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It is not mandatory for NRIs to provide details of their overseas bank accounts when they file tax returns and only those who seek refunds need to do so. Sushil Chandra, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), said on Monday, putting to rest all confusion on the issue. The tax department also issued a statement to clarifying the issue which had puzzled NRIs and expatriates.“Therefore, the non-residents who are not claiming refund or non-residents who are claiming refund but having a bank account in India are not required to furnish details of their foreign bank accounts in the return of income tax ,” the tax department said in a statement.“However, the non-residents, who are claiming refund and not having bank accounts in India may, at their option, furnish the details of one foreign bank account in the return of income for issuance of refund,” they added. It said that refund generated on processing of return of income is currently credited directly to the bank accounts of taxpayers. Availability of details of bank accounts in which the refund is to be credited is a precondition for direct credit of refund in accounts. The department said that income tax return forms for the assessment year 2017-18 were notified on March 30, 2017.“A number of representations were received from the non-residents that they are facing difficulties in getting refund as they do not have bank accounts in India and there is no column in the notified form of return of income for reporting details of foreign bank accounts by the non-residents for this purpose,” the department said. “In view of this, a facility has been provided in return utility for reporting of details of bank accounts by nonresidents, who do not have bank accounts in India and who are claiming income tax refund,” it said.
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