Today, we will look into the utmost significance to our non-resident Indian (NRI) community – the tax provisions applicable to NRIs. India's tax laws have specific provisions that cater to NRIs' unique tax situations, ensuring clarity and fairness in their tax obligations. In this blog, we will embark on a combined study of Sections 115C, 115D, 115E, 115F, and 115H of the Income Tax Act, exploring the implications and benefits these provisions offer to NRIs.
Section 115C deals with income earned by NRIs from foreign exchange assets, including deposits, bonds, and securities. NRIs have the option to be taxed at a flat rate of 20% on such income. The key features of this section are as follows:
Income arising from foreign exchange assets specified by the Central Government is covered under this section.
NRIs can avail of a concessional tax rate of 20% on such income, which is often beneficial compared to regular income tax rates.
Section 115D deals with long-term capital gains on foreign exchange assets. NRIs can enjoy the following advantages under this section:
If an NRI holds foreign exchange assets for a period exceeding 36 months and sells them, the gains are considered long-term capital gains.
Long-term capital gains are taxed at a flat rate of 10% without indexation benefit. NRIs do not need to worry about complex calculations involving cost inflation index.
Section 115E covers the tax treatment of short-term capital gains on foreign exchange assets. The key highlights of this section are as follows:
If an NRI holds foreign exchange assets for a period up to 36 months and sells them, the gains are considered short-term capital gains.
Short-term capital gains are taxed at a flat rate of 30%. The simplicity of this tax rate facilitates ease of compliance for NRIs.
Section 115F provides NRIs with an opportunity to invest their foreign income in specified assets and enjoy tax exemptions. Here's what you need to know:
NRIs can invest in specified assets such as residential properties or shares of an Indian company to claim tax exemptions.
To avail of tax exemptions, NRIs must maintain the specified assets for a minimum period of three years.
Section 115H offers NRIs relief from the obligation of filing a return of income if they meet specific conditions. The important aspects of this section are as follows:
NRIs are eligible for this provision if their income consists only of investment income or long-term capital gains on which TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) has been deducted.
NRIs must ensure that all their tax dues are settled via TDS to be eligible for this exemption from filing a return of income.
In conclusion, the tax provisions under Sections 115C, 115D, 115E, 115F, and 115H of the Income Tax Act serve to simplify tax compliance for NRIs and encourage investments in India. The tax rates offered on foreign exchange assets provide NRIs with a competitive advantage compared to regular income tax rates. Moreover, the tax exemptions available for specific investments provide opportunities for NRIs to optimize their tax liabilities.