizens or persons of India Origin (PIO) who stay abroad but are on a visit to India. In this case, period of 60 days is replaced by 182 days rendering

    Now my query

    Case 1>
    Someone traveling out of India and employed in abroad from Jan 2018 and returning back to India in mid Oct 2018 looking forward to take up employment in India around Oct end or anytime before mar 2019

    * FY 18-19 ie from Apr 2018 to Mar 2019 –> which of the two clause would kick in ??

    a> Since left India for employment overseas (may not be employed for 182 days but stayed in overseas for more than 200 days) so status would be NRI
    or
    b> Since returning permanently to India and looking forward to be employed in India from Oct end or anytime before Mar 19, which means 60 days is not replaced by 182 days (under condition 2) so status would RI

    Case 2>
    Someone traveling out of India and employed abroad from Jan 2018 and returning back to India in Oct 2018 looking forward to take up employment in India only after Apr 2019

    * FY 18-19 ie from Apr 2018 to Mar 2019 –> which of the two clause would kick in ??

    a>Since left India for employment overseas (may not be employed for 182 days but stayed overseas for more than 200 days) so status would be NRI
    or
    b> Since returning permanently to India in Oct 18 but looking forward to be employed in India in next FY ie Apr 2019 onwards which means 60 days is not replaced by 182 days (under condition 2) so status would RI

    1. As you have stayed abroad for more than 182 days, you can be considered as an NRI for the FY 2018-19 regardless of you start your employment in India before March 31st or After March 31st.

  32. I am overseas since 5th March 2010 visitng India for 45 days every year. I wish to return on 31st january 2019 ( 34 dyas < for 9 years) . I will be RNOR for 1 year or for 2 years?
    If I come back on 31st March 2019 ( 9 years of living overseas) how may years I shall be RNOR ( 2year?) ?

    1. You will be considered as an NRI for the year 2018-19. Then for 2019-20 and 2020-21, you will be considered as RNOR.

  33. I have been an NRI for the last 37 years and returned to India in 2017. I have changed all nub NRE account into Reaident account. I would like to have more clarity on RNOR status.
    I used to visit every year to India for about 30-40 days. In that case how many years I can remain as an RNOR and get exempted from paying income tax on the money remitted from abroad.
    Please advise.
    Thanks and rwgarda

    1. As mentioned in the article you need to be an NRI for 9 years out of 10 preceding years to be an RNOR.
      On the year of return: You are an NRI for 10 years out of 10 preceding years. So you are an RNOR in the first year.
      On the 2nd year of return: You are an NRI for 9 years out of 10 preceding years. So you are an RNOR in the second year.
      On the 3rd year of return: You are an NRI for ony 8 years out of 10 preceding years. So you are NOT and RNOR.
      So for the first 2 years, you can enjoy as the benefits of an RNOR.

  34. Many Thanks for giving clear information on basic things which always remains in the mind of NRI who are expecting to come back to India for good.

  35. Hi. I am an NRI for the last 35 yrs and am planning to return for good this year end my investment isnbasically NRE deposits/FCNR/FD.given to understand that I am liable to pay taxes on NRI deposit interest from the year I am not NRI i.e. From fy 2019 is this true.

  36. I am outside India from year December 2013 to till date. I am planning to return to India by August 2018. I am not completing only 100 days outside India this financial year. What is tax implication? If I need to pay tax, what is percentage of total income??

    1. You will be considered as an NRI for the financial year 2018-19. You need not pay tax on the income earned outside India for 2018-19.

  37. I was in abroad since 1992 to 2016 August continuously.there after not traced correct job and hence still in India.So pls advise how long can I keep the NRI account and how long can I eligible for the tax free NRE deposits .

    1. As you have returned(even though temporarily), you have become a Resident from 2017-18. You should have converted your NRI deposits to Resident deposits in 2017-18.

  38. I am an NRI for 5 years and now coming back to India permanently in April. For FY 2017-18 and AY 2018-19 what should I do for IT Returns.? I do not have any source of Income in India in the last 5 years

    1. Based on you Income in India, you need to file IT returns for the FY 2017-18. If you don’t have an Indian Income for that period, then there is no necessity to file IT returns.

  39. First of all, thank you for writing such an insightful article. There is a lot of mis-information all around and your article sheds a lot of light on this topic.

  40. Hello sir,
    An individual goes for employment to Dubai in year 2016-17 since he did not stay in India for 182 days he is a non -resident .In year 2017-18 he is settling back in India .He has been in India for 60days during that year.What will be his Residential status?Can you please clarify if the provisions will change for settling in india and visit in India.
    Thank you

  41. I was an NRI since 2005. I was in India on personal health related issues since July23, 2016. For tax year 2016-17, I was a “Resident”. As I was an NRI for the previous 10 years, I guess my status in 2016-17 would be “RNOR”. During my stay in India, I was working for US organization and getting paid in US. I neither provide any services in India nor received any income directly in India. I filed my tax returns in US for 2016. Am I liable to pay the tax for the income I received in US for tax year 2016-17. Please carify

    1. Yes. You need to file IT returns for 2016-17 because you earned it when you are in India. However, you can get tax credit for the tax you paid in US.

  42. Hi Sir,

    I am living Australia for about 10 years and now planning to return back. I am disposing all my foreign wealth and bring back to India in the form of Indian Currency to my NRE account.

    My question is, is there any tax in INDIA and is there any restriction about transfer currency from Australia to India.

    Can you please explain?

    Thanks

  43. Hello Sir, I will be returning to India in April after leaving outside for 17 years. I have NRE and NRO Fixed deposits. Within how much time I should convert NRE/NRO FDs?

    I will be quite busy upon returns searching for houses to purchase, so I may not have time to go to the bank.

    Also, I have appeared for interviews and I expect to get a job but not sure also that may not materialize till June. Should I wait till I know the final outcome for converting NRE FDs to Resident FDs because I may not be able convert back to NRE FDs if I go out again.

    Appreciate your help.

    1. You need to convert the NRE FDs into Resident FDs within a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable time can be assumed as 3 months.

  44. I have been out of the country (india) for 17 years . Naturally I have been a NRI and had the benfit of tax exemptions . I have landed in India on the 10 Dec 2017 and intend to stay put in India for the rest of my life .
    Just want to know how long do i get the benefit of my NRE fixed deposit accounts and how long can I avail of the tax free NRE deposits even though I have returned to india for good . I believe I can get the benefit of tax exepmtions by maintaining my NRE account for the next 2years post my return to india . can you please confirm because i dont want to evade any tax guidelines but if the facilty is there i would definetely like to avail of it .

    1. You have got time up to 2 years to convert this.
      So you can wait and do the conversion after you get more clarity about your job.

  45. The definition of Resident Indian to find if I still hold NRI status or not, is confusing. With following no. days staying India, do I hold NRI status for current FY 2017-18 as most of the people talk about 182 days and second part of the rule about 4 years seems to be less understood.
    FY 2017-18 = 360 (expected)
    FY 2016-17 = 230
    FY 2015-16 = 0
    FY 2014-15 = 21
    FY 2013-14 = 98
    Thank you

    1. Hi Viresh Sharma,

      If you are in India for less than 182 days during the fiscal, you automatically become a non-resident. While that is true in most cases, there is also an alternative condition for being a resident of India, namely, if you are in India for 60 days or more during the year and 365 days or more during the earlier four fiscals. If you fulfil both these conditions, you are regarded as a tax resident of India, though you have been in India for less than 182 days.

      Since you are in India for 360 days for the current year 2017-18, you will become resident Indian.

      Rajan

  46. Yes you are an NRI only if you stay away from India for more than 182 days. So no need to convert your NRE and NRO account at this moment.

  47. I have been NRI for 30 yrs . Now I wish to return I understand that I can keep NRE account for 7 yrs ,but will the interest earned on these deposits will continue be Tax Free. Shiv

  48. This is usually all very fresh to me and this also article definitely opened the eyes. Thanks intended for sharing with us your information.

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