This post was originally published on 25 July 2017.
It is not mandatory for all Non-resident Indians (NRIs) to disclose their overseas bank accounts in the income tax return form, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said.
Putting to rest all confusion on the issue, Sushil Chandra, chairman of the CBDT, on Monday said that only those who seek tax refunds and do not have a bank account in India need to submit their overseas bank account details.
Earlier there were reports on Indian media that government is seeking overseas bank account details of NRIs and plans to impose tax on overseas savings.
Ministry of Finance’s Tax Department has issued a statement, clarifying the issue which had puzzled NRIs and expatriates.
Overseas details only if seeking a tax refund
“Therefore, the non-residents who are not claiming refund or non-residents who are claiming refund but having a bank account in India are not required to furnish details of their foreign bank accounts in the return of income,” the tax department said in a statement.
“However, the non-residents, who are claiming refund and not having bank accounts in India may, at their option, furnish the details of one foreign bank account in the return of income for issuance of a refund,” the statement added.
- Refund generated on processing of return of income is currently credited directly to the bank accounts of taxpayers.
- Availability of details of bank accounts in which the refund is to be credited is a precondition for direct credit of refund in accounts.
The department said that income tax return forms for the assessment year 2017-18 were notified on March 30, 2017.
“A number of representations were received from the non-residents that they are facing difficulties in getting refund as they do not have bank accounts in India and there is no column in the notified form of return of income for reporting details of foreign bank accounts by the non-residents for this purpose,” the department said.
“In view of this, a facility has been provided in return utility for reporting of details of bank accounts by non-residents, who do not have bank accounts in India and who are claiming an income tax refund,” it said.