Your queries: No need to file ITR if gross total income below basic exemption limit

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I have a house in the name of my wife and I. My wife receives the rent in her account as she is co-borrower and rental agreement is done in her name. I invest in debt and equity mutual funds and shares in my wife’s name.

As her total income is below Rs 2.5 lakh, should she file income tax returns?

—Anand Kumpatla

Individual taxpayers are required to file tax returns compulsorily, before the due date, if their gross total income of the financial year, as computed in accordance with the provisions of the law, surpasses the basic exemption limit.

The exemption limit for assessment year 2020-21 for an individual is Rs 2.5 lakh.

The gross total income is computed by adding up income under all heads without accounting for investment-linked deductions under chapter VI A (i.e. section 80C to 80U) or deduction under section 54/54F/54EC, etc.

Hence, if your wife’s gross total income does not exceed the basic exemption limit, it shall not be mandatory for her to file an income tax return. However, one may file a return of income on a voluntary basis also.




My daughter was an NRI in FY2018-19 as well as FY19-20. She had some income in India by way of dividend/interest and capital gains from sale of shares / mutual fund units, total of which was less than Rs 1.5 lakh during each of these two years. She was a student abroad in FY 18-19. She was employed part of 19-20 and drew income by way of salary.

Is she required to file ITR in India for AY 19-20 and AY20-21? Does she have to declare her foreign earned income in her ITR for AY 2020-21? She has paid taxes in foreign country with which India does not have DTAA.

—Praveen Godbole




Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are liable to pay tax in India on income that is received or is deemed to be received in India during the previous year or income that has accrued or arisen to such NRI in India during the previous year.

Income earned abroad by NRI is not taxed in India and the same shall be taxed abroad. Further, the obligation to furnish ITR arises where the total income (earned in India) exceeds maximum amount not chargeable to tax (Rs 2.5 lakh).




Therefore, if your daughter was a non-resident for FY 2018-19 and 2019-20 and her total income, from capital gains and other sources, arising in India was below taxable limit, then she need not file ITR.

The writer is director, Nangia Andersen India.

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