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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 10 July 2020 12.38 PM IST

Finance Ministry announces relief for NRIs on residency status amid lockdown

nirmala

NEW DELHI: The Finance Ministry on Friday announced relief to those who have been facing difficulty with their residency status in India under section 6 of the Income-tax Act due to lockdown and suspension of international flights owing to COIVD-19 outbreak, as they have had to prolong their stay in India.


According to a Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) release, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today allowed discounting of prolonged stay period in India for the purpose of determining residency status after considering various representations received from people who had to prolong their stay in India due to lockdown and suspension of international flights.


They expressed concern that they will be required to file tax returns as Indian residents and not as NRIs after 120 days of stay.


The Finance Ministry stated that the lockdown continues during the financial year 2020-21 and it is not yet clear when international flight operations would resume, a circular excluding the period of stay of these individuals up to the date of resumption of international flight operations shall be issued for determination of the residential status for the financial year 2020-21.


A circular also said that in order to avoid genuine hardship in such cases, the CBDT has decided that for the purposes of determining the residential status under section 6 of the Act during the previous year 2019-20 in respect of an individual who has come to India on a visit before March 22, 2020 and:


(a) has been unable to leave India on or before March 31, 2020, his period of stay in India from March 22, 2020 to March 31, 2020 shall not be taken into account; or


(b) has been quarantined in India on account of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on or after March 1, 2020 and has departed on an evacuation flight on or before March 31, 2020 or has been unable to leave India on or before March 31, 2020, his period of stay from the beginning of his quarantine to his date of departure or March 31, 2020, as the case may be, shall not be taken into account; or


(c) has departed on an evacuation flight on or before March 31, 2020, his period of stay in India from March 22, 2020 to his date of departure shall not be taken into account."


The release said there are number of individuals who had come on a visit to India during the previous year 2019-20 for a particular duration and intended to leave India before the end of the previous year for maintaining their status as non-resident or not ordinary resident in India.


"However, due to declaration of the lockdown and suspension of international flights owing to outbreak of COVID-19, they are required to prolong their stay in India. The status of an individual whether he is resident in India or a non-resident or not ordinarily resident, is dependent, inter-alia, on the period for which the person is in India during a year," it said.

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