NRI account details needed only for refunds, clarifies govt

The government has clarified that reporting details of at least one foreign bank account by non-residents is optional as it is needed only for the purpose of refund of income tax.

The government said it has received a number of representations from non-residents that they are facing difficulties in getting refund as they do not have bank account in India and there is no column in the notified form of return of income for reporting details of foreign bank account by the non-residents for this purpose.

Since refund generated on processing of return of income is currently credited directly to the bank accounts of the tax-payers, availability of the details of bank accounts in which the refund is to be credited is a precondition for direct credit of refund in the bank accounts, said an official release.

It is in view of this, the facility has been provided in return utility for reporting of details of bank account by non-residents, who do not have bank account in India and who are claiming income-tax refund, the release stated.

Non-residents who are not claiming refund or non-residents who are claiming refund but having a bank account in India are not required to furnish details of their foreign bank account in the return of income.

However, the non-residents, who are claiming income-tax refund and not having bank account in India may, at their option, furnish the details of one foreign bank account in the return of income for issuance of refund, it added.