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Month: March 2017

Is Extension to Exchange Junk Notes Valid for OCIs Till June?

Is Extension to Exchange Junk Notes Valid for OCIs Till June?

A few months are left to exchange defunct notes of INR 500 and INR 1000 in India. For natives, this facility has already been ceased. But non-residents would be considered as an exception. Provided that they have provided the authentic declaration of staying abroad right after 8th November for 50 days, they would be liable to enjoy grace period for exchanging that old currency.

What if the non-residents knowingly make incorrect declaration?

When any NRI knowingly and willfully makes declaration, the evidence is also sought. If those evidences are proved invalid or incorrect, they have to face off severe punishment. The government has provisioned two punishments: i.e.:

  • Penalty worth INR 50,000
  • Or, five times the amount of the face value of a particular bank

The offender shall be liable to face off the penalty of whatsoever shall be higher out of the foretold penalties.

Locals may keep 10 notes of junked currency that must not be valued more than INR 10,000. And if someone commits this offence, he/she shall be liable to pay fine of INR 10,000 or five times of the face value of the specific bank. Eventually, the quantum of penalty shall be measured on the basis of the money found.

Extension of the date to exchange defunct currency:

As aforementioned, only NRIs can enjoy the leverage or grace period for exchanging scrapped currency. Officially, they can exchange till June 2017 provided that they have showcased valid proof of their absence during that crunch time.

OCIs are not eligible for exchanging money:

Person of Indian origin (PIO) and overseas citizens (OCIs) are keeping their eyes on every RBI’s declamation. But till the date, there is no grace period announced for them.

The emigrants who get OCI card would have to encounter some differentiation from non-residents. This is the crunch time when such card holders would be pretty disappointed since they shall be unable to exchange junk notes. However, the Modi-led government has shown its friendliness with the emigrants who are originated from India.

Perhaps, there are some valid reasons behind this decision. Let’s look into what are these.

Why OCIs not eligible for exchange?

  • Limit of currency taken abroad: India’s Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) disallows parking INRs while immigrating abroad. In 2004, the non-residents were permitted to take along only INR 5,000. This limit was shrunk to INR 100 if the immigration is en route to Nepal and Bhutan.  

But foreigners, including OCIs, were prohibited to take any Indian currency along. In case, anyone did so, he used to be punished under the violation of FEMA.

Later, the rule was amended and OCIs were also allowed to immigrate with INR 25,000 like NRIs. They were allowed to bring in the same amount inside anytime. But Indian notes are not valid in abroad. While bearing this act in mind, the government has provided no grace period to OCIs.

  • Compulsory to exchange: It’s a rule to be abided by compulsorily that every foreigner or non-resident has to exchange the entire Indian currency with them into foreign currency while taking the flight to any country. This facility is available at the international airports in India. This can be another principal cause of denying exchange to OCIs.

Fast H-1 Visa Processing Suspended for Six Months by the US

Fast H-1 Visa Processing Suspended for Six Months by the US

Do you have any dream of flying down to the US for studies and carving career? If yes, then think twice. It’s not the right time to take such a big decision. The diplomacy in the US is undergoing transformation. Lenient immigration rules are likely to reinstate by stringent policies.

The Trump-led administration is posing as the terrible threat to the illegal immigration procedure. The deportation procedure is reformed as more stringent. Under this stringency, seven Muslim countries are likely to be slapped with an uncertain ban. By predicting severe consequences of this decision, the federal court has frozen this decision for now. But no sooner this tabled bill will be green signaled, the ban will affect adversely to the US economy as well as the emigrants.

Do you think NRIs, PIOs and OCIs will be spared? Your anticipation may prove incorrect. The H1B policy is likely to be revised.

Suspension of the fast visa processing:

The USCIS or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has stated on behalf of the US president that

  • The premium processing of visa that was likely to continue from April 3 would be suspended.
  • The seekers of this premium processing of visa must hurry since only 15 days are allotted for subscribing this NRI services for attestation of degree & certificate Till last year, this processing continued for a few months.
  • The premium visa processing service would be availed to the certain applicants who would have been hit by humanitarian reasons and emergency situations. This crunch time has risen extra-ordinary financial crisis to some companies and individuals. This program is specifically kick-started for those ones.

Every prospective emigrant is well versed with this visa policy. What’s it?

Aim of H1B visa policy:

When we turn over the annals, 25th November 1990 emerges as extremely significant. It’s the very day when both, India and the US, inked the H1 B visa policy. What it actually approves to the US is to:

  • Employ non-US citizens who are exceptionally skilled and expert but only on temporary basis.
  • Initially, such emigrant-employees would be permitted to work there for three years only.
  • Later, this period can be extended for three more years but only when comply with certain conditions.

Information and technology (IT), medicine, engineering and mathematics are popped as the biggest beneficiaries subsequent to this treaty. The biggies like Infosys, Wipro and many other enterprises attempted to employ expert graduates from Indian diaspora. The point to cheer for such employees need not undergo the hassles of getting NRI certificate attestation services from HRD. The enterprises oblige such professionals by completing all formalities required for this purpose.   

Certificate attestation from HRD is the path full of barriers because every year 85,000 applicants apply for this visa. Such a huge number of applications can ideate you how lengthy this procedure would be. Moreover, the employer bears their expenses which also include MEA attestation fee in India. Therefore, it’s a win-win situation for the Indian pool of talent & expertise.

NRIs Need PAN No. for These Transactions besides Tax Payment

NRIs Need PAN No. for These Transactions besides Tax Payment

Do you think PAN card is required for tax payment only?  Indeed, it should be provided at the time of tax payment. But there are certain more arenas where this unique number is mandatory requirement for emigrants, like NRIs.

Let’s catch on the conditions/ transactions when Permanent Account Number, that is a 10-digit unique alphanumeric number, is asked to present.

  1. For getting rid of higher tax deduction at source: It’s a provision in the income tax law under Section 195 that PAN number should be essentially provided. Otherwise, any residents or non-residents have to encounter higher tax deduction at source. In case their payable interest exceeds INR 10,000 and the number is not provided, the bank is free to cut TDS @ 30 percent.
  2. For providing HRA benefit to the tenant: If the non-residents earn rental income more than INR 1 lakh a year, their unique account number must be provided to the tenant so that he/she can get HRA benefits.
  3. For mutual fund (MF) investments: If the invested MF amount is under INR 50,000, there is no need to provide the unique ID no.. But if the MF investment exceeds this limit, the emigrant has to hand over this number along with his photograph & address proof as a mandatory formality of Know Your Customer (KYC).
  4. For refund from Income Tax department: The aim of income tax return is to pay the income tax over the income that surpasses the threshold limit. Emigrants can get more refund against the tax paid through forwarding this card number. If their income does not fall under the cap of taxable income, they need not provide it.
  5. For demat account: To open a Dematerialized Account for buying stocks & shares, emigrants must quote their PAN number.  
  6. For FD investment: However, the natives of India must quote this number only when their investment in Fixed Deposit surpasses aggregate INR 5 lakh in a financial year. But emigrants have to do so compulsorily for taking benefits out of NRI services in abroad and indigenously.  
  7. For purchase of foreign currency: Immigration arises the need of currency exchange. Therefore, the emigrants have to mention their unique ID no. for converting INR into the foreign currency.
  8. For prodigal hotel/restaurant bill: The Income Tax rule 114B mandates mentioning of this number if the restaurant or hotel bill exceeds INR 50,000 but only a time.
  9. For investing in RBI bonds: As stated above, the investment by emigrants in stocks and bonds would be permissible if the unique ID number is provided.
  10. For cash/cheque deposit/pay order: If the cash/cheque deposit/pay order exceeds INR 50,000, the emigrants have to quote their Permanent Account Number in the form.   
  11. For premium payment: The emigrants investing aggregate amount over INR 50,000 as life insurance premium in a financial year would be worthy to quote PAN details mandatorily under Section 114B.
  12. For sale/purchase of unlisted company share: This card number is mandatory if the emigrant expends INR 1 lakh or more in the unlisted company shares.
  13. For the purchase of immovable property: NRIs are barred from buying any agricultural land in India. Except it, they can invest in any kind of immovable property provide that they forward their unique account number with other documents.
  14. For sale/purchase of goods & services: Section 114B mandates this number on the payment over INR 2 lakh for purchasing goods and services.
  15. However, NPS investment falls under tax-exempt bracket but if the amount exceeds INR 50,000, the applicant has to showcase PAN card for withdrawing it.

However, this card is mandatory but in case the emigrant does not have it, he/she can fill Form 60 alternatively.