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The below content is purely for informational purposes and is not intended to constitute advisory of any kind. Please note, these are in-depth articles which are best viewed on large screen devices like laptops, desktops and tablets. The position reflected in this article has been updated as of January 15, 2024.

Whether you are a Resident Indian (RI) sending money to your family residing abroad, or a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) seeking to repatriate funds earned in India to your country of residence, you must comply with the prevailing Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations and rules made thereunder.

You can make remittances across different countries and banks. The funds are electronically debited from your account and credited to the recipient's account.

For such transfers, typically, you need the recipient's bank account details, including the account number, bank name and branch, name, address and contact information of both sender and receiver, SWIFT code, etc. It is recommended that you check with your bank for detailed information on such transfers. 
 

Transfer money internationally from India as an NRI

You may be looking for convenient modes to send money from India to your overseas country of residence. In order to repatriate money, you can utilise:

  • Non-Resident External (NRE) account

  • Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account

  • Foreign Currency Non-Resident Bank (FCNR (B)) account

For NRO accounts, there is no limit on repatriation of current income (i.e., rent, interest, dividends, professional fees, and pension). You can repatriate capital income (i.e., proceeds from maturity of Fixed Deposit (FD), sale of property, redemption of mutual funds, shares, etc.) upto a maximum of USD 1 million per Financial Year (April-March) cumulatively from all your NRO accounts held in India.

There is no limit on the amount of funds you can repatriate from your NRE or FCNR (B) accounts.

ICICI Bank customers can remit funds overseas through digital modes such as Retail Internet Banking (RIB) or iMobile Pay App, the bank’s mobile banking platform, besides making requests at any of the ICICI Bank branches in India and select geographies overseas. .

Did you know?

NRIs can transfer upto USD 1 million from their NRO account to their NRE account per Financial Year (April-March)

Transfer money internationally as a resident Indian

Are you an Indian resident and have your children studying abroad? Or do you frequently send funds to your family overseas?

Under the prevailing Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) regulations, you can remit funds overseas up to USD 250,000 per Financial Year (April-March). There are multiple ways to send money from India to abroad, that have streamlined the process, making it intuitive and faster. 

  1. Online money transfer:

    Various banks and fintech players provide digital platforms that allow you to send money abroad from India. ICICI Bank offers Money2World, which facilitates easy and secure money transfers online. It is also available on the ‘iMobile Pay’ app, the bank’s mobile banking platform.

    Send money through Money2World

  2. Wire transfers from branch:

    Banks offer the facility to send money to international banks abroad through wire transfers. You can visit the bank’s branch to send money abroad. Wire transfers done through branches often offer a higher transaction limit as compared to online remittance channels. You should contact your bank for more information.

    ICICI Bank branch locator

  3. Unified Payment Interface (UPI) transfer:

    While UPI was earlier restricted to domestic transfers, the international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), NIPI, has now developed the capability to send money overseas using cross-border UPI. This service is available in the India-Singapore corridor currently and is expected to be extended to additional countries.

  4. Foreign currency demand draft (FCDD):

    In addition to the above modes, you can choose to send money abroad using FCDD. You can go to any bank’s branch in India and request an FCDD. The FCDD is a physical demand draft that which can be presented by the beneficiary to the bank overseas where they have a bank account. ICICI Bank offers FCDDs in multiple currencies including USD, GBP, SGD, EURO, CAD, and AUD. The charges for issuing an FCDD may vary from bank to bank.

  5. Resident Indians are liable to pay taxes (tax collected at source) when they make a foreign outward remittance, depending upon the remittance amount and purpose for which they are sending money abroad. Read more on the applicability of taxes in the FAQs section below or reach out to your tax advisor.

Did you know?

 

Under LRS, international debit cards can be used by a resident individual for drawing cash or making payments to merchants overseas during their visit abroad for permissible current account transactions within the limit of USD 250,000 per year.

 

Funds transferred under LRS are allowed for various purposes, including foreign travel, education expenses, investment in foreign assets and more, within the specified limit. Additionally, for any outward remittance transaction, there is an exchange rate conversion and/or transaction fee involved, depending upon the chosen transfer method (e.g., branch or online remittance channel). These fees fall within the specified limit of USD 250,000 set under LRS.

Students and their parents can also visit ICICI Bank Campus Power to get comprehensive insights on pursuing higher education in India and abroad.
 

Permitted purpose of remittance under LRS

Please note, tables are best viewed on desktops and in landscape mode on mobile phones.

Studies abroad

  • Payment to an education institute;

  • Travel expenses or travel insurance;

  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) payment for Canada;

  • Participate in training, conferences, or seminars;

  • Payment for GMAT, GRE, TOEFL;

  • Pay for an individual specialised course;

  • Rent and security deposit for yourself or family;

  • Publish an article/journal;

  • Participate in sports activity, coaching, etc.

Maintenance of relatives

You can send money to your close relatives such as brother (or stepbrother), daughter, son-in-law, father (or stepfather), mother (or stepmother), member of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), sister, son (or stepson), daughter-in-law and spouse.

Travel

You can transfer money for the following travelling expenses:

  • Payment of international credit card dues

  • Travelling expenses or self, family, or friends;

  • Educational seminars or competitions;

  • Travel for medical reasons;

  • Visa fee to the embassy;

  • Payments to tour guide, photographers, travel agents, etc.

Gifting

Money sent as a gift to your family and friends abroad.

Transfer to your own account

You can deposit funds to your own bank account abroad.

Others

  • Payment for investment in equity markets, mutual funds, or venture capital;

  • Investment in GIFT City;

  • Investment in debt securities;

  • Payments for acquiring shares under Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs);

  • Payment for medical treatment;

  • Payments to make donations.

 

 

Prohibitions under LRS

  • Purchasing lottery tickets/sweepstakes or banned magazines;

  • Sending remittances from India for margins or margin calls to overseas exchanges or counterparties;

  • Purchasing Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) issued by Indian companies in the overseas secondary market;

  • Foreign trading abroad;

  • Capital account remittances, directly or indirectly, to countries identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as non-cooperative countries and territories.

  • Remittances, directly or indirectly, to individuals and entities identified as significant risks for committing acts of terrorism, as advised separately by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

  • Gifting by a resident to another resident in foreign currency for the credit of the latter's foreign currency account held abroad under LRS.

Conclusion

With the availability of various banking and non-banking platforms, it has become easier than ever for you to transfer funds across borders. You must understand the timeframe, exchange rates and fees associated with each platform is to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transaction suited to your needs. You should consult your bank or service provider in India for specific guidelines and recommendations regarding international money transfers. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on Foreign Outward Remittance mean?

The Finance Act, 2020, amended Section 206C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and introduced TCS on foreign remittance under LRS subject to the applicable threshold limit. This tax is meant to track and regulate foreign outward remittances and ensure that appropriate taxes are paid on such transactions. The TCS rate may vary depending on the nature of the remittance and the total amount being transferred. It is important for individuals to comply with these regulations when making outward remittances. TCS is applicable at the Permanent Account Number (PAN) level. Any TCS paid can be used to offset your tax liability in India at the time of filing your return.

Please note, TCS is only applicable for residents.

Anil, a resident as per FEMA, sends money regularly to his child studying in the United States. He wants to understand how TCS works on outward remittances.

Under LRS, TCS is exempted up to a limit of ₹7 lakh per Financial Year (April–March) per person through all modes of payment regardless of the purpose of remittance except for overseas tour packages. The TCS collected on foreign outward remittance can be claimed as a credit while filing the income tax return in India. Beyond this threshold, TCS rates will vary depending on the purpose of payment, as tabulated below:

 

Please note, tables are best viewed on desktops and in landscape mode on mobile phones

Purpose

Rate of TCS*

Education financed by a loan from financial institution

0.5% of the aggregate of the amounts more than ₹7 lakh in a Financial Year

Education not financed by a loan

5% of the aggregate of the amounts more than ₹7 lakh in a Financial Year

Medical treatment

5% of the aggregate of the amounts more than ₹7 lakh in a Financial Year

Purchase of overseas tour programme package

In a Financial Year

5% of the aggregate of the amounts upto ₹7 lakh and

20% of the aggregate of the amounts in excess of ₹7 lakh

Any other purpose (other than specified above)

20% of the aggregate of the amounts more than ₹7 lakh in a Financial Year

*TCS rates are applicable effective October 1, 2023, basis the Finance Act, 2023.

Please note, TCS is only applicable to residents.

Difference between TCS and Tax Deducted at Source (TDS)?

As per Section 206C, the Income Tax Act, 1961, was amended and introduced TCS on foreign outward remittance by residents (as per FEMA) under LRS are subject to the applicable threshold limit.

TDS refers to the tax amount that is deducted from the income by the payer and is directly deposited to the Income Tax department on the receiver’s behalf. This mechanism ensures that the NRI's tax liability is fulfilled and facilitates an easy adjustment of the tax amount during the filing of their income tax return.

Please note, TCS is only applicable to residents.

Shreya is an NRI with both an NRE and NRO account in India. Is TCS applicable to her when she remits money abroad from her NRI bank accounts in India?

No, NRIs cannot remit money under LRS and hence, are not liable to pay TCS while remitting money from India. 

Please note, TCS is only applicable to residents.

Anita, a resident Indian, is paying the education fee for her daughter studying in the United Kingdom (UK). Will she have to pay TCS for the outward remittance?

For payments to a foreign educational institution (not having any kind of presence in India) for a course to be conducted overseas, TCS will be applicable at 5% for amounts greater than ₹7 lakh per Financial Year (April-March).

Please note, TCS is only applicable for residents.



Sakshi, a resident Indian, is sending ₹5 lakh to her niece in Canada, as a 25th birthday gift. She has not made any other remittances under the LRS scheme. Is Sakshi liable to pay TCS or TDS on this outward remittance?   

No, Sakshi will not have to pay TCS for the outward remittance as the amount is less than ₹7 lakh. 

Please note, TCS is only applicable for residents.

Disclaimer:

The contents of this article/infographic are meant solely for informational purposes. The contents are generic in nature and are not intended to serve as a substitute for specific advice on any matter whatsoever. The information is subject to updation, completion and verification and the applicable norms may keep changing materially from time to time. This information is also not intended for distribution or use by any person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to applicable laws or would subject ICICI Bank Limited/its affiliates to any licensing or registration requirements. ICICI Bank Limited/its affiliates and their representatives shall not be liable for any direct or indirect losses or liability incurred arising in connection with any decision taken by any person on the basis of this content. Please conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any decision. Terms and conditions of ICICI Bank and third parties apply. ICICI Bank is not responsible for third party services. Nothing contained herein shall constitute or be deemed to constitute an advice, invitation or solicitation to avail any products/ services of third parties.