1. Do non-resident Indian citizens/ foreign citizens of Indian origin require permission of the Reserve Bank of India to acquire residential property in India?
The Reserve Bank of India has granted general permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin, whether resident in India or abroad, to purchase immovable property in India for their bona fide residential purpose. They are, therefore, not required to obtain the permission of the Reserve Bank of India.
2. In what manner should the purchase consideration for residential immovable properties be paid by foreign citizens of Indian origin under the general permission?
The purchase consideration should be met either out of inward remittances in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or out of funds from NRE/FCNR accounts maintained with banks in India.
3. Are there any formalities required to be completed by foreign citizens of Indian origin for purchasing residential immovable property in India under the general permission?
They are required to file a declaration in form IPI 7 with the Central Office of the Reserve Bank of India at Mumbai within a period of 90 days from the date of purchase of immovable property or final payment of purchase consideration along with a certified copy of the document evidencing the transaction and bank certificate regarding the consideration paid.
4. Can such property be sold without the permission of the Reserve Bank of India?
The Reserve Bank of India has granted general permission for sale of such property. However, where the property is purchased by another foreign citizen of Indian origin, funds towards the purchase consideration should either be remitted to India or paid out of balances in NRE/FCNR accounts.
5. Can sale proceeds of such property if and when sold be remitted out of India?
In respect of residential properties purchased on or after 26th May 1993, the Reserve Bank of India considers applications for repatriation of sale proceeds up to the consideration amount remitted in foreign exchange for the acquisition of the property for two such properties. The balance amount of sale proceeds if any or sale proceeds in respect of properties purchased prior to 26th May 1993, will have to be credited to the ordinary non-resident rupee account of the owner of the property.
6. Are any conditions required to be fulfilled if repatriation of sale proceeds is desired?
Applications for repatriation of sale proceeds are considered provided the sale takes place after three years from the date of final purchase deed or from the date of payment of final installment of consideration amount, whichever is later.
7. What is the basic procedure of taking a home loan & what are the eligibility criteria?
The basic procedure for taking a loan for a home starts with you filling the application form which is the most basic document that starts your home loan process wherein you provide your details like your name, address, occupation and income. Additional documents required for your home loan may include details about the property you wish to purchase, estimated cost, and the down payment you can pay. These documents need to be verified before your loan application form can further. Home loans being a long-term borrowing instrument, their tenure can range from anywhere between 5 years to 30 years. Banks look into your credit history, essentially they assess your credit score before they grant you the loan. They assess your income in comparison to the cost of the house and determine if you will be able to pay off the house.
Pre-qualified is usually the first step- it tells how large of a loan you can qualify for, and pre-approved is the second step where they conditionally grant you the loan for the house.
The extra costs in applying for a home loan may include application charges, administrative charges, legal fees, franking fees, notary fees, indemnity costs, CERSAI charges, and documentation fees.
8. What is meant by stamp duty?
Stamp Duty and registration charges are some of the preliminary requirements for purchasing a property. Stamp duty is a tax that is levied on a single purchase of property and it has to be physically impressed on the document concerned showing that the stamp duty has been paid.
Stamp Duty Calculation differs from state to state but they are usually 5-7% of the market value of the property. Stamp duty in Mumbai had been reduced to 2% till March 2021 due to the pandemic, but now reinstated back to 5% from April 2021. It also depends on the kind of property, commercial or residential, number of floors, and location. It is payable on sale deeds, conveyance deeds, and power of attorney papers. It should be paid on or before the date of executing a document. It can be paid through money order or DD within two months of the execution of the instrument.
9. What is property tax?
Property Tax payment is made out to the local government or the municipal corporation of his area. It includes the owner’s tangible assets which include his house, his properties that rents out, other residential commercial or residential properties that he possesses. For property tax online payment, one can go to their municipal corporation website and access the property tax portal to pay their taxes.
Depending on the use of property, the property tax rate in Mumbai ranges from 0.316%-2.296%.
If it’s a disputed property, then the property tax will be paid by the person selected by the assessing officer till a decision has been reached in court. Property tax calculator depends from state to state but to calculate property tax in Mumbai the following formula is used-It is a percentage of the *capital value of the property.
*Capital value = Rate of base value^* Total carpet area/area of land in case of vacant land * building type * age factor * usage factor * floor factor.
(just check the numbers & calculations)
10. What is property registration?
As per section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908* property registration is a simple process, where, after completion of processes and submission of all documents you legally become the owner of the property. To simply put it, you can legally use or dispose of the property. However, property registration involves a process on the completion of which you’re one step closer to getting access to your dream home. These steps include-
1. Verification of the title of the property
2. Estimation of the property value
3. Preparation of the stamp papers
4. Getting the sale deed ready
5. Payment of stamp duty & registration charges
6. Approach the sub-registrar for registration
7. Documents submission
8. Completion of registration
*The act applies to the entire country except Jammu & Kashmir.
11. Does Capital Gains Tax (CGT) apply to NRI / PIO / OCI?
Yes. Long-term and short-term capital gains are taxable in the hands of non-residents.
12. How does Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement work in case of NRIs?
In case of sale of an immovable property, the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with most countries state that capital gains will be taxed in the country where the immovable property is situated. Hence, if an NRI owns immovable property in India, then he/she will be subject to pay tax in India on the capital gains which arise on the sale of the property. Similarly, letting of immovable property in India would be taxed in India under most tax treaties.