FAQ for NRIs - Miscellaneous Questions

Q Can NRIs invest their funds in Government securities or Units of Unit Trust of India(UTI)?
A Yes. NRIs are freely permitted to invest their funds in Government securities or Units of UTI through authorised dealers. Units can also be purchased directly from UTI.
   
Q Are any tax concessions available to NRIs on balances/deposits held in NRE/FCNR accounts?
A Yes. Income from interest on moneys standing to the credit of NRE/FCNR accounts is exempt from Income-tax. Gifts from such accounts to close relativets are also free of Gift-tax.
   
Q Are similar concessions available in respect of balances held in NRO accounts?
A No.
   
Q What are the tax benefits to the NRNR deposit account holders?
A They enjoy the following tax benefits:
  1. Income from the deposits will be free from Indian Income-tax.
  2. The deposit will also be exempt from Gift tax for one-time gifting (in the case of NRIs only).
  3. Exemption from Income-Tax will not be available to resident donee and those residents,who being joint holders, become owners of the deposit as survivor of the non-resident depositor.
   
Q What about tax benefits on funds held in FCNR accounts?
A Tax Exemption on interest earned on deposits held in foreign currency is available to non-residents and persons who are not ordinarily resident in India as defined under Income-tax Act, 1961.
   
Q What is the approved method of sending remittances into India?
A The approved method of sending remittances into India is through normal banking channels.
   
Q At what rates are remittances in foreign currencies made by NRIs converted by banks into rupees?
A Such remittances will be converted by banks at the market rate of exchange.
   
Q Can remittances be sent into India otherwise than through the medium of a bank in the country of residence of the remitter?
A Yes. Exchange House in the Gulf countries have been permitted to send remittances into India by means of DDs, MTs and TTs drawn on banks in India.
   
Q Can Exchange Houses draw drafts in foreign currencies?
A Yes. Exchange House can draw drafts in U.S.dollar or Pound sterling on a limited number of branches of the drawee bank in India, if they have entered into such an arrangement with the drawee bank.
   
Q Can NRIs remit funds through Exchange Houses for investment in Government securities, National Savings Certificates and Units of Unit Trust of India?
A Yes.
   
Q Can NRIs remit funds through Exchange Houses for investment in shares/debentures of Indian companies?
A Yes, subject to general/specific permission of Reserve Bank for such investment.
   
Q Can NRIs send drafts issued by Exchange Houses for acquisition of residential flats in India?
A Yes. NRIs can send drafts issued by Exchange Houses in favour of co-operative housing societies/estate develops for acquisition of residential flats in India in individual names.
   
Q Can NRIs remit premia on policies issued by the Life Insurance Corporation of India by means of drafts issued by Exchange Houses in favour of the Corporation?
A Yes.
   
Q Can NRIs remit tuition / boarding / examination fees of their children studying in India by means of drafts issued by Exchange Houses in favour of schools, colleges, universities, technical and educational institutions in India?
A Yes.
   
Q Can NRIs take out of India precious stones or jewellery purchased by them during their visit to India?
A Yes. NRIs can take out of India precious stones and jewellery (both gold and non-gold) purchased by them in India, without any limit, provided the purchase is made against payment in any convertible foreign currency.
   
Q Can assets held in India by NRIs prior to their becoming non-resident be repatriated outside India?
A No.
   
Q Can NRIs take out of India household articles such as carpets, curios, etc. purchased out of funds in NRO accounts during their temporary visit to India?
A Yes. RBI permits on application such requests received from NRIs up to the value of Rs. 20,000 for such articles (other than those made of gold or silver or those banned for export).
   
Q Can NRIs settle their hotel bills in India in Indian rupees?
A Yes.


Source: Reserve Bank of India

 
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