NRIs can now enjoy tax benefits for salary credited to their NRE/NRO accounts

NRI-Taxes

Often NRIs working abroad face taxation worries for their overseas salary income credited into their NRE/NRO accounts. This is because a non-resident can be subjected to tax in India on that portion of the income which is received in India.

However, The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) which adjudicates tax matters, in a recent decision, has held that merely because the salary was credited by an international company to the employee’s NRE bank account in India, it will not trigger a tax incidence in India. The ITAT sought to distinguish between ‘income’ received in India and an ‘amount’ received in India.

Indians lead the race of tech entrepreneurship in US

More and more Indians entrepreneurs are the faces behind a growing number of US tech startups. A study by the US based Kauffman Foundation shows that 33.2% of the co-founders of engineering and technology firms founded by immigrants in the US since 2006 were Indians. The next came the Chinese, at 8.1%.

Another study done in 2007 for the period 1995 to 2005 had found that Indians accounted for 26% of the co-founders during that period. So there’s been a 7 % increase in the Indian contribution in the post-2005 period. In fact, the Indian immigrant contribution was the only one that increased; most other immigrant communities saw a decline in their contributions, leading to a general stagnation in immigrant entrepreneurship in the US.

An interesting fact is “The Bay Area which has only six million people resides half a million Indians. And among those Indians, 72% work in the tech sector. Of the total tech firms that get funded in the US, 50% are in Silicon Valley. Not surprising that Indians are becoming founders or co-founders.

Remit2India’s Money on Referral (MOR) program

Remit2India’s Money on Referral program (MOR) just got BIGGER!

All one has to do is refer his/her NRI friend and he/she can earn Rs.1,000/- per referral. Your friends also get Rs. 500/- for using Remit2India services. And the good part is one can refer as many NRI friends as possible. So what are you waiting for? Start referring now and earn unlimited benefits!

The customer also has the choice to redeem this as extra money sent as remittance or even as a Gift Voucher against a host of gifting items from a special catalog.

So, spread the word with Remit2India’s unique referral program ‘MOR’.

Remit2India introduces Fortune Offer

The Remit2India Fortune offer introduced this month allows users to avail extra paisa on completed transactions. This offer is valid on  remittances in the following currencies USD / GBP/ AUD and EUR.

The offer slabs are:-

Currency

Transaction Amount

Extra Paise*

USD

50 – 5000

5

GBP

> = 50

15

AUD

> = 50

15

EUR

> = 50

15

This offer is not valid for transaction amount above USD 5000, however there is no upper limit for other currencies. The extra paisa benefit is payable to the beneficiary in INR only

Make the  most of this, offer ends on 4th October 2012

For more information visit bit.ly/fortunepromo

Positive sign for times to come: Indians in Olympics

The Indian contingent is steadily making inroads at the ongoing London Olympics. The first medal came in the form of Gagan Narang winning the Olympic Bronze Medal in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Event couple of days back.

While tennis and hockey have disappointed, hopes are alive with boxers, shooters and shuttlers (Both Sania Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap have advanced).

Back home a billion people wait to see their heroes perform well and win more medals. In the true spirit of the game it’s overwhelming to see the interest of people in India growing for sports beyond cricket, a positive sign for times to come.

Let’s hope India wins more medals and keeps its spirits high.

NRE deposits hit 10-year high in Jan on rising rates, weak Re

Further to the article posted on 11th March on is the rupee undervalued? The NRE deposits have hit an all-time high.

At a time when the government is looking for ways to attract foreign fund inflow, the spike in non-resident (external) rupee (NRE) deposit rates has brought some relief with non-resident Indians (NRIs) routing their savings substantially into NRE accounts.

While NRI fund inflow into NRE deposits in the month of January hit a 10-year high of $1.56 billion (over Rs 7,800 crore), the total inflow for FY’12 till January stood at $5.09 billion (around Rs 25,000 crore).

With data for February and March still to come, this is the highest-ever inflow in the NRE account in a financial year after FY’03 — when the net inflow stood at $6.19 billion.

NRE accounts are where NRIs can park their overseas savings that are remitted toIndiaby converting into rupee.

The surge in inflow can be primarily attributed to the move taken by the Reserve Bank ofIndiain December 2011 to deregulate interest rates on NRE deposits, following which banks raised their offering on such deposits from around 3.8 per cent to up to 9.5 per cent. The depreciation of rupee during the recent times also played a crucial role.

The rupee was trading at over 50 against a dollar till January, pushing investors to route their investment into rupee accounts to take the advantage.

Economists feel that even though this money is debt creating there is nothing to worry about since the composition of money has changed post liberalisation and also this is a stable source of funds.

Banks to offer higher returns on NRI deposits to lure dollars

A runaway currency has pushed the Reserve Bank of India to make interest rates more tempting for NRIs to bring in dollars. As the rupee closed at a new low on Wednesday,RBI allowed banks to offer higher return on dollar as well rupee deposits parked by NRIs. Banks can now give 125 basis points over London Inter-bank Offered Rate, or Libor the benchmark rate in international money markets on foreign currency non-resident accounts against a mark-up of 100 basis points permitted till now.

On non-resident (external) or rupee deposits, the interest rate cap has been raised to 275 basis points over Libor, from 175 bps. “It will help to improve sentiment,” said Parthasarathi Mukherjee, president (treasury and international Banking) at Axis Bank. The six-month Libor is at 0.71%.

Earlier in the day, the rupee fell to a low of Rs 52.37 to the dollar, but recovered to an intraday high of Rs 51.75 on suspected dollar sales by the Reserve Bank of India. But despite intervention and the central bank’s move to lift the $100-m cap on banks for swap, the local currency ended at 52.37.
Such swap transactions, where corporates enter into deals with banks to swap rupee loans to dollar, banks sell dollar in spot market and buy in forward. But the market did not feel that this will help to increase dollar supply. Global stock markets plunged to a six-week low on Wednesday after China’s manufacturing activity in November dropped to a 32-week low, contributing to existing worries about US economic growth and Europe’s debt worries.

Tracking the weakness across markets, India’s key indices hit a two-year low as foreign investors dumped shares, unnerved by the uncertainty in the rupee’s slide which closed at a record low of 52.37 against the dollar. The Sensex dropped 365.45 points, or 2.27%, to end at 15,699.97, but off the day’s low of 15,478.69.

The Nifty fell 105.90 points or 2.20% to close at 4706.45. Brokers said several foreign ETFs, which are facing redemptions at home, were selling aggressively.
Stop-loss triggers at many hedge funds and foreign banks set off after the Nifty fell below 4700 mid-way through the session, precipitating the decline. But for the short-covering later, indices would have ended much lower. Foreign investors sold shares worth Rs 1186.42 on Wednesday, according to provisional data.

“Investors in India are more worried about the domestic events than the issues in the US and Europe. There is a total chaos in the currency market, with no uncertainty about where the rupee is headed,” said Sandip Sabharwal, CEO-portfolio management services of broking firm Prabhudas Lilladher.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday attributed the stock market crash to withdrawal of funds by foreign investors and depreciation of the rupee.

“The rupee’s underlying fundamentals still appear weak to us, especially the absence of yield support at this important moment for the currency. Indeed, there is the outside chance of an onshore USD squeeze being the catalyst which propels USD/INR to the 54.8 technical objective,” said Stewart Newnham and Yee Wai Chong, analysts at Morgan Stanley.

The decline on Wednesday pushed the Nifty below the 200-week moving average of 4776, analysts said. “This is a sign of further weakness in the market as this is a long-term trend indicator,” said AK Prabhakar, senior VP, Anand Rathi Securities. The MSCI Asia Apex fell 2.5% after the indications of weakening in China, the world’s secondlargest economy, came a day after the US cut its Q3 growth figure.

China’s preliminary HSBC manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell sharply to 48.0 in November compared with a final reading of 51.0 in October. The euro fell 1% after Belgian newspaper De Standaard said that the planned rescue of Franco-Belgian bank Dexia is unworkable.

The report triggered worries that France’s AAA credit rating may be under threat. Report said the European crisis is making it tough for European banks to access dollar funding in money markets. Euro/dollar cross currency swaps, which measure the cost of swapping euros into dollars, are at the most expensive levels since 2008, according to reports.

Source:- Economic Times

Banks flush with NRI deposits

With the rupee trading above Rs 50 against the dollar, remittances from non-resident Indians are surging. In October, the local currency was trading at around Rs 45. Banks like Kotak Mahindra Bank is witnessing a 40-50% y-o-y growth in remittances, while other smaller banks are seeing their NRI deposits growing by 10-30%. The spike in remittances is also partially attributed to the financial crisis in Europe and political unrest in West Asia.

With the rupee breaching the 50-mark, deposits in dollar accounts such as foreign currency non resident account bank schemes (FCNR) (B) have earned an annualized 40% return. To make it sweeter, such accounts can now be held in freely convertible currency. Currently, currencies designated by the Reserve Bank include dollar, pound sterling, yen, euro, Canadian dollar and Australian dollar.

Kerala-based banks have been the biggest beneficiaries of the remittance windfall. Nearly 21% of the deposit base of Federal Bank is accounted by NRIs. For the second quarter, the bank has seen a 30% growth in NRE (non resident external rupee account) and FCNR accounts. “Nearly 7% of pan Indian remittances come through our bank and the rupee weakening has given a further boost,” says A Surendran, head, international banking, Federal Bank. The bank is expecting a 30% growth in its non resident business this fiscal.
Similarly, the non-resident deposit business of South Indian Bank has grown by 20% for the half year ended September 2011. To top that, many Indian banks had offered a 9% deposit schemes at the beginning of the year and with NRO (non resident ordinary rupee account) rates pegged to domestic rates, banks saw a heavy flows into such accounts. For instance, Tamil Nadu’s Karur Vysya Bank has seen a 12% growth in its NRO deposits quarter-on-quarter this fiscal. “NRIs are resorting to arbitrage on account of a weaker rupee and better interest rates on deposits in India when compared to banks abroad,” says N Venkataraman, managing director and chief executive officer, Karur Vysya Bank.

Importantly, the role of NRIs in the Indian banking system has widened. “They are looking at multiple benefits and not just windfalls from exchange rate fluctuations. This includes opportunities for investment in real estate and mutual funds,” says Praveen Kutty, head, retail and SME banking, Development Credit Bank. DCB has seen a growth of 20% in non-resident deposits q-o-q this fiscal and nearly 10% of the retail deposit base of the bank is accounted by Indians abroad. To cash in on such investment opportunities, South Indian Bank has launched portfolio management services for NRIs in association with Geojit BNP Paribas.

“Unlike the previous generation, many of the present generation living abroad are looking to return to India at some point. They are making investments in apartments and so nearly 50-60% of their savings gets channelized to India,” says N Kamakodi, chairman and managing director, City Union Bank.

It’s also profitable to have NRI customers as the average balance maintained by such customers in savings bank and term deposits is much higher than their domestic counterparts. While average balances in CASA of Indian account holders are Rs 35,000, NRIs tend to park over Rs 1 lakh in NRO and NRE savings accounts.

 
Source:The Times of India

Advantage for NRIs

The Reserve Bank on Wednesday said Indians who have non-resident accounts in the country can now hold them in any currency which is fully convertible.

The move is likely to help NRIs/Persons of India Origin as it will give them more options in the holding of accounts, and lessen the risk from fluctuations in major currencies.

Earlier, FCNR(B) account holders were allowed to hold accounts in only certain currencies such as the Pound Sterling, US dollar, Japanese yen, euro, Canadian dollar and Australian dollar.

“…it has been decided that Authorised Dealer banks in India may be permitted to accept Foreign Currency (Non-Resident) Account (Banks) deposits in any permitted currency.

It may be noted that ‘Permitted currency’ for this purpose would mean a foreign currency which is freely convertible,” RBI said in a notification.“The Committee to Review the Facilities for Individuals under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 in its Report has recommended that FCNR(B) accounts may be permitted to be opened in any freely convertible currency,” RBI said.

RBI also said that any citizen who was earlier residing in a foreign country can own or transfer property or other assets in that nation if it was acquired during the time of his residence there.

“… a person resident in India is free to hold, own, transfer or invest in foreign currency, foreign security or any immovable property situated outside India if such currency, security or property was acquired, held or owned by such person when he was resident outside India or inherited from a person who was resident outside India,” RBI said.In a clarification issued by it regarding repatriation of income and sale proceeds of assets held abroad by NRIs who have returned to India permanently, RBI said an investor can retain and reinvest the income earned on investments made under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme.The bank said that clarifications are as per relevant sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999.

Source: The Hindu

Remit2India’s FXvoucher ‘the power to get EXTRA’ is back


Currency fluctuationshave been one of the prime concerns for NRIs when they look at sending money home. If one looks at the trend of the US$ in the past few months, it has been extremely volatile. From INR 44.5 in Feb’11 to touching highs of INR 49.3 a few days back against 1 US$, the fluctuations impact a NRI. This is true for most currencies and markets around the world. Compare that with the increasing inflation that has gone up from 1.5% – Feb’11 to 3.75% – Sept’11 in the US. The Inflation in India has also peaked to 8.43% in recent time thereby increasing the cost of living. NRIs who remit money to their family back home need to shell out extra, which becomes an expensive affair.The volatile nature of these currencies coupled with increasing inflation makes a NRI anxious to maximize his remittance.
At Remit2India, we understand this concern and to aid it, we have launched the FXvoucher– an assured way to earn EXTRA money. It helps a NRI gain 3 times as much back of the initial investment he makes. This festive season we re-introduce the FXvoucher with improved features and hope our NRI customers make the most of it.

Click here to purchase the FXvoucher

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