Home >Money >Q&a >Refund can be claimed only if you file ITR

My daughter was abroad in FY19 and FY20. She had some income in India by way of dividend, interest and capital gains from investments. The amount was less than 1.5 lakh in both years. She was a student abroad during FY19. She was employed for less than six months in FY20 and drew salary. Does she need to file income tax return (ITR) in India for assessment year 2019-20 (AY20) and AY21? Which ITR form should she use? Does she need to declare her foreign income in India ITR for AY21? She has paid tax in the other country with which India doesn’t have a Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

—Praveen Godbole

Before deciding to file her ITR, it would be relevant to identify her residential status for both the financial years. That will decide whether salary income earned by her will be taxable in India or not. A person, who is resident in India for income tax purposes, must report her entire global income in the tax return for India. However, an NRI is required to report only that income in India that has been earned or received in India.

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If the gross total income of your daughter in any year exceeds 2.5 lakh and she is resident in India, she must file ITR. In case her income is below the taxable limit and yet TDS (tax deducted at source) has been cut on it (for example, if a bank has deducted TDS on interest income on deposits), she will have to claim a refund. A refund can only be claimed by filing an ITR. Those who want to report income (or loss) from capital assets and don’t have any income (or loss) from a business or profession must file ITR-2.

In case your daughter is a resident in India and has paid taxes abroad, tax relief may be available even though no DTAA agreement exists with the other country.

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

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