• How can a Non Resident Indian Account be opened by NRI?

N.R. Accounts can be opened by NRI after completing the prescribed account opening form. The form could be countersigned / introduced by a person known to the bank/ Indian Embassy/ Indian High Commission/ Notary Public in the country of residence of the account holder.

  • Can NRI buy real estate in India as a 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 farm houses in India. NRIs can avail of loans for purchase of real estate and are provided the same tax benefits that are provided to Resident Indians for purchase of property.

  • As a NRI, what are some of the investments that he or she can make in India?

You can invest in equity shares and mutual funds but you cannot short sell or be involved in trading. You can invest in fixed deposits in FCNR deposits and NRE accounts. You can also invest in real estate, gold etc. Investment in bonds issued by 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 too.

  • Can a NRI transfer the proceeds of the sale of property received to the country he is currently residing 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 a NRI, the amount must be credited in 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 NRO account subject to USD 1 million per financial year per person. This is limited to sale of two such properties.

  • When does NRI need not to file an income tax return?

As 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-

  1. Shares in a public or private Indian company;
  2. Debentures issued by a publicly listed Indian company;
  3. Deposits with banks and public companies.
  4. Investment options of the central government.