‘Non-resident Indian’ is an individual who is a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin and who is not a resident of India. Thus, in order to determine whether an Individual is a non-resident Indian or not, his residential status is required to be determined under Section 6. As per section 6 of the Income-tax Act, an individual is said to be non-resident in India if he is not a resident in India and an individual is deemed to be resident in India in any previous year if he satisfies any of the following conditions:
1. If he is in India for a period of 182 days or more during the previous year; or
2. If he is in India for a period of 60 days or more during the previous year and 365 days or more during 4 years immediately preceding the previous year.
However, in respect of an Indian citizen and a person of Indian origin who visits India during the year, the period of 60 days as mentioned in (2) above shall be substituted with 182 days. The similar concession is provided to the Indian citizen who leaves India in any previous year as a crew member or for the purpose of employment outside India.
The Finance Act, 2020, w.e.f., Assessment Year 2021-22 has amended the above exception to provide that the period of 60 days as mentioned in (2) above shall be substituted with 120 days, if an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin whose total income, other than income from foreign sources, exceeds Rs. 15 lakhs during the previous year. Income from foreign sources means income which accrues or arises outside India (except income derived from a business controlled in or a profession set up in India).
Note: The Finance Act, 2020 has introduced new section 6(1A) to the Income-tax Act, 1961. The new provision provides that an Indian citizen shall be deemed to be resident in India only if his total income, other than income from foreign sources, exceeds Rs. 15 lakhs during the previous year. For this provision, income from foreign sources means income which accrues or arises outside India (except income derived from a business controlled in or a profession set up in India).
However, such individual shall be deemed to be Indian resident only when he is not liable to tax in any country or jurisdiction by reason of his domicile or residence or any other criteria of similar nature.
Thus, from Assessment Year 2021-22, an Indian Citizen earning total income in excess of Rs. 15 lakhs (other than from foreign sources) shall be deemed to be resident in India if he is not liable to pay tax in any country.
A person shall be deemed to be of Indian origin if he, or either of his parents or any of his grand-parents, was born in undivided India.
Tabular Presentation of Amendment:
Resident Not Ordinarily Resident
If an individual qualifies as a resident, the next step is to determine if he/she is a Resident ordinarily resident (ROR) or an RNOR. He will be a ROR if he meets both of the following conditions:
1. Has been a resident of India in at least 2 out of 10 years immediately previous years and
2. Has stayed in India for at least 730 days in 7 immediately preceding years
Therefore, if any individual fails to satisfy even one of the above conditions, he would be an RNOR.
An individual satisfying neither of the conditions stated in (a) or (b) above would be an NR for the year.
Resident: A resident will be charged to tax in India on his global income i.e. income earned in India as well as income earned outside India.
NR and RNOR: Their tax liability in India is restricted to the income they earn in India. They need not pay any tax in India on their foreign income. Also note that in a case of double taxation of income where the same income is getting taxed in India as well as abroad, one may resort to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) that India would have entered into with the other country in order to eliminate the possibility of paying taxes twice.