Know the features of NRO Account

Globalisation has covered the distance between different countries. It has also opened up new growth opportunities. Owing to this, most Indians are moving overseas for employment, vocation, business or educational reasons. When you do this and extend your stay for an indefinite period, you become a Non-Resident Indian.

Due to this changed status, you no longer get access to residential banking services. To continue using your Indian bank accounts, you must convert them into NRO Accounts.  These accounts enable you to manage the income earned in India like rent, pension, dividend, interest, etc. They also are an effective means to transfer Indian income abroad. Here are some of the essential characteristics you should know about them:

Investments

Since the account is maintained in Indian currency, it allows you to invest in India freely. You can directly link it with a Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) and trade in Indian stocks listed on a recognised stock exchange. To achieve your financial goals, you may even spread out your investments across Mutual Funds, Initial Public Offerings, debentures, etc. You do not face any issue in transferring the funds for the same.

Minimum balance

Even if the NRI Account comes with many benefits, it does not require you to maintain a high balance. You get to start with as low as INR. 10,000. Once you make this initial deposit, you get access to all the features associated with it. This applies to Savings Account, Current Account, Recurring Deposit, and Fixed Deposit Account. Hence, ensure to check the same about services, NRO Account interest rate, etc., before selection.

Joint Account holding

As you remotely operate the account, banks allow you to open it jointly with a Resident Indian. You can choose your parent, spouse, close relative, children, or guardian for the same. This way, they get to withdraw and conduct transactions on your behalf in the home country. It also facilitates the completion of formalities in your absence. Besides this, you also get to co-sign another NRI for the joint account ownership.

Requirements

The opening procedure is straightforward and convenient. Both offline and online modes are feasible options. You can go for the former if you visit India, but the latter is equally suitable otherwise. Most banks streamline the procedure, stating the details about requirements and steps. You need to fill an online form and attach the supporting documents. These include your passport copy, Visa, address proof, income statements, etc.

Tax treatment:

The deposits in NRO Accounts are subject to Tax deduction at source depending on your income tax slab rates. However, a standard deduction of 30% is expected if the interest amount exceeds Rs. 10 lakh. The same is also subject to changes based on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with your resident country.

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