Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tax Exemptions for NRIs, PIOs, and the process of availing these benefits

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

India is among the top beneficiary of remittances from Indian Diaspora across the world. In 2013, India topped the list in inward remittances from Indians across the world. The total money sent by Overseas Indians in 2013 alone stood at 71 billion US $.

This investment from Non Resident Indians, Person of Indian origins is an important cog in the growth and development of the country. Not just India, economies and administration around the world appreciate investments from overseas as an invaluable and sustainable feature of their economies. India is no exception and successive governments at the center have reached out to this huge audience by offering slew of measures ranging from tax benefits to relaxed visa facilities.

The Indian central government is continuously reaching out to Non Resident Indians (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO), and Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCB) by offering several incentives and exemptions such as relaxations on income tax, wealth tax, gift tax, etc. At the same time, sops are also offered to NRI, PIO to invest in real estate sector and housing. Furthermore, recognizing that NRIs and PIOs pay taxes in two countries, the Government signed the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with several countries to lessen the tax burden. Incorporation of the Authority for Advance Ruling has also eased the process for tax payers by avoiding disputes with regards to assessment of Income Tax liability in case of Non-Residents and also specified categories of residents.

At the same time, one must also note that different state governments in India levy additional taxes but also offer exemptions offered by central government. How can an NRI, PIO avail these tax benefits?

Find below the detailed document.

Have any Questions?

Friday, February 20, 2015

4 modes to pay Stamp Duty and registration fee for your property transactions

There are four modes to pay Non-Judicial Stamp Duty and registration fee for your property transactions. You will have to select the mode of payment on the basis of the amount of stamp duty you are required to pay. The modes of payment are as follows:
  1. Franking
  2. GRAS
  3. ESBTR
  4. Stamp Paper

Out of the aforementioned stamp duty modes, franking is useful only when your stamp duty amount is less than Rs. 4,999 (Four Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Rupees). If your stamp duty amount is more than that then you look towards other modes.


Franking is simply a government stamp which is printed on a Paper. You could pay a maximum amount of Rs. 4,999 (Four Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Rupees) by franking,

you are required to deposit the stamp duty amount with the bank where franking service is available and get the page of your Agreement/Deed or other pertinent document franked. Please remember that signed documents are not accepted for franking.

GRAS (Government Receipt Accounting System)

To pay through GRAS, your stamp duty amount should be more than Rs. 5,000/- (Five Thousand Rupees). This service is available in selective branches of few banks. Stamp duty amount less than Rs. 50,000/- (Fifty Thousand Rupees) could be paid in cash while more than that amount has to be paid through NEFT or RTGS.

You are required to fill your personal identification and property details on GRAS website and take a print of the filled form. This form is known as challan. Further you are required to submit the challan with the relevant bank authorities and they will do the needful.

There is also a provision to complete the whole process online, if you are well versed with net banking. If you wish to complete your payment online then please select "e-payment" as your payment mode and continue towards payment.

List of Banks where GRAS service is available:

  • Andhra Bank
  • Bank of India
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • IDBI Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • State Bank of India
  • State Bank of Hyderabad

ESBTR (Electronic - Secured Bank & Treasury Receipt)

To pay through ESBTR, your stamp duty amount should be more than Rs. 5,000/- (Five Thousand Rupees). This service is available in selective branches of few banks. Stamp duty amount less than Rs. 50,000/- (Fifty Thousand Rupees) could be paid in cash while more than that amount has to be paid through NEFT or RTGS.

You are required to fill your personal identification and property details on the site of selected banks which provide the services. Take the print out of the filled form and submit it to the selected bank branch, the bank authorities will do the needful.

List of Bank links where ESBTR service is available:

  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • IDBI Bank
  • Punjab National Bank

Stamp Paper

Once the most convenient way of paying stamp duty has now been reduced to being a cumbersome process. The new government formalities require that the stamp vendor record every detail about stamp purchaser and the transaction, the details are then mentioned at the back of your stamp paper.

The buying process being time consuming may invoke choicest of curses, however do keep in mind, that it is an attempt by the government to introduce some transparency in the buy/sale process of stamp Papers.

Now a days, some sub registrar offices insist on stamp duty payments by other means, hence make sure to confirm with the registrar's office first before investing in Stamp Papers.

Conclusion: These are the methods of Stamp Duty and Registration Fee Payment. Choose wisely and ensure that you have understood the various modes and processes completely before trying the same. In case you have any doubts and queries regarding the procedures, kindly mail us at and we will do our best to address them. Thank you for reading.

This is a guest post by Sarvesh from Legal Counter

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Buy luxurious homes in South India for maximum financial benefits and good ROI

Even though the prices of real estate are shooting up, still people are looking at it as an opportunity to invest. There is an increase in the demand for luxurious homes and residential properties in southern Indian cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai. Potential buyers and investors are rushing to grab great deals as a part of their investment and secure their future. Read further to know why buying luxurious homes in these regions of India is the right decision for you.

  • Changes in the southern environment

When talking about the environment, it does not just mean the surroundings. The improvement in the economic, geographic, demographic, and psycho-graphic attributes of the target audience in these southern cities make it a perfect place to invest. Earlier, the market in South was price sensitive, and buyers usually focused on affordability. But, now with the boom in technology and decrease in unemployment, the doors to investing in the South have opened. In fact, successful multinational corporations and organizations in India see these cities as prime locations to set up their back offices, branches, manufacturing units and plants. So, there has been a vast improvement in the employment opportunities and the economy. The citizens of India and NRIs abroad are now considering buying luxurious homes and villas in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

The residential market in Chennai has proved to be the steadiest. It was resilient even after the global economic downturn, which was the toughest period for the country’s property market. Luxury apartments in Chennai areas such as ORR, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, and Alandur along with the metro rail link road are in demand. South Chennai is one such space in India that is filled with luxurious homes. The real estate market forecasts that potential investors can seek a significant return on investments from this hotspot. The proximity to the Chennai International Airport and development of infrastructure has led to a rise in the demand for real estate in this city, thanks to the Tamil Nadu State Government. A string of township projects by a renowned developer such as House of Hiranandani and others are now being eyed by potential buyers.

Another spot in India that you cannot miss out on is the city of gardens: Bangalore. Due to the advanced technology, locales, and available resources, the city has been attracting many global companies. Due to this, beautiful villas and luxurious homes have been sought by investors in Bangalore, India. So, if you are looking for safe investment opportunities, then Bangalore should be an ideal place for you. The developments in North Bangalore, central business districts, sub-markets in the outer ring road, and Whitefield have doubled in terms of capital value over the last few years. Market reports predict that it will increase even further, and investors should not delay the process of buying their dream homes.

    • Hyderabad

Properties in Hyderabad offer value for money, and you won’t be committing a blunder by purchasing luxurious homes in this city of India. These days, the sociopolitical and economic scenario is favorable to the real estate sector in Hyderabad. There are multiple projects with beautiful interiors that are being constructed by one of the best developers in the country: House of Hiranandani. In India, Vijayawada is one such hot spot located in Hyderabad that has residential properties and luxurious homes in its vicinity. Speculations reveal that the prices will shoot up in the next few years, and so investors are advised to purchase homes in these areas now.

This is a Guest Post by Deepak Yewale on behalf of House of Hiranandani who has been known to build luxurious homes and villas in India. Their current projects, in the cities mentioned above, reflect a plush lifestyle and act as an excellent platform for investment. So, if you are getting ready for house hunting, you may like to consider House of Hiranandani.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Top 5 Reasons That Makes Bangalore an Ultimate Expat-Friendly Destination

Asia’s Quality of Life Index for the year 2015 is out that ranks different cities in the continent on the basis of factors like Purchasing Power Index, Safety Index, Property Price to Income Ratio and Pollution Index, to list a few. The surprising data reflects one of the most high-profile and cosmopolitan cities of India, Bangalore bagging a respectable position in top 15.

Industrialization and flourishing economy are also two most important factors that have placed the city at such a top rank and ahead of fierce competitors like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Bangalore has gained much popularity among the expat population and thereby the migration rate with respect to the city increases by every quarter of a given area. There must be something really special about Bangalore that not only makes it stand apart but also a favorite among the expatriates as well.

Here are some of the shining reasons that may compel the people who haven’t tried Bangalore, to actually go and experience the city:

  • Mecca of Industries & Business Hubs

Entrepreneurs believe Bangalore lures them with its unique features, such as a unique culture of mentorship and networking that permeates the city. This very revolution has not only upgraded the brand value of the city but has also created the much-needed ripples in the employment market here. Businessmen are taking interest in the economy and business hubs here. New companies and startups are being established here, which in turn generates employment and accounts for a better standard of living here. Moreover, the city experiences a very high density of investment into different industries like Aviation, IT and manufacturing, which has boosted the quotient of the city to a next level.

  • The Colorful Housing Market

The city is the major IT and manufacturer’s hub; therefore, the city attracts workforce from all over India as well as abroad thus leading to massive housing needs. The realtors understand the fact and realize the worth of the expatriate population relocating to the city. The real estate segment of Bangalore catering to the mid-income group has huge number of construction projects owing to the presence of mid-level IT workforce in the city. However, as the city also pulls in a group of larger global corporations thus the need for the HIG housing is also on the rise significantly. The wide range of property options in Whitefield exemplifies luxury as well as affordability in a nutshell.

  • Booming Infrastructure 

Bangalore is a metropolis and has almost everything within, which place it ahead of all the strong counterparts, such as Mumbai or Delhi. The city has wide smooth roads, better commercial areas, well-laid institutional areas and much more. An expat with family can have an easy life here as accessibility to the entities of comfort is easier and manageable as well. Apart from this, the real estate market here in Bangalore is also steadily making Bangalore a beautiful place to watch out for. There is now a hopeful horizon for metro rail, better infrastructure projects and much more to come.

  • The Lifestyle

There is no doubt about the fact that Bangalore has a lifestyle to rave about. Owing to a large expatriate population, Bangalore’s populace is more than 50% young and dynamic. This is one of the most important factors that make the lifestyle here, kaleidoscopic and funky at the same time. The market areas and the commercial zones are plush and quiet down to earth at the same time. There are market areas that will be swanky and in some parts there will be bazaars that are crowded and flocked with sale and cheap products. Bangalore is now defined by cleanliness, affordability and a populace that mimics the western culture followed within a boundary, in a safe way.

  • The Intangible Aspects

The intangible aspects here refer to the facts that caught the minds of people all over the country and even abroad. The hip crowd, moderate climate and an amazing lifestyle are some of the factors that accounts for a better life for both natives and newbies in the city. People who face health issues owing to climatic conditions can live at ease, modernity blended with the right education and a manageable cost of living are some of the sweet facts that has not only surged the brand quotient of the city but has also contributed towards foreign interests in both business and lifestyle improvement arenas.

Go Bangalore!

Bangalore is a city that gives a totally different perspective for the life. Be it the bus stops, airports, the Indian Institute of Management or the markets; everything about this city is just amazing and extremely expat friendly. Once into this city, an individual will never fall short of places that will ooze out the rich south Indian culture or modern lifestyle to the maximum.

This is a guest post by Vineeta Tiwari who is a keen writer on Global Economy and Realty market. She has written articles on Global realty market and ongoing trends and tips for investors. An ardent reader, she is happy to pen down research based write-ups for global audience. Currently, she is professionally associated with popular realty portal,

Friday, February 6, 2015

How can Real estate developers in India develop a Project With A Foreign Company??

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Budget 2014 brought in a lieu of measures for real estate sector in India. Among the many measures announced in budget 2014, the one which can have meaningful impact on realty sector in India was ‘Relaxation in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms for real estate sector ’.

The area requirements for Construction-development projects were reduced to built-up area of 20,000 sq. mts now from 50000 sq. mts earlier. At the same time, Minimum capitalization for wholly owned subsidiaries were reduced to US$ 5 million now from US$ 10 million earlier.

Now, with these relaxations, it gives large as well as small scale developer an opportunity to develop realty projects jointly with foreign companies. The level of partnership between an Indian developer and the foreign company can be financial, technical, or both.

Indian real estate developers in partnership with foreign companies can undertake the development of township, group housing complexes, office space premises, retail buildings, roads & bridges. The FDI in the sector is permitted through the automatic route, i.e. without requiring the additional approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

A foreign company may choose from following formats:

  1. Wholly owned subsidiary
  2. Branch office
  3. Project office
  4. Liaison office
  5. Joint venture

The typical models followed in real estate sector are:

  1. Private equity capital
  2. Joint venture company
  3. Joint development agreement

Find below the detailed guidelines for developing a real estate project with a foreign company:

Have any Questions?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to Obtain a water connection in India??

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Having analyzed the construction stages and construction cost estimate in our previous articles, we now focus our attention to finer details. What is the single most important item that you will need from authorities? Well, it is a functional water connection. You need water supply for construction work as well as for consumption when you move into the house.

Obtaining Municipality water connection at the very beginning of construction work helps in cutting down the expenses you may incur on supply of water from private players.

Whether you are looking to get water connection for your house or commercial space or for a group housing society (by builders), the procedure to apply for water connection remains same. Obtaining valid water connection in a sense also reconfirms that your property documents are in order. Home seekers looking to buy an apartment in a builder project shall also verify with the builder if he has obtained necessary approvals along with valid water connection.

Local bodies sanction water connection certificate after carrying out proper due-diligence.

Here is a detailed procedure of procuring a water connection in India:

Have any Questions?