Saturday, December 26, 2015

NRI should use Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) to buy shares

If you know, NRIs are allowed to invest in Stock Market in India i.e. they can purchase and sell shares in Stock Exchanges (Secondary Market) as well as they can buy stocks on Initial Public Offering (IPO), the Primary Market. Unfortunately, not many NRI knows about Portfolio Investment Scheme or PIS. It's a scheme of RBI under Schedule 3 of Foreign Exchange Management Act 2000 which allows NRIs to purchase and sell shares and convertible debentures of Indian companies on a recognized stock exchange routing such purchase/sale transaction through the account with the designated bank branch e.g. ICICI bank.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Difference between Resident and NRI Fixed deposit India

As the name suggest, Resident Fixed deposits are for Resident of India and NRI fixed deposit are for Non-resident Indians but remember both are for Indian Citizens. Indian banks, both private banks e.g. ICICI, HDFC, Kotak, Citibank, DBS, Deutsche, Axis bank and public sector banks like SBI, Bank Of Baroda, Union bank offers both resident and NRI fixed deposits, but they usually have different interest rates. A resident can only open the resident fixed deposit, you just need a saving account for that. For opening NRI fixed deposit, you need either NRE or NRO saving account.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2 Ways to send money from HongKong to India, HKD to INR - Money2India vs Remit2India

Apart from international wire transfer, western union, and MoneyGram, there are three major online services you can use to send money from HongKong to India. Apparently, HongKong has less option as compared to Singapore for sending money to India. Unlike DBS, the local bank in HongKong - HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank and Bank of China doesn't provide direct remit to India. BTW, you don't need to be the concern because these three online services e.g. Money2India, Remit2India, and AxisRemit are backed by reputed private sector banks in India e.g. Money2India is backed by ICICI bank, Remit2India is backed by TimesOfMoney group and AxisRemit is backed by Axis Bank.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Best Bank or WebSite to transfer money from Singapore to India

There are many options to send money from Singapore to India, but online money transfer is the best. You can transfer money at your convenience without the hassle of visiting bank or remittance center, but given there are a lot of banks and websites providing online money transfer from Singapore to India, which one is the best? Which will give you the best exchange rates and charge lowest transfer fees? Do you need to create another account or you can use your existing DBS, OCBC or UOB account to wire money from Singapore to India? Which bank is quickest in sending money to India.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Can you deposit Indian rupees to NRE account?

No, you cannot deposit Indian rupees into NRE account. The only way to fund an NRE account is via foreign currency remittance, foreign currency deposit when you visit India or via foreign currency traveler's cheque. Since NRE saving account is at par to FCNR deposit, this is the restriction they have imposed.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Can NRI Invest in NPS (National Pension Scheme) India

Yes, NRI can now invest in NPS or National Pension Scheme in India. Recently, on July 2015, PFRDA, the Pension regular has clarified that Non Resident Indians (NRIs) can invest in National Pension Scheme (NPS) to save for their retirement and get a social security cover. Earlier, there was some confusion whether NRIs are allowed to put money on NPS or not, but given that NRIs are allowed to invest in mutual fund and insurance, RBI and PFRDA give clarification that NPS is also an eligible investment for NRIs.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Can I Repatriate (transfer) Money from NRO Account to Overseas?

Yes, you can repatriate money from NRO account unless it doesn't exceed USD 1 million per calendar year. Normally, fund lying in NRO saving account or NRO fixed deposit is not subject to repatriation abroad and that's why I suggest you open an NRE account, which allows you to freely repatriate the money.

Friday, December 4, 2015

13 Things to know about Public Provident Fund PPF Investment in India

PPF is a short form of Public Provident Fund and it's one of the best long-term investment for Indian citizens, sorry NRI cannot invest in PPF if they don't have an account already. Since many Indians are not aware of PPF and doesn't know much about it, I have jotted down some important points of Public Provident Fund scheme.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Why Should an NRI Open NRE or NRO Account?

Many of my NRI readers ask me frequently, should I open an NRI saving account in India? Is it must for an NRI to open NRE or NRO account? Can I continue my existing Saving account in India? etc. Well, If you are going abroad for short term let's say less than 6 months then you don't need to open an NRE or NRO savings account and you can continue to maintain your existing Resident Saving account in India, but you are going overseas for long term e.g. more than 6 months you must inform your bank about your NRI status and subsequently then will convert your Resident Saving account to an NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

5 Differences between NRE and NRO Fixed deposit -HDFC ICICI SBI Kotak

Difference between NRE and NRO fixed deposit
NRI has two option to invest in Fixed deposit in India NRE  fixed deposit and NRO fixed deposit, but you need to be careful whether you choose NRE or NRO fixed deposit as taxation rules on NRE and NRO Fixed deposit is different. Principle and Interest earned in NRE fixed deposits are completely tax-free while interest earned on NRO fixed deposit are subject to TDS and deduct at the maximum rate of 30%. Also, you can send rupees back to your overseas account if it is held in NRE fixed deposit, but you can not repatriate money from NRO fixed deposit.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tax Saving Instruments and Investment for salaried employees In India

Tax Saving Schemes for salaried employees India
As the financial year proceeds to ends many of my colleagues and friends started thinking of about tax saving though I have always suggested them to do it in a planned way from the start of the year it never happened. Since we all know that we can save up to 1 lac under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act and there are lots of tax saving scheme available.

ELSS Mutual Fund - Best Tax Saving Scheme In India

Many people so much effort to earn money, but they don't put even 10% of that to save money from taxes and expenditure. In my post 10 ways to save money, I have talked about some general saving tips, now here we will see how to save income tax by investing money in the mutual fund. There is a special type of mutual fund known as ELSS, which stands for Equity Linked Saving Scheme, money invested in it is exempted from income tax. You can save up to one lacs of money by purchasing ELSS mutual fund. Imagine, you have a package of 10 lacs, which puts you on the higher side of income tax rates, by putting some money on ELSS scheme, your taxable income automatically reduces, which sometimes can benefit from lower tax rates.

7 Things to Consider While Buying Online term Insurance plans

Online insurance plans like an online term insurance plan, online health insurance plans are getting popular due to their lower cost compare to buying similar insurance plans from agents or insurance agency.  An online terms insurance plan for 1crore for 30 years may cost you around 5500 from ICIC Prudential iProtect which is way lower than if you buy it from any insurance agent.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

What is difference between an NRI and a PIO?

Though both NRI and POI are used to refers Indians living and working abroad and they have more or less similar rights to open a bank account, buy properties in India and restrictions e.g. not allowed to buy agriculture lands, there are some difference in terms of citizenship and origin. NRI stands for Non Resident Indian, whereas PIO stands for Person of Indian.

An NRI is an Indian citizen who stays outside India:
(a) for purposes of carrying out employment or any business or vocation;
(b) under circumstances indicating an intention to stay outside India for an uncertain duration;
(c) any Indian citizen deputed outside India for a temporary period in connection with employment

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Can I repatriate funds from NRE or NRO Bank account? Yes

Yes, you can repatriate funds from NRE, NRO or FCNR account to abroad, but each has their own rules and limitations. NRE and FCNR accounts are most flexible in terms of repatriation, also known as freely repatriable, which means that no prior RBI approval is required to remit funds overseas from these account. This includes both NRE and FCNR fixed deposit as well as NRE saving the account. You can also repatriate both principle and interest earned to overseas from these two accounts.

Friday, October 9, 2015

How much TDS is deducted on Bank, Company and NRO Fixed Deposits?

TDS stands for Tax deducted at source, is income tax levied on interest earned by Fixed deposits. The rate on which TDS is applied varies, depending upon, whether the Fixed deposit is with a bank, a company or the post office. TDS also depends upon total interest earned on a financial year. For bank Fixed deposits, TDS is triggered when interest earned in a financial year (1 April to 31st March) is higher than 10K and for company fixed deposit or post office deposit, TDS triggered when interest earned on a financial year is more than Rs 5000.

Friday, October 2, 2015

List of documents required for opening Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna Account

If you are eligible to open Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna account, as per eligibility criterion showed here and decided to open a sukanya samriddhi account then, accept my congratulations. It's a great decision to secure future of your daughter. Now, coming back to formalities, in general, you will need following documents to open an SSY account:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Does interest earned on NRO saving account and FD are Taxable in India?

Yes, unlike interest earned on NRE saving account and NRE fixed deposits which are totally tax-free in India, interest earned on NRO saving account or NRO fixed deposit are taxable in India. In fact, as per the current regulation, tax is deducted at source @normal rate of 30.9%, which is calculated by @30% + surcharge + cess 2%, surcharge can be up to @10% if taxable income is more than 10 lakhs INR. Which means, funds lying in NRO account can be taxed at the rate of almost 40.9% in India.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Can You Open a Joint NRE or NRO account (savings and fixed deposit)?

Yes, you can open a joint NRE or NRO savings, current or fixed deposit and FCNR fixed deposit account, but who you can use as joining partner depends on upon what type of account you are opening and citizenship of other account holders. For example, if you are opening an NRO (Non Resident Ordinary) savings, fixed deposit or current account then you can open it jointly with any resident Indian or NRI. It means you can open NRO account jointly with your parents, spouse or your siblings, of course, if they are staying in India or any NRI e.g. your wife and children which are staying abroad with you.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Where to Open Sukanya Samriddhi account? List of authorised banks

You can open Sukanya Samriddhi account with both post office and banks. Initially when the scheme was launched it was only available to Post office but Reserve bank of India has instructed a list of authorized banks to open SSY account, which includes popular banks like SBI, Axis Bank, and ICICI bank. Actually, the list includes many banks from both private and public sector. Unfortunately, you cannot open Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna account online, you must visit banks if you pass the eligibility criterion discussed in my last post. Anyway, here is the updated list of authorized banks which are allowed to open SSY account

Friday, September 4, 2015

Eligibility Criterion to Open Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna Account

Ever since Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna account has launched parents are very enthusiastic to open SSY account in the name of their daughter. Many of my friends have asked about whether they can open Sukanya Samriddhi account or not? Do it has some income criterion? I am currently outside India can I open Sukanya Samriddhi account? Can NRI open Sukanya Samriddhi account if daughter is Indian citizen etc. In this post, I will give you overview of who can open SSY account and who cannot by explaining eligibility criterion of Sukanya Samriddhi account.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How NRI can avoid Tax on Foreign Income by timing Departure and Return

If you are an NRI returning to India for good or an Indian going abroad, you need to be aware that you need to pay tax on your foreign income (earned outside India a.k.a global income) if you come before February 1st or leave after September 28th. Taxation in India depends upon individuals residential status. An Indian citizen, who is NRI for a financial year i.e. from 1st April to 31st March is not required to pay tax on their global income but if his residential status is Resident and Ordinarily Resident (R) then his global income is also taxable. In order to attain NRI status, you need to stay more than 182 days outside India, remember the arrival and departure dates are also counted as stay in India.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Why Invest in Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna scheme? Benefits and features

PM Modi has launched several good financial schemes e.g. Atal Pension Yojna to provide retirement solutions to many peoples from un-organized sector, PradhanMantri Jan Dhan yojana to open bank accounts for poor, Pradhanmantri Suraksha Yojna to provide the cheapest insurance to Indian citizens and my favorite Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna to save money for your daughter's education and marriage. It's one of the best, government-backed saving and investment option you will find, I guess only PPF is close matched to it, but this is only for parents with a girl child. If you have a daughter aged less than 10 years, you can open a Sukanya Samriddhi account for her in your nearest post office which provides investment option. The key feature of this account is slightly higher interest rate it offers in comparison of Personal Provident Fund account.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Atal Pension Yojna and Swavlamban Scheme From NPS and PM Modi

I come to know about this excellent pension scheme just now after listening respected Prime minister Narendra Modi Ji's independence day speech.  Since many Indians works in private sector where there is no pension and Indian provides no social security to its citizen like European nations, it's very important for individuals to take care of their retirement and pension need. In order to encourage and help people, Narendra Modi government has launched Atal Pension Yojna on 1st June 2015. It's like Swablamban Scheme already running with NPS (New Pension System).

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Do You Need to Pay Tax When You Transfer Money to India from Overseas bank?

Do I need to Pay Taxes in India When I transfer money from Overseas bank to India?
Many of my IT friends are working abroad and when you go abroad the first time, you have a lot of queries in your mind, related to NRI status, Taxation in the foreign country, remittance and Taxation in India. One of the most common questions I see is "Do you need to pay taxes in India when you transfer funds from and Overseas bank to Indian Saving account?", the short answer is No, provided you are an NRI i.e. you have stayed more than 182 days abroad in that financial year (31st March to 1st April).

Friday, July 24, 2015

Can NRIs Invest in Public Provident Fund or PPF?

Can NRI Invest in Public Provident Fund or PPF?
Answer to this question is both Yes and No. Since an NRI cannot open a new PPF account, so it's not possible for them to invest money in public provident fund, but if an NRI already has an active PPF account, opened when he was resident then he can continue to invest in PPF. Like other resident investor, he can invest up to Rs 1.5 lakh every financial year i.e. from 1st April to 31st March.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Can NRI open more than one NRE or NRO Account?

Can NRI open more than one NRE, NRO or FCNR account with different banks?
Yes, an NRI can more open more than one NRE, NRO or FCNR accounts with different banks in India. I am not exactly sure if you can open two accounts with a different branch of the same bank, but multiple accounts can definitely be held with different banks. For example, many of my friends have NRE accounts with HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra and YES bank. They even have multiple accounts with same bank but account type is different. For example, you can open one NRE, one NRO and multiple FCNR deposits with HDFC bank.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

What happens to NRE,FCNR, NRO account when NRI return back India?

One of the most common doubt among Non Resident Indians related to NRI accounts are, what will happen to their NRE, FCNR, and NRO account when they return back to India? Even though you are not coming back in near future its good to know what happens to NRI account when you are no longer Non Resident Indian. When an NRI returns to India for permanent stay his various NRI accounts are converted into equivalent resident accounts. NRO saving account is converted back to resident saving account while NRE and FCNR account is converted into RFC (Resident Foreign currency) account.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Best Site for Online Instant Money Transfer to India from Australia - Remit2India

Remit2India, one of the popular remittance service among NRIs has recently launched instant money transfer service from Australia to India. Which means now you can remit money instantly, earlier it used to take 2 days. Along with Instant money transfer, Remit2India is also offering savings up to Rs. 3K+ as compared to local banks in Australia because of competitive exchange rates and lower fees (though subject to change given fluctuation in exchange rates).  So if you are sending money from Australia, it's worth looking what exchange rate Remit2Inida is offering? You will usually get better exchange rates and believe me that matters, especially if you are transferring money in excess of 20000 AUD. I always suggest my friends to compare exchange rates from different remittance service before transferring, why to compromise on your hard earned money, even difference of few cents can make a big difference if converted into Indian currency.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Can I withdraw money from PPF account before maturity?

Can we withdraw money from PPF account before maturity?
One of the most common questions people ask before opening a PPF account is "can we withdraw money from PPF account before maturity?". One reason for this question is long tenure of PPF account (15 years). The short answer of this question is Yes, you can withdraw money from PPF before 15 years but you can only withdraw a maximum of 50% of the balance at the end of the fourth year and that too only after completing 5 years. Which means for first 5 years you cannot withdraw any amount from PPF.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Is it Mandatory for NRI to File Income Tax Return in India?

Does it necessary for NRI to File Income Tax Return in India?
One of the most common doubt every NRI has is whether its mandatory for them to file incomes tax return in India or not? Short answer is, it depends. If you are a Non Resident India for a financial year let's say 2015-16 i.e. you stayed outside India for more than 182 days then your status becomes NRI, but you are also eligible for basic exemption limit which is currently 2.5 lakh in India.