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Personal Finance
Common Income Tax risks NRIs should be aware of

Imagine this real life situation. You are working in Gulf for last 8 years and your employer decides to terminate your employment during year-end break and you return to India on 31st December 2017. In India number of days are counted with reference to Indian tax year which starts 1st April and ends on 31st March of the subsequent year. In the above example, you completed 275 days during the financial year 2017-18 and returned to India. There is general perception that if you spend more than 183 days outside India you are not a resident of India hence you are NRI. Is that right? Wrong. In a recent case decided by the Authority for Advance Rulings (Income Tax), New Delhi on the application of Mrs. Smita Anand, China it was held that person who resigned from the services of the company is not eligible to be called an NRI…

NRI Guides
Returning to India? Here’s how to manage your bank account

The changing global scenario has seen many Indians returning to the country. This amounts to change of status from Non-Resident Indian (NRI) to Resident Indian as far as money matters are concerned. NRE/ NRO/ FCNR account When an NRI comes back to India and becomes a Resident Indian, he is required to inform his bank about the change of status. The NRE and NRO accounts that he holds will have to be redesignated to resident savings account. RFC account One also has the option to convert an existing NRE account to a Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) account, where one can maintain funds in foreign currency and the funds (principal + interest) are fully repatriable. The RFC account allows credits from overseas in foreign currency from sale of assets outside India or income received outside India (in the form of employment, assets, investments) as the case may be. Redesignation of account…

NRI Guides
Complete Guide to National Pension System (NPS) for NRIs

National Pension System (NPS) is a voluntary, defined contribution retirement savings scheme. The NPS has been designed to enable systematic savings during the subscriber’s working life. It is an attempt towards finding a sustainable solution to provide adequate retirement income to every citizen of India. Since October 2015, Non-resident Indians have been allowed to open accounts under the NPS. By opening an NPS account, NRIs can create a pension corpus in India. How NPS works Under the NPS, an individual’s savings is pooled in a pension fund. These funds are invested by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) regulated professional fund managers as per the approved investment guidelines in the diversified portfolios comprising of government bonds, bills, corporate debentures and shares. These contributions would grow and accumulate over the years, depending on the returns earned on the investment made. At the time of a normal exit from NPS, the…

NRI Guides
Guide: How to add a joint holder to a NRE/NRO account

Non-resident Indians are allowed to open Non-Resident (External) and Non-Resident (Ordinary) accounts, as well as FCNR deposits with banks. The repatriation rules for each of these is different. While NRE accounts are freely repatriable, NRO account are conditionally so. When opening an NRE account, the NRI can add a non-resident joint holder to the account. Here’s how. Form A joint applicant inclusion request form needs to be obtained from the branch or downloaded from the bank website. Joint holder details, customer ID (if he already holds an account with the bank), account operating instructions (jointly, either or survivor, anyone or survivor) must be indicated on the form. Documents Self attested copies of the following documents need to be enclosed: Passport Visa/OCI/PIO card/Resident permit Overseas address proof Initial paycheque of any amount from the joint applicant’s overseas account. If the joint applicant is unable to provide the paycheque, the passport and…

NRI Guides
Depositing 500, 1000 Rupee notes to NRI bank account : Common Questions

Most NRI’s prefer to keep small amounts of Indian currency to meet their immediate expenses when they arrive in India. For the convenience of storage it is natural that these will be higher denominations like 500 and 1000 rupee notes, which unfortunately are no longer considered legal tender by Indian Government. However there is no need to panic now, especially if the amount is reasonable and is well accounted for. In our earlier post, we discussed what are the options for NRIs to exchange or deposit this money. To simplify the options, NRIs abroad need to either carry the cash to India or send with someone else to deposit in their NRO accounts. If you haven’t read it, here is the detailed article which gained over 4 lakh page views and was shared by around 30,000 readers in few days. However, as per RBI & Customs guidelines, one person can carry only Rs 25,000 worth…

NRI Guides
Travel Guide : How much currency can you carry to India?

This article explains the Indian Customs limit on the amount of cash (Indian and Foreign currency) you can carry in and out of India with you. Ever since India Government announced the ban on higher denomination currencies (Rs 500 and Rs 1000) overnight, there has been lot of panic among Indians as on how to exchange the currency in their hands. While Indian residents can exchange or deposit the money in banks until 30 December 2016, the options for NRIs are limited. The most suitable option is to either take the money with them or send with someone who is travelling to India soon (Read more here). The next question is how much money they can take by hand. Unfortunately, there is lot of confusing information online, including some official websites, which are not updated in the past one year (since announcement of new rules during early 2016). Even RBI and…

NRI Guides
2017 Guide: How NRIs can change their old 500 and 1000 Rupee notes

NOTE: This article has been updated on 27 January 2017  to reflect the only applicable option and detailed requirements for the same. The sudden announcement about withdrawal of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes has left many NRIs abroad looking for answers as to how could they get their old 500 and 1000 rupee notes exchanged. As of 2 January 2017, options such as exchanging currency at foreign branches, exchange houses, airports etc are not applicable any more. The deadline for depositing to NRO accounts was 30 December 2016. Option available till 30 June 2017: Deposit at RBI office Now, the only available option is to deposit the money via Reserve Bank of India (RBI) offices. RBI on 31 December 2016 announced in a notification that it will introduce a facility for exchange of old specified bank notes for Indian residents and NRIs, who were abroad from November 9 to December 30. According to a RBI notification, Indian…

UAE Guides
List of major Indian Banks in UAE

This is a comprehensive list of Indian Banks with their presence in UAE. While most of them have a representative office in Dubai, a few of them are in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. ANDHRA BANK P.O. Box No. 123144, Dubai, U.A.E Tel.no. 00971 4 3976654 Fax no 00971 4 3976659 E-mail : ab_repoffice@yahoo.co.in Website : http://www.andhrabank.in AXIS BANK LTD PO Box : 506593, DIFC, Dubai, UAE Tel.no. 00971 4 3735555 Fax no 00971 4 3735666 E-mail : Jacob.ninan@axisbank.com BANK OF BARODA Bur Dubai Branch – P.O. Box No. 3162, Dubai, U.A.E Tel.no. 00971 4 3538093, 3531955 Fax no 00971 4 3530839 E-mail : barbaead@emirates.net.ae Website : http://www.bankofbaroda.com BANK OF BARODA Hamdan Street Branch P.O. Box No. 2303, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Tel.no. 00971 2 6344302 Fax no 00971 2 6394338 E-mail : abudhabi@bankofbaroda-uae.ae BANK OF INDIA P.O. Box No. 116470, Dubai, U.A.E Tel.no. 00971 4 3977470 Fax no 00971 4 3977473 E-mail :…

India
Millions of ATM cards hacked in India : Are you affected?

Following a cyber security breach in the country’s banking system, India’s largest bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), has advised customers to use its own automatic teller machines (ATMs) for safe transactions. An estimated 3.2 million debit cards issued by various public or private banks are said to have been exposed to a potential risk of data breach. Several banks including SBI have advised customers to change their personal identification numbers. The banks have recalled thousands of debit cards and blocked others that they fear have been hacked. The breach is thought to have been caused by malware on an ATM network. SBI to replace 600,000 debit cards A senior SBI official said on Friday the bank is looking to replace within 10 days around 600,000 debit cards which were blocked by it as a preventive measure. “We have set an internal target of seven to ten days for issuing…

NRI Guides
Top 7 investment options for NRIs to get high returns in India 2016

India is counted among one of the best markets of the world. With its large numbers of young population and encouraging economy the country offer a variety of investment opportunities for the people. Its favorable investment climate is also attracting NRIs who would like to park their hard earned income in various promising investment schemes to earn a decent revenue over a period of time. Here are 7 different ways in which an NRI can invest in Indian markets: A. Fixed income options – Less Risk, Medium Returns The fixed income options include a variety of investments that offer a fixed return on your investments. These products generally invest in government securities and bonds. The major emphasis is on offering some income benefits while securing your principal. As these schemes are keenly committed to principal security rather than generating revenue, you cannot have many expectations with these schemes. Though most of…

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