Many NRIs are often faced with the situation of maintaining a Rupee account in India. There are two options available with NRI interested in opening bank account in India - NRE or NRO account. Read this space to know the difference between these two accounts and know when to choose what account.
A Non-Resident Indian is often faced with the situation of maintaining a Rupee account in India. Primarily there are two reasons for opening such account: NRI wants to repatriate overseas earned money back to India and/or NRI wants to keep India based earnings in India. NRI has the option of opening a Non Resident Rupee (NRE) account and/or a Non Resident Ordinary Rupee (NRO) account. An NRO account can also be opened by a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and an Overseas citizen of India (OCI).
Similarities between NRE and NRO accounts:
Both accounts can be opened as Savings as well as current accounts and are Indian Rupee accounts. One needs to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 75000 in both NRE and NRO accounts.
The Differences between NRE and NRO accounts:
1. Repatriation: NRE account is freely repatriable (Principal and interest earned) while the NRO account has restricted repatriability i.e permitted remittance allowed from NRO is up to USD 1 million net of applicable taxes in a financial year after giving undertaking along with a certificate from a chartered accountant.
2. Tax Treatment: NRE account is Tax free (no Income tax, wealth tax and gift tax) in India. On the other hand the interest earned in NRO account and credit balances are subject to respective income tax bracket and are also subject to applicable wealth and gift tax.
3. Deposit of Rupee funds generated in India: If an NRI/PIO/OCI is earning income originating in India (such as salary, rent, dividends etc.) he/she is only allowed to deposit it in NRO account. Deposit of such earnings is not permitted in NRE account.
4. Joint Holding: NRE account can be iointly held with another NRI but not with resident Indian. On the other hand NRO account can be held with NRI as well as resident Indian (close relative) as defined under Section 6 of the Companies Act 1956.
Choose NRE accounts if you:
- (Primary reason) want to park your overseas earnings remitted to India converted to Indian Rupees;
- want to maintain savings in Rupee but keep them liquid;
- want to make a joint account with another NRI;
- want Rupee savings to be freely repatriable
Choose NRO account if you:
- (Primary reason) want to park India based earnings in Rupees in India;
- want account to deposit income earned in India such as rent, dividends etc;
- want to open account with resident Indian (close relative)