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Do NRI need to file tax in India? How to file IT returns online

Is NRI required to file income tax return? – a very common question. In short – an NRI is liable to pay tax under certain conditions. This post will cover that… We have also touched – how to file NRI income tax return online.

Let us look at the various aspects of filing tax.

Do NRI need to file tax in India

Cases when Income Tax is applicable to an NRI

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) has to pay tax on any income that is received, accrued or arisen in India. If you are an NRI and have one or more of the following income sources and your income in India exceeds Rs. 2,50,000, you are liable to file tax returns –

  • Interest earned in NRO accounts – It is subject to tax.
  • Rental income – It is subject to TDS of 30%. The tenant is responsible for deducting TDS and submit Form 15CA (and in some cases Form 15CB also) and then pay rent to the NRI.
  • Capital gains on house property or other asset – It is taxable and has to be added to the total income earned.
  • Income from fixed deposits or interest on savings bank account – Income is earned/accrued in India and therefore taxable.
  • Income earned – If you earn income while in India for part of the financial year, you have to file returns for the same.
  • If you have earned income in India for work done abroad, you have to file returns too.

How to file tax return for NRI

Due Date for Filing Income Tax Returns for NRI

The due date for filing income tax returns in India is on or before 31st July for the preceding financial year. So for the financial year – Apr 2017- Mar 2018, you have to file taxes on or before 31st July, 2018.

If as an NRI, you are a working partner in a firm that has not had the accounts audited yet, then you have to file taxes by September 30.

How to file tax return for NRI

You need not be physically present in India to file your tax returns. You can send all the relevant documents, complete the relevant form and sign it and send it to a tax expert in India who can file it for you.

But nowadays it is best to file tax returns online –

  • Get the documents and information such as PAN card, bank statements, income details and deduction details.
  • Register on the Income Tax India website
  • Choose the right ITR form.
  • Select the option on how to file returns. You can e-file your returns or download the relevant ITR complete and upload it.
  • Fill the form and submit it
  • Verify the ITR-V. It can be verified by printing it out, signing it and sending it via normal post or speed post to CPC Bangalore within 120 days of submitting the form. The address is –

Income Tax Department – CPC

                Post Box No – 1

                Electronic City Post Office,

                Bangalore – 560100, Karnataka

  • You will get an acknowledgment on receipt of the form. It can also be verified online or e-verified by using Netbanking, Aadhaar OTP or Bank account number.

The process of Income tax Refund for NRIs

You will get a refund only if you file your tax returns.

So even if you do not have to pay any tax but are eligible for a refund, you will still have to file tax returns. If you want to offset your capital losses against capital gains to lower tax liability, you have to file tax returns.

If you want to offset your capital losses against capital gains to lower tax liability, you have to file tax returns.


Hope this helps you to file your tax returns this year smoothly. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section regarding NRI Taxation.

Note – We are not CA but will try to answer based on our learning while working with NRI clients.

Do NRI need to file tax in India

About the Author

Hemant Beniwal is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and his Company Ark Primary Advisors Pvt Ltd is registered as an Investment Adviser with SEBI. Hemant is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, U.S.A and registered as a life planner with Kinder Institute of Life Planning, U.S.A. He started his Financial Planning Practice in 2009 & is among the first generation of financial planners in India. He also authored Bestseller book "Financial Life Planning".

  • Narendra says:

    i m nri and my employer send money which i hv earned outside india. i m working outside india he send money directly to my nre account ….is it taxable ?

  • Raja says:

    I left India in 1996 and have been living outside India since and have been visiting india only for short periods every year ( once or twice for 2 weeks at a stretch maximum ). I have investments in various banks and have FDs ( both INR and FCNR ) and hold NRE and NRO accounts. My rental income, mutual fund investments is through my NRO a/c only. I have not filed tax returns as yet and tax is deducted at source on my NRO accounts. Apart from these, I do not have any other monies anywhere else to declare. Do I still need to file Income tax since I continue to hold NRI status or should I only file as and when I get back to India?

  • Palu says:

    I am a seafarer works on merchant foreign going ship, for FY 2017-18, I have not completed my nri days, am I need to file income tax? Kindly advise

    • Sneha says:

      Hi Palu,
      Yes, you need to file the Income Tax and you will be liable to pay tax as per the rules applied to NRI.

  • Awadh says:

    I want to know whether Salary income out side India should be disclosed in ITR or not?

  • Phil says:

    Does wise NRI undertake to take file tax returns for NRI from USA?

  • sanjay says:

    i am working abroad for last 7 years , my company remitt my salary directly to my NRE account in india , will this salary be taxed

    • Anuj says:

      Hi Sanjay,

      In your case, your income is accrued or arise abroad, so there is no question of tax in india irrespective of the fact it is credited in NRE Account.

  • Tejas says:

    I am working on ship and have been nri for 10 put of 12 years. Do I have to pay tax for those two years in which one was less than 182 days outside india

    • Anuj says:

      Hi Tejas
      I think in those 2 years your residential status will also be NRI. And if you have income accrue or arise in india during those 2 years, you have to pay tax in india as NRI

  • Balaji says:

    I am an NRI. The last 2 years my Indian income was over Rs 250,000 so I submitted returns to Indian IT dept. But this year onwards my income will fall substantially below this limit. Can I stop submitting future returns?

  • Swati Arora says:

    I want to file the tax as NRI but not getting any option to select the residential status or ‘Filing as NRI’ on the government tax portal. Please suggest how to file the tax as NRI for free online

  • namrata says:

    I was a tax resident in india in the financial year 2018-19 (resident in india for 190 days)…but moved out of the country, I know that i have file return in india for income earned in india but do i need to show my abroad income in the return



  • Jaan says:

    I don’t have any income in India and am NRI, but I sent mothly 25000 Rs to my Indian Saving Bank account which is used by my parents every month, so do I require to file ITR in India? I do tax reconciliation abroad where I pay IIT.

  • Ro Sai says:

    Can you give me the name of a good CA in Bangalore who can help with filing taxes as I am an NRI

  • Harmeet Singh says:

    Sir, It seems like the information about NRI income tax return is old ( 2017-18). Now it is 2020.
    You didn’t mention the income from monthly Govt. Pension after retirement from government job. I request you please update the information.

  • Sanjay says:

    Do I need file tax return?

  • Ramakrishnan says:

    I am out of India for two years. I have not submitted any tax returns at this time. I do not have any income in India. Also the Interest I earn from Bank accounts is less than Rs.10000 per year. I did not sell any property. Do I need to file Income tax in India?

  • Ganesh says:

    I have been an NRI since 1997. I have not filed my tax returns so far. My earnings in India, which is house rent is deposited in NRO and TDS is regularly applied directly from the bank. Do I have to submit my returns? Since I have not submitted these many years, can I submit in the future?

    • Avinash says:

      Hi Ganesh

      Yes, It is advisable to file Income Tax returns as you can also get your TDS refunded, if not come under taxable range.
      You can submit your returns in future.

  • Roy says:

    Sir, I am and NRI from Year 2000 , i visit india for 1 month every year. I have Income in india per year from my bank FD the total interest 2,40,000/- per year from which the bank deducting TDS amount almost 30% of the interest. I have LIC approx 10 Lakh , Share for 2 Lakh and ICICI Prudential Life invested 5 Lakh in the year 2011 and the value now is 9 Lakh , do I need to file Tax in india. Do i am eligible to get back the TDS deducted from the year 2010 onwars..

  • Om says:

    I am working in Malaysia since April 2019 so I need to file my income tax return in India or not?

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