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Repatriation of Money from India by NRIs (Non Resident Indians)

Submitted by CA Shashi Mohan on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 7:57pm.

At some point of time in life a Non Resident Indian (NRI), who is a citizen of India living abroad, or a foreign citizen of Indian origin may want to repatriate the sale proceeds of self-acquired or inherited immovable property (house), maturity amount of an Insurance Policy, any gifted amount, his income deposits in India or any other fund accumulated in India to his country of residence like US, Canada, England, Australia, etc.

In order to repatriate or bring money from India, knowing the exact nature of the funds available, in which account they are available, related documentation and compliance become essential for an NRI to save time and not to run into issues with tax and regulatory authorities.

Repatriation is basically a term used in FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) for transfer or remittance of Indian rupee (INR) from Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) A/c to an overseas bank account.

So, the first thing you, as an NRI, must know is that you need a Non-Resident External (NRE) or a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) or a Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR) bank account for repatriation of funds.

Based on FEMA Guidelines, your bank will require appropriate documents depending on:

  1. The type of bank account you are holding your money in
  2. Nature of transaction from which the money was deposited in that account, and
  3. The amount of money you want to repatriate.

Since the prime source of deposit in an NRE account is from abroad, the funds available therein are freely repatriable i.e. you can transfer the money back to your country of residence without any approval or any specific documentation. Interest or Dividends earned on investments made through foreign funds is also allowed to be deposited in an NRE Account. The amount available in an NRE Account can also be freely transferred to an NRO Account or an FCNR A/c or even in a resident savings account.

NRO account works as a saving account in India wherein NRIs can deposit income earned locally e.g. pension, dividend, rental income, sales proceeds of property or any other financial assets.  Any transfer from an NRO to NRE account requires the same documents which are required to repatriate the amount from an NRO account to a foreign bank account.

Income earned in India is likely to be taxed in India and the net amount is what you will repatriate. The following lists the items in which money earned in India can be easily repatriated after paying taxes and submitting a few sets of documents:  

  • Local earnings in India like pension, rental income, interest, profit from the business, dividends, tax refunds, etc.
  • Interest earned in your NRO Account

Documents required

  1. Application Form for Repatriation:  Bank provides
  2. Declaration under FEMA in Form A2: Bank provides
  3. Tax Certificates in Form 15CA/ 15 CB: Local CA will help
    • Certificate from a Chartered Accountant (CA) certifies that the applicable taxes have been paid. Most CAs do such certifications and you can contact a CA anywhere in India. In case Taxes applicable to your remittance, CAs will also help in generating tax challans under the appropriate section of Tax Laws and also assist in depositing the tax with Indian Treasurer, before issuing the Form 15CA/15CB.
  4. Copy of PAN Card

Now in the case when the funds are ‘not’ freely repatriable, or there are conditions imposed by Reserve Bank of India on the transfer frequencies of overall limits, they are called Conditional Repatriable Funds. Listed below are the items under not-freely repatriable and the additional documentation to be arranged to justify the exact transaction:

1) Funds in NRO Account (Other than local earnings shown above)

Documentation required:

  • Adequate proof of “Source of Funds’ available in NRO Account. For example
    • Transfer of funds from overseas or NRE or FCNR Account
    • Sale proceeds of a property/Other Financial Assets or accumulated funds from past

2) Funds from the Sale of Financials Assets like Mutual Funds, Shares and Insurance policy

Documentation required:

  • Mutual Funds:
    • ‘Fund House Statement’ which shows the amount credited in NRO Account
      • Note: Earnings from mutual fund investment through an NRO A/c are not repatriable
  • Shares (Private Placement):
    • Unique Identification Number (UIN), Proof of submission of FC-GPR with RBI.
    • Unique Identification Number (UIN), Proof of submission of FC-GPR with RBI.
    • Proof that the FCTRS documents have been filed by the buyer of Shares at RBI.
  • Shares (Stock Market- IPO/Secondary Market):
    • DEMAT Statement, Contract Note to match with the amount to be repatriated
    • Banks may ask for ‘No Objection Certificate- NOC’ from other Bank who holds the Portfolio Investment Scheme Account.
  • Shares Inherited:
    • Probated Will, Letter of Administration or Succession Certificate
    • Death Certificate (Notarized ) of the person from whom the shares were inherited.
    • DEMAT Statement, Contract Note should match with the amount to be repatriated
  • Insurance Policy (Surrendered/Matured):
    • Insurance Policy Documents
    • Proof of maturity amount or surrender value as credited in NRO Account.

3) Funds from the Sale of Property (Ancestral, Gifted or Acquired while being an NRI)

Documentation required:

  • Copy of Registered Sale Deed of the Property
  • Proof of receipt of sale proceeds into the NRO Account
  • Copy of Income Tax Return or Tax Payment Challan or Tax Form issued by the buyer
  • Declarations to confirm the nature of sale and adherence of permitted limits.
  • Copy of Probated Will, Letter of Administration or Succession Certificate in case of inherited property
  • Copy of Registered Gift Deed in case property was acquired as a gift

Note: Amount up to ‘Original Purchase Value’ of a property can be repatriated if the property was purchased using funds from NRE Account. In case the property was purchased from the funds in NRO account, or by a Gift or Inheritance, the repatriation can be done for a max of USD 1 Million per Financial Year. In the case of Residential Property, sale proceeds of max 2 such properties can be repatriated.

4) Amount received as Gift

Documentation required:

  • Gift Deed (Stamp Duty paid) from Resident as per the local state laws
  • Proof of transfer from Resident Indian's Bank Account to NRO Account
  • Declaration by Resident that the ‘Cash Gift’ doesn’t exceed the prescribed limits

Note: Repatriation of Cash Gifts from a Resident is limited to USD 250K per financial year.

 

Glossary

  • Authorized Dealers (AD): Respective Banks
  • CA: Chartered Accountant in practice
  • DEMAT: Dematerialized Account (Listed Shares)
  • FEMA: Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999
  • FCNR (B) A/c: Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Bank) Account is a type of Fixed Deposit Account with money earned overseas.
  • Form 15 CA/CB: Form prescribed by Indian Income Tax Dept. to be certified by resident CAs
  • INR: Indian Rupees
  • NRO A/c: Non-Resident Ordinary Account to manage the income earned in India
  • NRE A/c: Non-Resident External Account where Foreign Exchange can be transferred from outside India

Disclaimer: Views expresses herein are for the purpose of general understanding and in no manner, it construes to a professional or legal opinion on the subject. Viewers are advised to take professional advice to place a reliance or execute any transaction based on their own facts.

About the Author: Shashi Mohan/FCA has over 20 years of experience in Cross Border Business Strategies and Entry India Services. He has been responsible for Consulting, Legalization and Operational Management of hundreds of overseas brands in India. You can reach Shashi Mohan at shashi.m@excelorindia.com.

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