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TDS on Sale of Property by NRI - Tax Implications for NRIs Selling Property in India

Updated on: 26 Jun, 2024 03:37 PM

Whenever a property is purchased or sold in India, TDS must be deducted. The buyer deducts this TDS amount while paying the seller. The buyer's deducted amount must then be deposited with the Income Tax Department.

The same rule applies to NRI (non-resident Indian) who is selling the property. In the case of a resident Indian selling the property, the amount of TDS on NRI property sale to be deducted would be 1% of Sale Price whereas in case the seller is an NRI – the amount of TDS to be deducted would depend on the quantum of money received by the seller.

In this article, we will delve into the tax implications of selling property in India for NRIs and learn about the various aspects of TDS on the sale of property by NRI.

What is the TDS on Sale of Property by NRI in India?

TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) on the sale of property by NRI in India is a mechanism implemented by the Indian tax authorities to collect taxes at the time of property transfer. The buyer of the property is responsible for deducting TDS from the sale proceeds and depositing it with the income tax department within the time prescribed. After deducting the TDS the buyer is required to file deduction and payment details in Form 27Q. The amount of TDS to be deducted depends on the residential status of the seller:

  • For Resident Indian Sellers: The TDS on the NRI property sale rate is fixed at 1% of the sale price. This means that the buyer will deduct 1% of the sale price from the amount to be paid to the seller and deposit it with the Income Tax Department.
  • For Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Sellers: The NRI TDS on property sale rate varies depending on the amount the seller receives from the transaction. Typically, the rate is higher for NRIs compared to resident sellers. The exact rate can vary based on several factors, such as the total sale price and the seller's total income from Indian sources.

How are Gains from a Property Sale Taxed for NRI in India?

NRIs who are selling property that is situated in India have to pay tax on the capital gains.

Below is a detailed explanation of the applicable TDS rates:

When dealing with inherited property, it is essential to take into account the original owner's purchase date to determine whether the capital gain is classified as long-term or short-term. In this scenario, the cost of the property should be assessed based on the expenses incurred by the previous owner. This consideration ensures a more accurate calculation of capital gains and aligns with the specific circumstances associated with inherited properties.


Threshold Limit to Deduct TDS u/s 195

Under Section 195 of the Income Tax Act, there is no minimum limit for deducting TDS. However, the payer must deduct tax only if the payment made to an NRI is taxable in India. If the payment is exempt from tax in India, no TDS is required.


Income Tax Rules for NRI on TDS Deductible

As an NRI (Non-Resident Indian), you need to be aware of specific income tax rules related to TDS (Tax Deducted at Source). Here are some key points regarding TDS deductions for NRIs:

TDS on Income:

  • TDS is applicable to various types of income earned by NRIs in India, including salary, rent, interest, capital gains, etc. An NRI can file their taxes and claim the extra TDS refund with Tax2win.
  • The TDS rates can vary depending on the nature of income and the applicable tax rates.
  • NRIs are required to provide their Permanent Account Number (PAN) to the deductor for proper TDS deduction.

TDS on Interest Income:

  • For interest income earned by NRIs on fixed deposits, savings accounts, or any other interest-bearing instruments, TDS is deducted at a flat rate of 30% (plus applicable surcharge and education cess) by the payer.
  • However, suppose the NRI qualifies for any lower tax rates or exemptions under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and their resident country. In that case, they can submit the necessary documents, such as a Tax Residency Certificate (TRC), to avail of the lower TDS rate.

TDS on Capital Gains:

  • NRIs are subject to TDS on capital gains arising from the sale of property, shares, or any other capital assets in India.
  • The TDS rates for capital gains can vary depending on the type of asset and the holding period.
  • NRIs can claim a refund for any excess TDS deducted by filing their income tax returns.

TDS Exemptions:

  • NRIs can apply for lower TDS rates or claim exemptions by obtaining a Certificate of Lower Deduction or No Deduction from a chartered accountant.
  • This certificate is required for specific transactions and helps in reducing the TDS liability for NRIs.

In India, when a buyer buys a property from NRI, he is liable to deduct TDS (Tax Deductible at Source) at 20%. If a property is sold before two years, a TDS of 30% is applicable.

Type of Capital Gains TDS should be done at
For Long Term Capital Gains 20% + Cess
For Short Term Capital Gains 30%* + Cess

Who has to Pay TDS While Selling Property?

The responsibility of deducting the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) amount from the sale proceeds and transferring it to the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) seller lies with the property buyer. After deducting the TDS the buyer is required to file deduction and payment details in Form 27Q.

To facilitate this process, the buyer is required to apply for and obtain a Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN) in their name. In cases where two or more individuals jointly purchase the property, investing funds from their personal sources or through joint loans, each person involved must acquire a TAN.

Once the TAN is secured, the buyer is obligated to deduct the TDS amount during each transaction of transferring payment to the NRI seller. The deducted TDS amount must then be deposited with the Income Tax Department through an e-challan by the 7th day of the subsequent month in which the payment was made to the seller.

To fulfill their regulatory obligations, the buyer must file the TDS return in the following quarter after depositing the TDS amount. Upon successful filing of the TDS return, the buyer can obtain Form 16A, which is then provided to the NRI seller.

By adhering to these procedures, both the buyer and the NRI seller ensure compliance with tax regulations, fostering a transparent and legal property transaction process.


How can NRI Save Taxes on Capital Gains While Selling a Property?

NRI can save taxes as per income tax rules for NRI while selling a property under Section 54 , Section 54EC, and Section 54F.

Exemption under Section 54

This section provides an exemption from long-term capital gains tax on the sale of a residential property of the NRI, if the proceeds are reinvested in another residential property. The key points to note are:

  • Eligibility: The exemption is available to both residents and NRIs.
  • Applicability: The exemption applies to long-term capital gains arising from the sale of a residential property held for a minimum of 24 months.
  • Reinvestment: The taxpayer must utilize the proceeds from the sale to purchase another residential property within the specified timeframes.
  • Conditions:
    - The exemption is available for one residential property only.
    - The new property should be purchased within one year before or two years after the date of sale or constructed within three years from the date of sale.it is mandatory that this new house property must be situated in India. The exemption under section 54 shall not be available for properties bought or constructed outside India to claim this exemption. (Do remember that this exemption can be taken back if you sell this new property within 3 years of its purchase).
  • Exemption Amount: The amount of exemption is the lower of the long-term capital gains or the cost of the new residential property.

Exemption under Section 54EC

This section allows an exemption from long-term capital gains tax if the gains are invested in specified bonds. The key points to note here are

  • Eligibility: The exemption is available to both residents and NRIs.
  • Applicability: The exemption applies to long-term capital gains arising from the sale of any asset, including residential and non-residential properties.
  • Investment in Bonds: The taxpayer can invest the capital gains in specified bonds issued by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) or Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) within six months from the date of sale.
  • Exemption Amount: The exemption amount is limited to the investment made in the specified bonds subject to a maximum of INR 50 lakhs in a financial year.
  • Lock-in Period: The specified bonds have a lock-in period of five years.

Exemption under section 54F

Section 54F provides an exemption from long-term capital gains tax on the sale of any asset other than a residential property if the proceeds are invested in a residential property. Here are the key points to note:

  • Eligibility: The exemption under Section 54F is available to individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), including NRIs.
  • Applicability: The exemption applies to long-term capital gains arising from the sale of any asset, such as land, building, or other capital assets, except for a residential property.
  • Reinvestment: To avail the exemption, the taxpayer must invest the net sale proceeds in purchasing or constructing a residential property.
  • Timeframes for Investment: a. Purchase: The new residential property should be purchased within one year before or two years after the date of the sale of the original asset. b. Construction: If the taxpayer chooses to construct a new residential property, it should be completed within three years from the date of the sale. This new house property must be situated in India
  • Conditions: a. Ownership: The taxpayer should not own more than one residential house, other than the new property, on the date of sale of the original asset. b. Lock-in Period: The new residential property must be held for at least three years from the date of its acquisition. If it is transferred within three years, the exemption claimed under Section 54F will be revoked, and the capital gains will be taxed.
  • Exemption Amount: The amount of exemption is determined based on the proportion of the investment made in the new residential property compared to the net sale proceeds. The long-term capital gains will be tax exempted if the entire net sale proceeds are invested. If only a portion is invested, the exemption will be calculated proportionally.

Note:- The NRI seller must submit Form 15CA and 15CB to repatriate the sale proceeds of a property. The form should be signed and submitted by a chartered accountant.

As an NRI looking for ways to save your income tax while selling property in India, connect with our experts and get solutions to all your tax queries. Hire an Online CA.


Consequences of Not Paying TDS

In situations where the buyer fails to adhere to the prescribed TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) rates applicable to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) or neglects to deduct TDS for any reason, they expose themselves to significant legal consequences. It is crucial for buyers to recognize their legal responsibility in deducting and depositing TDS according to the specified rates for NRI sellers, or as per the rates mentioned in the NIL/lower deduction certificate issued by the Income Tax Department.

When a buyer neglects to deduct TDS at the designated rates, they become liable for penalties equal to the TDS amount not deducted. Moreover, interest accrues on the defaulted sum. Non-deduction of TDS also impedes the seller's ability to repatriate the sale proceeds to their foreign bank account or NRE (Non-Resident External) account. Additionally, if the transaction comes under the scrutiny of the Income Tax Department and it is revealed that TDS was not deducted appropriately, the seller may face prosecution for misrepresenting their tax residency status.

Therefore, it is imperative for buyers to diligently follow the stipulated TDS guidelines to avoid legal repercussions and ensure smooth transactions with NRI sellers. This not only safeguards the interests of both parties involved but also upholds the integrity of the taxation system.

Consulting with a Tax2win tax expert can help NRIs make informed decisions, minimize tax liabilities, and avoid potential legal or financial issues related to the sale of property in India.

Get CA-assisted NRI ITR Filing Services!


FAQs on TDS Deducted on Sale of Property by NRI

Q- Is PAN mandatory when NRIs sell their property in India?

Yes. Obtaining a PAN (Permanent Account Number) is mandatory for NRIs who sell property in India for the purpose of TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) on the sale of the property.


Q- Is TDS on property applicable for NRI?

When NRI sells the property, the buyer is liable to deduct TDS @20%. TDS must be deducted when making payment to NRI


Q- How NRIs can lower TDS on property sales?

The NRI can reduce TDS by filing an application for Lower Deduction if there is no Capital gain or if capital gain is lower than TDS to be deducted with the Income Tax Officer. Various documents are required to be filed along with the application in form 13


Q- Do NRIs need Aadhaar to sell the property?

No NRI does not need Aadhaar to sell the property.


Q- How much tax do I pay on the sale of property in India?

The rate for sale of property is LTCG is 20% and STCG is added to the taxable income of the assessee and attracts tax as per the slab rate.


Q- Who is responsible for deducting TDS on the sale of property by NRIs?

The buyer of the property from an NRI seller is responsible for deducting TDS (Tax Deducted at Source).


Q- Is it necessary for an NRI to file an income tax return in India for the year in which the property was sold?

Filing an ITR is necessary for NRIs for the year in which the property was sold, if the total income (including the capital gains from the property sale) exceeds the basic exemption limit as per the applicable income tax slab rates. Also, to claim any eligible deductions or exemptions and to comply with the tax laws of India.


Q- Are you planning to sell property in India?

A tax expert can provide accurate guidance on the tax implications, ensuring compliance with Indian tax laws, and maximize tax benefits such as exemptions or deductions. Connect with our Tax Experts


CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.

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