I have been working abroad for five years now. I still live in Europe with my non-Indian husband. With the money that I earned abroad, I paid for a flat to the developer through my non-resident external (NRE) account. This was foreign currency earned and paid to the builder through NRE account. However, four years after the initial payment, we realized a fraud and demanded a refund with interest and the developers obliged. However, the refund could only be made to the non-resident ordinary (NRO) account. I need to send the money that I received back to Europe and I understand that I will be taxed for the entire refund and not just the interest. Is there any way to prevent this? What documents do I need to submit in order to make a remittance of less than $100,000? What services through banks or third parties are most safe and economical?

—Padmashree Ghangale

Whether the amount received from the builder will be taxable or not will depend upon the arrangement between the two parties—you and the builder. You will need an expert to review whether such an amount will be taxed as per Indian laws and/or the laws of the country of which you are now a resident, based on the agreement made for such a purpose.

Remittances from NRO accounts are allowed up to $1 million in a financial year. However, you need to submit certain documents and also a certificate from a chartered accountant. Whether or not these documents will be required depends on the nature of the payment. You need an expert to first ascertain the taxability of the amount and also prepare the necessary documentation.

You can avail professional services of a chartered accountant. Once the documents are submitted to your bank, the remittance will take place.

My son is in the US and went to study in 2013. He is now on H1B1 visa and his public Provident Fund (PPF) account is active till 2022. Is it possible for me to deposit 1.5 lakh on his behalf till maturity? Is it mandatory to take redemption on maturity or can I continue his PPF account? He has an Indian passport. Please guide what can we do.

—Nirin Patel

In the recent past, there have been certain government circulars about non-resident Indians (NRIs) and their eligibility to subscribe to their PPF accounts. Currently, NRIs are allowed to hold their PPF accounts until maturity. They can continue to make deposits to their PPF accounts as per the prescribed rules until maturity.

Therefore, your son can continue to hold his PPF account and make deposits until maturity. He is not required to exit from the account just because he is an NRI.

Archit Gupta is founder and chief executive officer, ClearTax. Mail in your queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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