Over 85 per cent of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are unaware of their income tax login details. About 75 per cent of them are yet to update their income tax profiles, including their latest contact number, email ID or address in India, revealed a survey by Mudra Portfolio Managers. Further, only 28 per cent of the NRIs are filing tax returns in India regularly.
“As a result of this, in case any communication around ITR or compliances which the IT department sends to the people is not received by them, and hence a lot of instances were seen where IT Department has raised demand 5-6 years back but as the respondents were not filing the ITR and the communication which was sent went to the unused or unavailable id, the demand increased multifold due to interest and penalty,” Nishant Kohli, founder, director and business head-wealth, Mudra Portfolio Managers, was quoted as saying.
Over 50 sessions related to Indian income tax were organized in the past four years by the financial services management company, with 2,500 NRIs across as many as seven countries. In these sessions, it was revealed that two per cent had never invested in India, and out of the ones who did invest in the country, 87 per cent had invested in real estate, and 39 per cent in equities or mutual funds.
The sessions also revealed that 71 per cent of NRIs with an Aadhaar card either do not have their phone numbers linked to their Aadhaar, or their number is that of a relative. Some of them have their number mapped to an old Indian number that is inactive or is now under somebody else’s name.
“Considering that Aadhaar is used for a number of verifications, it is important to ensure that the correct number and email IDs are linked to transact easily and avoid unauthorized access. Besides, 37% of NRIs do not have the original copy of their PAN cards, and almost 67% of them have not taken PAN Cards for their spouse or children under 20. This shows that the basic paperwork itself is incomplete for any transactions in India,” Mudra Portfolio Managers said in a report.
Meanwhile, 48 per cent of the NRIs who had not filed the ITR believed that TDS was equivalent to tax paid. Hence, it is not required for them to file tax returns in India.
Around 90 per cent of those who had their TDS deducted and yet did not file taxes could have gotten back most of their TDS easily.