Sukanya Raman, Associate in our Mumbai office, analyses changes to India’s taxation of remittances.
In February, 2020 the Union Budget had proposed the levy of Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on remittances made under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank of India. Although, the Scheme was introduced in the year 2004 with a limit of USD 25,000. This is the first time TCS shall be levied at 5% on remittances over and above certain limit.
TCS was to be applicable for remittances on or after April 1, 2020, as per the budget 2020. However, the provision shall now be effective from October 1, 2020.
In a Financial Year (FY) April- March under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme a resident individual can remit USD 250,000, equivalent to INR 1,90,00,000 with an exchange rate of INR 76.00.
LRS is applicable to resident individuals which also allows minors to remit money to any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. If remitter is a minor, then their natural guardian must undertake a declaration form. The LRS cannot be availed by corporates, partnership firms, HUF, Trusts etc.
TCS shall be collected at the rate of 5% on remittances aggregating to INR 7,00,000 or more in a financial year.
Per the RBI guidelines, LRS is permitted for private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan), gift or donation, traveling abroad for employment, emigration, investment abroad, maintenance of close relative abroad, medical treatment abroad, overseas education and Any other current account transaction which is not covered under the definition of the current account in FEMA 1999.
Under the LRS, remittances can be consolidated in respect of close family members. However, it shall be subject to the individual family members complying with the terms and conditions of the LRS.
The remitter is eligible to claim credit for the tax collected (TCS) by the bank while filing their Income Tax returns, if it is remitted to the sender’s own account abroad.
Based on the data released by RBI, remittance rose by 36% in FY20 to USD 18.75 billion over the previous high of USD 13.78 billion in FY19.
This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant as legal advice. For advice on this matter, please contact our team.