NRE and NRO Accounts – Meaning, Comparison, Benefits, Taxation

November 19, 2020

NRE and NRO Accounts – Meaning, Comparison, Benefits, Taxation:

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) may open an NRE Account or an NRO Account in India. While both accounts may be similar in a few features, they differ in some. As such, the selection of a suitable bank account is dependent upon the specific transaction requirements of the NRI. Let us discuss these bank accounts in detail.

 

NRE and NRO Account meaning:


NRE full form is Non-Resident (External) Account, which allows only foreign credits from outside India into the account. On the other hand, NRO stands for Non-Resident (Ordinary) Account. Such accounts allow both foreign currency credits from outside India as well as rupee credits from within India.

 

NRE and NRO Accounts comparison:


Here are some of the major points of difference between NRE and NRO Accounts:

  1. Acceptance of Rupee Credits – As mentioned above, NRE Accounts do not accept rupee transactions from within India. On the other hand, NRO Accounts allow rupee transactions as well as foreign currency transactions. As such, if one wants to receive any amount from within India, NRO Accounts will be suitable for such persons, as against NRE Accounts.
  2. Repatriability of Account Balance – NRE Account allows free repatriation of funds outside India without any limits. On the other hand, the interest income in NRO Accounts is freely repatriable, while the principal balance can only be repatriated up to specified limits.
  3. Joint Operations – One can hold a joint NRE Account with another NRI. Also, in NRE Accounts, NRIs / PIOs can hold accounts jointly with a Resident relative on 'former or survivor' basis and the Resident relative can operate the account as a Power of Attorney holder during the life time of the NRI / PIO Account holder. On the other hand, you can hold a joint NRO Account with either a Resident or a Non-Resident.

 

NRE and NRO Account benefits:

  1. Foreign Currency Remittance – Both NRE, as well as NRO Accounts, allow an individual to receive foreign currency credits from outside India. As such, one can open an NRI bank account and conveniently transfer funds into their account in India while staying abroad.
  2. Mandate Holder – One can also appoint a mandate holder to the account, which adds convenience and accessibility to the operations in the NRI bank accounts. RBI has prescribed specific transactions for a Mandate Holder, hence it can be operated only with the permissible transactions.
  3. Attractive Interest Rates – NRI bank accounts also allow better interest rates to the depositors, especially when compared to the foreign developed countries, most of which are operating on a near-zero or negative interest rates regime. 

 

NRE and NRO Account Taxation

In terms of tax benefits, NRE Accounts enjoy tax exemption in respect of interest income on the bank accounts as well as Fixed Deposits. On the other hand, the interest income on NRO Accounts and deposits is subject to tax at applicable rates. However, one may avail of the benefit of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA). The DTAA benefits are subject to the relevant documentation being shared with the Bank and not by default.

While NRE Accounts offer repatriation and tax benefits, NRO Accounts are more suitable if one needs to accept rupee transactions. One may choose the account as per their specific transaction requirements. 

 

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