Home / Money / Q&a /  NRIs don’t get any special extension for filing their income tax returns in India

What is the deadline for filing income tax returns (ITR) for non-resident Indians (NRIs)? Do NRIs get any special extension to file returns?

—Sampoorna Desai

The deadline to file ITR for individuals (who are not liable to audit under Section 44AB of the Income-tax Act, 1961) is, typically, 31 July, following the end of any financial year (FY). There are no special extensions provided to NRIs to file ITR in India. For example, for FY19, the due date to file ITR was 31 July 2019.

However, in case of NRIs, the obligation to file ITR arises only if the individual (satisfies any one of the below conditions):

* Has total taxable income during the FY of more than 2.5 lakh; or

* Has deposited an amount or aggregate of the amounts exceeding 1 crore in one or more current accounts maintained with a bank or co-operative bank during the FY; or

* Has incurred expenditure of an amount or aggregate of amounts exceeding 2 lakh for self or for any other person for travel to a foreign country during the FY; or

* Has incurred expenditure of an amount or aggregate of amounts exceeding 1 lakh on consumption of electricity during the financial year.

I am a doctor currently staying and working in the UK since April 2017. I do, however, hold some ordinary savings bank accounts and a multitude of fixed deposits and Public Provident Fund (PPF) with the State Bank of India. I also have nine systematic investment plan (SIP) folios (all of these were opened before I left India). They would be having around 40 lakh in aggregate. What should I do to transfer the money to my non-resident external (NRE) or non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts?


Under the exchange control law, when an individual leaves India for employment or for business or for vocation outside India or for any other purpose indicating his intention to stay abroad for an uncertain period, his existing resident bank accounts should be designated as NRO. An NRE account may be opened afresh. The residential status under the exchange control laws is different from that under the income-tax laws.

Thus, you are required to convert your existing resident (saving and fixed deposit) bank accounts to NRO (saving and fixed deposits). Your PPF account may be continued till its maturity on non-repatriation basis and the account will be closed on maturity.

For SIPs in mutual funds, you need to inform the change of residential status to the mutual fund house.

It is advisable that you consult your relevant bank for necessary formalities and documentation.

Sonu Iyer is tax partner and people advisory services leader, EY India. Send in your queries and views at

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