Types of NRI Bank Accounts - NRE Account and NRO Account

Businesswoman checking a bank account passbook

There are two primary types of bank accounts that NRIs can open – the NRE account and the NRO account. Here’s a quick breakdown of each:

NRE Account:

The NRE (Non Resident External) account is a savings account that is specifically meant for NRIs. It offers tax-free interest on deposits and allows you to easily repatriate funds back to your home country.

NRO Account:

The NRO (Non Resident Ordinary) account is essentially a checking account that can be used for any purpose, including investments, shopping, and paying bills. The funds in this account cannot be repatriated back to your home country, but they are still subject to Indian taxation.

So, which account should you open? Well, that depends on your specific needs and requirements. Speak with an NRI bank account specialist to find out more about the benefits of each account and determine which one is best for you.

Understanding an NRI Bank Account

An NRI bank account is an important part of life for NRIs, and there are two types of accounts that you should be familiar with: the NRE account and the NRO account.

The NRE account is a savings account that is specifically for NRIs. It allows you to deposit foreign currency and earn interest on your deposits. The money in your NRE account is tax-free, which makes it a great option for saving money.

The NRO account is a current account that can be used for all your day-to-day banking needs. This account can be used to receive income in Indian rupees, such as rent or salary, and you can also use it to pay bills or withdraw cash from ATMs. However, the interest earned on deposits in an NRO account is taxable.

The Differences Between NRE and NRO Accounts

The two most common bank accounts for NRIs are the NRO and NRE accounts. Here’s a look at the key differences between them:

NRO Account:

  • An NRO account is a savings or current account denominated in Indian rupees.
  • NRIs can repatriate up to Rs. 25,000 per year from this account.
  • The account can be used for local expenses and investments in India.

NRE Account:

  • An NRE account is a savings or current account denominated in foreign currency.
  • NRIs can repatriate up to the entire balance of the account at any time.
  • The account can be used for offshore investments and expenses.

Tax Benefits of Opening an NRE Account

One of the biggest benefits of opening an NRE account is that you can enjoy tax-free income. This means you don’t have to pay any taxes on the interest you earn on your deposits, and you can also repatriate the funds without any taxes or penalties.

This makes NRE accounts an ideal option for Indian citizens who regularly send money back home, as it helps to reduce the overall cost of your transfers. It’s also a great way to save for your future, as your earnings will grow tax-free.

Tax Implications of an NRO Account

As with any type of financial account, there are certain tax implications to consider when opening an NRO account. When it comes to NRO accounts, it’s important to note that any interest you earn on the deposits in this account is subject to Indian taxation and must be declared as income in India. The tax rate applicable will depend on your current residential status and any applicable deductions. Since the interest earned on an NRO account is taxable, it’s recommended that you seek professional tax advice if you have any questions or need help understanding your taxes.

It’s also important to note that those who are non-residents of India must pay a withholding tax on their deposits when transferring funds from abroad. This rate can be as high as 35%, depending on the type of funds being transferred. As always, it’s advisable to consult a professional before transferring any funds into an NRO account to ensure you understand all of the associated taxes and deductions.

Regulations to Open and Maintain an NRE or NRO Account

To open and maintain an NRI account, there are several regulations you must adhere to including:

  • You must have a valid Indian passport or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card.
  • Non-resident Indian cardholders must submit proof of identity and residence, such as a PAN or Aadhar Card.
  • NRIs aged 18 or over can apply for an NRE or NRO account. However, minors aged between 10-18 require a guardian/ parent’s consent in the form of an attested affidavit.
  • To open an NRE Account you will need to provide a copy of your overseas bank statement/certificate issued by the foreign bank.
  • To open an NRO Account you will need to have an Indian address on the application form and provide proof of identity and residence in India, such as a PAN or Aadhar Card.

Following these regulations will ensure you can successfully open and maintain an NRE or NRO account with your preferred banks.

Frequently Asked Questions About NRI Accounts

If you’re considering opening an NRI account, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most common questions we receive from customers. 

First, do I need to open both an NRE and an NRO account? The answer to this depends on your specific needs. If you will be receiving foreign income, then it’s best to open both accounts as they each have different purposes. 

Second, are there any restrictions on how much money I can keep in my NRI account? Generally speaking, there is no limit on how much money can be kept in either an NRE or an NRO account. However, it is important to be aware of the rules and regulations set by the Indian government regarding overseas investments and remittances. 

Lastly, what documents will be required when opening an NRI account? You’ll need your passport, a valid visa or residence permit, proof of address, and evidence of legal status as a Non-Resident Indian.

Types of Non-Resident Bank Accounts

There are two main types of non-resident bank accounts: Non-Resident External (NRE) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) accounts

  1. An NRE account is a foreign currency-denominated account, where you can deposit and withdraw any amount of foreign currency from abroad. The funds in this account are not subject to taxation from the Indian Income Tax Act.
  2. An NRO account is denominated in Indian Rupees and allows you to receive any income earned in India, including salary, pension, rent, dividends, or interest income. All income received in this account is subject to taxation according to the Indian Income Tax Act.

If you are an NRI, you should understand the distinction between an NRE account and an NRO account. An NRE account is a savings account that allows you to earn interest on your deposits and allows you to repatriate funds. This means you can withdraw funds from the account and send them back to your home country. An NRO account is a checking account that allows you to easily access your money but does not allow you to withdraw it.