Saturday, August 27, 2016

NRI Minimum Account Balance and Penalty charges - ICICI vs HDFC vs SBI vs Kotak

One of the important detail many NRIs ignore while opening NRE or NRO saving account is the minimum account balance required to be maintained on the monthly or quarterly basis. Sometimes this is also known as average monthly balance. On average you need to maintain at least 10,000 Indian Rupees as minimum monthly balance but it varies hugely from bank to bank and on different account type. Banks also charges the penalty if you don't maintain the required minimum balance in your NRE account, which not only completely offset any interest gain you have made but also put a dent on your principle amount. I have friends which have lost thousands of rupees as minimum balance penalty because of ignorance and not paying enough attention.

Friday, August 19, 2016

How to open NRE or NRO account from overseas Online - ICICI, HDFC, Kotak, YESBANK

Nowadays, opening an NRE or NRO account from overseas has become quite easy with online application form and free pickup services offered by many Indian public sector and private sector banks. Almost all major banks including public sector banks likes SBI, Bank of Baroda, Union bank of India, Federal Bank and private sector banks like ICICI, HDFC, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, YESBANK, and foreign banks operating in India e.g. DBS, Standard Chartered, and Deutsche bank all allows you to fill the account opening form online and many of  them have free pickup service or local PO box services to collect the completed application form and necessary documents. Some banks even provide complete paperless process for NRI and PIO of certain countries e.g. you can open ICICI NRE bank account completely online if you are living in USA. Similarly, HDFC bank also has collection boxes in many countries e.g. Singapore, USA, UK, Canada, UAE where you can submit the filled application form along with necessary documentation.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Is it mandatory to declare foreign bank accounts and assets in income tax return by NRI?

One of the common doubt among NRIs who are filing their income tax returns in India is to whether to declare foreign bank accounts and assets or not. I often receive comments and questions whether it's mandatory for an NRI to disclose the foreign bank account details and an asset on income tax returns? The short answer is No. It's not mandatory for an NRI to disclose or mention its foreign bank account details while filing income tax returns in India, but you need to be sure about your residential status. As per income tax law, a person can be either Resident and Ordinary Resident (ROR), Resident and Not Ordinarily Resident (RNOR), or Non Resident (NR). If you fall into the first category then YES it is mandatory for you to declare your foreign income and assets because you are not an NRI in that financial year for income tax purpose, but if your residential status is either NR or RNOR then it's not required for you to declare your foreign bank account details in ITR.