Outward remittances from India have surged over the past few years. The figure stood at $3.81 billion for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2015-2016, representing a jump of almost 200% from the total outward remittances of $1.32 billion recorded in the fiscal year 2014-2015, according to figures released by the Reserve Bank of India. The RBI data indicated that India sent more than a third of the remittances for studies overseas. The remaining was spent on travel, maintenance of close relatives, and gifts.
For What Purposes Can Outward Remittance be Made from India to the US?
Under the Liberalised Remittances Scheme (LRS), Indian residents can freely remit up to $2.5 lakh per financial year for any permitted current or capital account transaction, or a combination of both. This limit was raised from $1.25 lakhs per annum in May 2015. The permitted transactions include the following purposes:
- Leisure travel
- Business travel
- Gifts and donations
- Maintenance of close relatives
- Expenses for medical treatment
Which Organizations Are Permitted to Assist with Outward Remittance from India to the US?
For outward remittances, you may contact:
- Money changers
- Authorized travel companies
- Authorized NBFCs (Non-Banking Finance Companies)
What You Need for Outward Remittance from India to the US
Complete the KYC Process: You need to complete the KYC (know-your-customer) process for initiating an outward remittance from India to the US. For this, you would need a self-attested copy of your PAN (Permanent Account Number) card. If you have an account with the bank, you would have already completed this process.
Fill up the Forms: You would need to fill up Form A2, which is an application-cum-declaration form. In this, you will need to mention the purpose of the outward remittance. You would also need to fill up either Form 15 CA or Form 15 CB, depending on whether or not the remittance would be taxable in the hands of the recipient non-resident. Form 15 CB basically states why the outward remittance is not chargeable to tax and that you should be exempted from having to submit Form 15CA. These forms can be downloaded from the website of the Income Tax Department, banks or NSDL (National Securities Depository Ltd).
Transfer the Money: While you can remit funds to the US via foreign currency cheques and demand drafts, there are much easier methods like wire transfers and net-banking. Some organizations have introduced other ways of conveniently transferring funds. For instance, Thomas Cook (an authorized travel company) launched an Android app for this purpose in November 2015, while ICICI Bank offers an online money outward remittance facility called Money2World.
Cost of Outward Remittance from India to the US
When making an outward remittance from India to the US, one needs to consider the following costs:
The USD-INR Exchange Rate: This can fluctuate on a daily basis and different organizations may quote different rates, depending on their spread.
Transfer Fee: Different organizations may charge different fees. The fee may also vary depending on (a) the destination of the transfer (b) the mode (demand draft, net-banking, etc.), and (c) the number of funds being transferred. Some charge a flat fee.