Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

NRIs can’t buy plantation area, farm land, or farmhouse in India

The central bank does not permit an NRI to purchase agricultural land in India

As a non-resident Indian, who has been living abroad for 12 years, can I purchase agricultural land in India? Are there any restrictions on property ownership for non-residents?

—Damodar Sharma

The central bank does not permit an NRI to purchase agricultural land in India. NRIs may purchase any immovable property in India, but cannot purchase agricultural land, plantation property or a farmhouse in India.

I am an NRI and live in Dubai with my family. Recently, my son won Rs25,000 at a quiz competition. When the money was given, TDS was deducted on it. Neither I nor my son pay any income tax in India. Will this income be taxable in India? Can I get a refund or do I need to pay any additional tax?

—Manan Basu

According to Indian tax laws, usually, income of a minor gets added to the income of a parent and the parent pays tax on it as if it were her own income.

A child under the age of 18 is considered a minor. However, income of a minor may not be added to the parent’s in certain special situations, one of which is when the child earns an income by way of any work or from an activity for which he uses his special talent or knowledge.

For example, winnings from a cooking competition, or, in your case, winnings from a quiz competition. In these cases, a minor would have to file his own income tax return and report such income in it. However, to find out whether your child is required to file a tax return in India, you must find out the residential status of your child and the place where such income has been earned.

If the child is a non-resident of India but the income has been earned in India, reference has to be drawn to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the UAE. According to the DTAA, such income falls under the residuary article on “other income" which prescribes that irrespective of the country in which the income arises, it would be taxed in the country of residence only. Accordingly, in your case, even if the income has arisen in India, such income is liable to be taxed in the UAE only, in accordance with the tax laws of UAE. Therefore, if any TDS has been deducted in India, you may file a return of income in India for your son and claim the TDS as a refund.

If the child is a resident in India, such income earned from anywhere in the world will be taxable in India.

I was employed in an Indian company till 15 December 2017. I had resigned and then moved for individual consultancy to Oman, till 3 April 2018. The withholding tax has been deducted in Oman. Is my income taxable in India?

—Sathish Menon

To find out whether your income will be taxable in India, you must first find out your residential status for the said financial year as per income tax laws.

An individual is considered resident in India if she has spent at least 182 days in a financial year in India. Based on the facts provided by you, we are assuming you were in India from 1 April 2017 till 15 December 2017. Therefore, you meet the condition of residing in India for at least 182 days in a financial year.

Since you are a resident of India in FY 2017-18 for tax purposes, your income earned anywhere in the world shall be taxable in India. Based on Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between the two countries, tax which has been deducted on your income earned abroad will be allowed to be adjusted from taxes you have to pay in India, to avoid paying tax on the same income twice.

Archit Gupta is founder and chief executive officer of ClearTax. Queries and views at

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