Indian Income Tax Return Filing

ROI is an Income-tax Form in which an Assessee reports information about his / her income and tax thereon to Indian Income Tax Department. The Act provides for Assessees who are required to file ROI and same is required to be filed within prescribed due dates and in a prescribed manner.

An NRI has to compulsorily file his ROI in India when:

  1. Taxable income in relevant FY (April to March) exceeds Basic Exemption Limit i.e. Rs. 2,50,000/- for FY 2018-19; and FY 2019-20 or
  2. Where total income is less than Basic Exemption Limit but it consists of:
  • STCG on Equity Shares/ Units of Equity Oriented Mutual Funds/ Units of Business Trust
  • Any LTCG chargeable to tax
  • Incomes which are chargeable to tax irrespective of the Basic Exemption Limit

(ROR having assets / signatory authority outside India or has beneficiary interest in any asset outside India is mandatorily required to file ROI even if their income is below the Basic Exemption Limit)

It is advisable to voluntarily file ROI in India due to the following reasons:

  1. To claim refund of excess TDS, along with interest@ 6% p.a.
  2. To be eligible to carry forward losses to be set off against future incomes, if any
  3. To claim benefit of lower tax under DTAA, if applicable
  4. The updated tax information/ records help NRIs
  • To comply with procedural documentation for repatriation of income and assets from NRO a/c to NRE a/c / Overseas a/c.

• Have ready records as and when he / she returns to India or have to submit the said documents in his/her country of residence.

A NRI is required to file his ROI for every FY by July 31 immediately succeeding the FY. However, in the following two situations, due dates will be as mentioned below:

Situations Due Dates
NRI’s personal a/cs or a/cs of the firm wherein he is a working partner are required to be audited under any Indian laws. September 30 immediately succeeding the FY
Transfer Pricing Provisions Applicable November 30 immediately succeeding the FY

Yes, a NRI can file his ROI even after the prescribed due dates (specified in FAQ d. above). The belated ROI can be filed within a period of 1 year from the end of the FY for which the belated ROI is to be filed.

For e.g. Belated Return for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 can be filed upto March 31, 2019 and March 31, 2020 respectively.

Further, if NRI intends to file ROI after the due date for filing Belated Return is passed (in order to claim refund of excess taxes paid), he/she may make an application with Income Tax Authorities to condone the delay and accept delayed ROI. However, same can be done only when there is valid reason for such delay.

Yes, if an individual discovers any omission or wrong statement in ROI previously filed he/she may file a revised ROI within a period of 1 year from the end of the FY for which the ROI is filed.

For e.g. ROI filed for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 (whether filed within due date or belated) can be revised upto March 31, 2019 and March 31, 2020 respectively.

The tax slab rates applicable to NRI are as follows:

Particulars Income Tax Rates Health & Education Cess

(w.e.f.FY 2018-19)

Upto Rs. 2,50,000/- Nil Nil
Rs. 2,50,001/- to Rs. 5,00,000/- 5% of (Total Income – 2,50,000) 4% of Income-tax and surcharge* (if applicable)
Rs. 5,00,001/- to Rs. 10,00,000/- Rs. 12,500/- + 20% of (Total Income – 5,00,000) 4% of Income-tax and surcharge* (if applicable)
Above Rs. 10,00,000/- Rs. 1,12,500/- + 30% of (Total Income – 10,00,000) 4% of Income-tax and surcharge* (if applicable)

*In addition to the above, surcharge @10% shall be levied for taxable income between Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 1 crore and 15% for taxable income exceeding Rs. 1 crore.

There is no change in slab rates for NRI as per interim Budget Tax Proposal 2019.

If a NRI does not file his ROI within prescribed due dates, then he shall be liable for the following:

  1. Interest @ 1% per month or part of the month on the tax payable, if any for delay in filing ROI.
  2. Fees for filing ROI after due date shall be levied as under (depending on total income during the FY, (w.e.f. FY 2017-18):
    Particulars ROI filed upto 31st December ROI filed after 31st December
    Income < Rs. 5 lacs Rs.1,000/- Rs.1,000/-
    Income = Rs. 5 lacs Rs.5,000/- Rs.10,000/-
    • In case of willful delay in filing ROI, NRI may be subjected to prosecution. Provided no  prosecution for failure to furnish ROI, if:
    • ROI is filed within a period of 1 year from the end of the FY
    • Tax payable by NRI on total income determined by the Tax Officer as reduced by Advance Tax paid, if any and TDS does not exceed Rs. 3,000/-,i.e. his / her balance tax liability after considering TDS and Advance Tax does not exceed Rs.3,000/-
  3. Further, refund cannot be claimed unless condoned by Income Tax Authorities as specified in FAQ e. above.

No, NRI is not required to submit details of foreign assets owned by him while filing ROI in India.

No, husband and wife cannot file ROI jointly in India. As per the provisions of the Act, every Individual is a separate assessee and he / she is required to file the ROI based on the total taxable income earned by him / her during a particular FY.

AL is a Schedule of the ROI which is required to be mandatorily filled by Individuals and HUFs, if their total income exceeds Rs. 50,00,000/- in a FY. The said Schedule requires reporting of specified Indian Assets and corresponding Liabilities at the end of the FY.

The Asset and Liabilities required to be reported have been categorized as follows:

  1. Assets:
    1. Immovable Assets:
      1. Land
      2. Building
    2. Movable Assets:
      1. Jewellery, Bullion etc.
      2. Archaeological collections, drawings, painting, sculpture or any work of art
      3. Vehicles, yachts, boats and aircrafts
      4. Financial Assets
        1. Bank (Including all deposits)
        2. Shares and Securities
        3. Insurance Policies
        4. Loans and Advances Given
        5. Cash in hand
  1. Liability in relation to the above Assets (both Immovable and Movable)

Presently, there is no penalty applicable for non-reporting / mis-reporting of Indian Assets in the AL Schedule.  However, the Income Tax Assessing Officer may initiate prosecution proceedings for incorrect reporting, if any, in the ROI.

All RORs, including Returning Indians qualifying to be ROR in India during the relevant FY are required to mandatorily report their Foreign Assets in the ROI.

Foreign Nationals who qualify as ROR in India on Employment, Business or Student visas are not required to report Foreign Assets acquired by them during those FYs in which they were Non-Residents of India, provided that they are not deriving any income from such Assets during the relevant FY.

For e.g. – If a Foreign National had invested in Shares in a FY in which he/she is a Non-Resident of India and there is no dividend / other income received from those Shares in the FY when he/she is a ROR, the same is not required to be reported in the ROI for such FY.

As per the FA schedule provided in the ROI, the following Foreign Assets held as a Legal owner / Beneficial owner / Beneficiary are to be reported:

  1. Bank Accounts
  2. Financial Interest in any entity
  3. Immovable Property
  4. Bank Account, in which you have a signing authority
  5. Trusteeship / Settlor / Beneficiary in a foreign trust
  6. Other Capital assets – does not include personal assets
  7. Other Foreign Income not associated with the assets reported above

There is no threshold limit on Income or Asset Value for reporting of Foreign Assets in the ROI.

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