Home / Money / Personal Finance /  NRIs can continue investing in PPF account

I moved out of India recently, but still hold a public provident fund (PPF) account. Can I deposit more money into this account, now that I am a non-resident Indian (NRI)? Will I be penalized if I do not deposit money into the account?

—Name withheld on request

NRIs can continue to invest up to 1.5 lakh in their existing PPF accounts every financial year. You can also claim deduction under section 80C for PPF deposit if you are filing an income tax return in India. You can invest in your PPF account till maturity, but cannot extend the account once it matures.

My son has been studying in the US for the last five years and may remain there for a few more years. He is 23 now. To make investments in mutual funds in his name, I asked him to create a ‘direct login account’ on a mutual fund website. But in the KYC process required, he was stumped by the following question: “Are you a US/Canada person?" Should he answer yes or no? He has no financial interests or earnings in the US. He did receive a stipend and he filed his US tax return for one year.

—Name withheld on request

A person may be considered a “US person" if he/she is a citizen of that country, or is residing there and is required to file an income tax return under local laws. The United States Tax Department in 2010 enacted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) to promote tax compliance and to discourage tax evasion. An agreement between India and the US requires India to report FATCA compliance of investors. The international version of FATCA is called the CRS or common reporting standards, which also requires a person to make certain self-declarations to make sure they are in compliance with requirements of their local tax laws. It is recommended that your son report himself as a US person.

Archit Gupta is founder and chief executive officer, ClearTax.

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