As an NRI, does a senior citizen need to pay advance tax?

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There is exemption from advance tax provisions for a resident senior citizen individual who does not have any income from business or any professional income.




A taxpayer is required to pay advance tax when the total tax liability exceeds  ₹10,000 in a financial year. (iStock)

I am a senior citizen living in the UK for some years now and earn interest income from NRO (non-resident ordinary) and NRE (non-resident external) deposits in India, rental income from property at Bengaluru, as well as capital gains on sale of some old shares in August. Is it true that a senior citizen is not required to pay advance tax?

Under Indian tax law, a taxpayer is required to pay advance tax when the total tax liability exceeds ₹10,000 in a financial year. However, there is exemption from advance tax provisions for a resident senior citizen individual who does not have any income from business or any professional income.

In your case, since you do not have any business or professional income, you would have been exempted from advance tax obligation but if only you were a resident. Since you are a non-resident, this exemption does not apply to you. Accordingly, if your total tax liability for respective financial year is more than ₹10,000, then you are liable to pay advance tax on or before the 15th day of the last month of each quarter.

I gained US citizenship through the naturalization process after working there for more than 20 years. After covid-19, I returned to India with my family and do not have any plans to go back. I have been staying in my ancestral property till now but want to acquire a new residential property in Mumbai. Am I allowed to buy a house in Mumbai and what are the tax obligations upon purchase and keeping ownership?

—Name withheld on request

Foreign citizens are not permitted to purchase any residential accommodation in India unless they hold an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card or become a person resident in India under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) and do not belong to the negative list of countries which would otherwise require prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India.

In your case, subject to demonstrating your intention to reside in India for good and completing 182 days in the preceding financial year, you would be allowed to purchase a residential property at any place in India depending upon the state laws.

If you are purchasing the residential property from an Indian tax resident, then you would be obliged to deduct TDS (tax deducted at source) @ 1% of property value under Section 194IA of the Income Tax Act. However, if you are purchasing the property from a non-resident Indian, then you are obliged to deduct tax at appropriate rate that would be mentioned in the tax deduction certificate obtained from the tax office by the seller.

If you own up to two properties in India, you may claim them as self-occupied properties and there would not be any taxable income attributed to either of them. However, you may still claim housing loan interest payments as a deduction that may result in a loss under the head – ‘income from house property’.

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Pooja Gupta

CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, M.com) having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, M.com) having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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