An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Deciphering Gift Tax for NRIs

Gift tax is always tricky specially if you are an NRI.  Here is some good information on it.  Click on the title of the post to go to the story.

Prior to 1998, gifts used to be taxed in the hands of the giver in the form of Gift Tax. However, in 1998, this Gift Tax was abolished. Subsequently in 2004, a new tax on gifts was introduced in the Income Tax Act according to which, tax would be levied, in certain cases, in the hands of the receiver.

According to this provision, any gifts in excess of Rs 50,000 received by an individual, including NRIs, will be taxed in the hands of the receiver. The value of the gift would be added to the receiver’s total income and tax would be calculated thereon. This includes cash gifts as well as gifts in kind. For gifts in kind, such as property, jewellery etc., the asset must necessarily arise in India and for valuation purposes, certain rules would apply:

  • In case of immovable property, the value will be based on the stamp duty value of the property
  • In case of any other property such as shares and securities, jewellery, paintings, work of art etc., value would be based on the fair market value of such property

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