GST

The Indian government substituted its multi-state and multiple direct tax systems comprising state and central taxes with its ambitious pan-India GST regime.

Under this new regime following changes have been introduced:

  • Banking charges on remittance recipients have been increased from 15 to 18 %.
  • Ready-to-move-in property do not incur any GST but tax on under-construction property has been increased from 12 % to 18 %. But because one-third of the value of the property is considered as cost of the land, it gets 1/3 GST exemption. In addition, the developer gets tax credit under GST on purchase of raw material which he is expected to pass on to the property buyer.
  • Renting out residential property is exempted from GST but property in commercial nature attracts 18 % GST for all, including Indians living abroad. However, this GST levy on commercial properties is applicable to annual rent receipts of above 2 million rupees.
  • If an NRI is carrying jewelry or other goods as baggage (subject to the fulfillment of the baggage conditions), no GST on such goods is payable at the time of bringing the same into India. However, there is an exemption up to ₹300,000 in case of gems and jewelry and ₹ 100,000 in case of any other products, and not exceeding 50 units in numbers in a year, imported by post or air as a personal baggage by a traveler or businessman.

PROPERTY SALES

  • An NRI can only sell residential or commercial property in India to a person residing in India or to an NRI or a PIO (Person of Indian Origin).
  • Under general permission, an NRI can sell his agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India only to a person who is a resident of India and is an Indian citizen.
  • An NRI can also transfer his/her residential or commercial property to an authorized dealer or housing finance institution in India through mortgage.
  • An NRI should not transfer by way of mortgage their residential and commercial property in India to a party abroad. For this purpose, prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is required.
  • The NRIs have long term capital gains if the property was sold after 3+ years of purchase, the tax for which comes to 20.6%. Further, the basic exemption of Rs. 2 lakhs are not applicable for NRIs.
  • The sale money can be repatriated through official dealers but it should not be more than US $1 million per year. If the property is inherited from one NRI to another NRI, then you need to get a special permission from the RBI. However, the brokerage firms will guide you through this process.

WILLS

An NRI should prepare a separate Will as per Indian laws if:

  • S/He own any immovable property in India (like flat, shop, land, building, bungalow, Kothi etc.) as owner, member of HUF or as share in ancestral property.
  • S/He own many movable properties in India and abroad and s/he is domiciled in India as s/he desire to stay permanently in India, though an NRI hold citizenship of another country.

But why separate Wills for an NRI?

  • An NRI is legally allowed to make a Separate Will as per Indian laws to cover assets in India.
  • It can save huge inheritance taxes in an NRI's country of residence since there is no inheritance tax or estate duty in India.
  • It allows smooth and faster execution/transfer of title of assets to the family as there is no need to wait for proceedings to end in your resident country.
  • If an NRI resides in a country that follows Sharia laws, having an Indian Will allows him/her to distribute assets in India as per his/her personal religion/prevailing laws.

Forced Heir-ship:

Some countries have forced heir-ship rules under which a certain portion of the estate of the deceased must pass to his/her spouse, child or parent. The remaining portion of the estate can be disposed under a Will. A person cannot dispose of his entire 100% estate through a Will. This provides a minimum protection to family members that cannot be defeated by a Will. Some countries where forced heirship rule applies are France, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Scotland, Islamic communities, Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and Sweden etc.

Community Property:

Some countries also have rules for community property. It provides that most property acquired during the marriage (except for gifts or inheritances) is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided equally upon divorce, annulment, or death. Joint ownership is automatically presumed by law in the absence of specific evidence that would point to a contrary conclusion.

Things a Non-Muslim NRI while preparing a Will outside India for properties situated in India need to know:

An NRI's Indian Will can cover only immovable properties situated in India.

  • If an NRI is domiciled in India at the time of demise or if the country of his/her domicile does not impose any testamentary restrictions, then an NRI's movable properties can be included under his/her Will.
  • As per Indian laws registration of a Will is not compulsory. So, a Will printed on a plain paper, signed by an NRI and attested by two witnesses (along with Passport No. or Citizen ID) is a valid Will irrespective of whether it is prepared online or with the help of a legal professional.

DIVORCE

  • If the couples get married in India in accordance with Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 then their marriage can only be dissolved in India under divorce with mutual consent (under section 13-B) that provides for divorce by mutual agreement.
  • If both the spouses are residing abroad, then they can seek a divorce by mutual consent under the country's divorce laws related to foreign marriages and the same will be recognized in India if proper procedure was followed with mutual consent.
  • The court of their current residential country has no jurisdiction to resolve the marriage.
  • All NRI marriages solemnized in India would need to be registered within seven days as per the rules set by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. If the NRI marriages are not registered within seven days, then the passports and visas would not be issued.

OVERSEAS CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA (OCI)

OCI-Registration is an online process. Eligible applicants are supposed to register through the appropriate link given on the OCI Website of Government of India. The applicants needed to know that only after complete successful registration, they will be considered as an OCI-Card Applicant. Following are the steps an applicant has to take if they are registering for the first time:

  • Check y eligibility before you start your registration.
  • Applicants will first start registration from Part-A, then after uploading Image and Signature, they will finally complete Part-B of the form.
  • Remember documents supporting an applicant's application have to be uploaded in PDF format (Max Size 1000kb) at the end of Part-B and not before that.
  • Do not forget to submit the hard copy of the correctly filled application form to the selected mission's office.

Key Points For OCI-Registration (In Lieu of PIO-Card):

  • First confirm your eligibility before you start your registration process.
  • If an NRI is already an OCI Card Holder, then s/he should use OCI Miscellaneous Services.
  • If an NRI is PIO Card Holder, then he should get himself register through OCI Registration (In Lieu Of Valid PIO-Card).
  • If an NRI is an IO Card Holder and card is in lost state, s/he should register through OCI Registration (In Lieu Of Lost PIO-Card).
  • To reprint your already registered application, kindly use 'Re-Print Submitted Application' service.
  • After submission of online application, a copy of the application form will be printed with an Online Registration Number.
  • After submission, the applicant along with all relevant enclosures and requisite fee should submit to the Indian Mission/Post/Office in whose jurisdiction the applicant is ordinarily residing irrespective of the fact whether the same Indian Mission/Post/Office has issued the original OCI documents or not.
  • All the supporting documents has to be in PDF format (Max size 1000kb).

Key Points For OCI-Registration (In Lieu of Lost PIO-Card):

  • First confirm your eligibility before you start your registration process.
  • If an NRI is already an OCI Card Holder, then s/he should use OCI Miscellaneous Services.
  • If an NRI is PIO Card Holder, then he should get himself register through OCI Registration (In Lieu Of Valid PIO-Card).
  • If an NRI is an IO Card Holder and card is in lost state, then s/he needs to register through OCI Registration (In Lieu Of Lost PIO-Card).
  • In order to reprint the already registered application, the applicant has to use 'Re-Print Submitted Application' service.
  • All the supporting documents has to be in PDF format (Max size 1000kb).

MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES

  • To avail Miscellaneous Service, the applicant must be an existing OCI Card Holder
  • This service can be availed for re-issuance / issuance of duplicate OCI documents in the following category of cases:
    • In case of issuance of new passport.
    • In case of change of personal particulars viz. name, father's name, nationality etc.
    • In case of loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/visa.
    • In case of change of address/occupation
    • After submission of online application, a copy of the application form will be printed with an Online Registration Number.
    • The complete Application form after paying the requisite fees and enclosing the relevant documents submitted to the Indian Mission/Post/Office in whose jurisdiction the applicant is ordinarily residing irrespective of the fact whether the same Indian Mission/Post/Office has issued the original OCI documents or not.
    • All the supporting documents has to be in PDF format (Max size 1000kb).

The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is in no manner can act as a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. We strongly recommend you to seek professional assistance before you take any or refrain from any action.

About NRI CLUB

India is a vast country and a mystery to most. Those who live in it, those who now live outside of India or those who are just visiting. We, at NRIClub™, serve as a centralized hub of information for the residents, non-residents and travellers who are not familiar with various aspects of this great country. We are a unique, online portal providing all of the information to our users that could be relevant to them.



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