y wife and I are both
senior citizens. I am 81
and my wife is 76. We
have been in the U.S.
since 1985 and are
U.S. citizens. Both of
us have PAN cards and OCIs. We
have pension and deposit
accounts with a particular bank in
India. The bank has been asking us
to submit our Aadhaar Cards and
has even threatened to stop our
accounts. We have come across
several press reports that NRIs
like us are ineligible and exempted
from Aadhaar. And we have also
duly communicated the same to
the bank. But it hasn’t helped. Is
there any specific GOI or RBI noti-
fication that we can cite and send
to the bank?
- S. Tumuluri
Any individual, irrespective of
age and gender, who is a resident in India and satisfies the
verification process laid down by
the Unique Identification
Authority of India (UIDAI) can
apply for Aadhaar card. NRIs,
PIO’s as well as foreigners, living
in India can apply for Aadhaar
card and it is given free to all
Foreign citizens residing in
India can apply for Aadhaar. An
Aadhaar card is meant for establishing unique identity of residents of India.
It has nothing to do with a
person’s citizenship nor can an
Aadhaar card be used as proof of
Of relevance to your particu-
lar question is the following mat-
ter from the official GOI website
with respect to Aadhaar – here is
the link -
“Is it mandatory to enroll for
Aadhaar to file tax returns or
apply for PAN in India? If yes,
then what is the process for
Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 as introduced by
the Finance Act, 2017 provides
for mandatory quoting of
Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of
Aadhaar application form, for filing of return of income and for
making an application for allotment of Permanent Account
Number with effect from 1st
It is clarified that such mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or
Enrolment ID shall apply only to
a person who is eligible to obtain
As per the Aadhaar (Targeted
Delivery of Financial and Other
Subsidies, Benefits and Services)
Act, 2016, only a resident indi-
vidual is entitled to obtain
Resident as per the said Act
means an individual who has
resided in India for a period or
periods amounting in all to one
hundred and eighty-two days or
more in the twelve months
immediately preceding the date
of application for enrolment.
Accordingly, the requirement to
quote Aadhaar as per section
139AA of the Income-tax Act
shall not apply to an individual
who is not a resident as per the
Aadhaar Act, 2016.”
I have some NRO deposits in
banks in India. While I am aware
that the interest earned on the
NRO balances would be subject to
TDS (withholding tax), would I
need a PAN? Would the answer
change considering the fact that I
am a non resident and in any case
my income is far below the tax-
PAN is a pre-requisite for filing tax return. Since your
income is below the taxable
threshold, you do not need to
file a tax return and hence strictly there is no necessity of PAN.
However, the government is
making PAN increasingly
mandatory for various transactions apart from filing tax return.
For example, for investing in
mutual funds or stocks, PAN is
compulsory. So also it is compulsory for property transactions
etc. Therefore, it would be advisable to obtain a PAN for oneself.
A wrong notion that is apparently prevailing amongst some
NRIs is that if a person obtains a
PAN, he must statutorily file a
return of income. There is no
such requirement. Return of
income is only required to be
filed if the total income is above
the basic exemption limit which
is currently Rs. 250,000 (about
$3,878 in U.S. currency).
I am originally from India but have
now U.S. citizenship. This year I
have moved to India with the
intention to stay and work there at
least for three years initially.
1. Can I open resident bank
accounts or do I retain my NRE /
2. Can I trade in the stock mar-
ket on my resident status?
3. How about investing in mutual funds?
4. I obtained my PAN when I
was holding Indian citizenship. Do I
need to inform to IT dept about
change in citizenship?
5. Am I considered "Resident
Indian" (though holding U.S. citizenship and OCI) for all financial
and income-tax purpose?
- Sundar Dube
Once you come to India for
employment / intention to stay
for an uncertain period, you will
be a Resident Indian. You may
open a resident SB account.
Similarly you can open regular
(resident Indian) demat and
online trading accounts (
You may also invest in mutual
funds in India. There are no
You may continue with the
same PAN. There is no requirement of informing the IT department separately. The tax returns
you would be filing for the current year will indicate your
change in the status.
The residential status does
not depend upon citizenship.
I returned to India in May 2017 and
was an NRI for eight years prior to
that. I have been working for the
same U.S. firm even from India –
they pay my salary into my U.S.
bank account, net of the withholding tax. My question is that for
how long can I claim the RNOR
status? When will I have to start
paying tax in India too?
- M. Goel
Under the RNOR status, your
foreign income is tax-free just
like it is for an NRI. As per information provided, you would be
an RNOR for 2017 and 2018.
However, it seems from your
query that since your return to
India, you have been discharging
your employment from India. In
other words, you have been
working in India for the U.S.
In this case, the remuneration
earned from the U.S. employer
becomes your Indian income
though the same is received
Hence, it will be taxable in
India. Since you are also being
taxed on the same income in the
U.S., you can claim credit for tax
paid in the U.S. from your Indian
tax payable on this income.
The author may be contacted at
Aadhaar Cards for NRIs, NRO Balances, RNOR Status
INDIA ABROAD June 9, 2017 27 BUSINESS
By Sandeep Shanbhag