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Tax clearance certificate ensures taxes have been paid
June, 14th 2013

I am an Indian resident going out of India for studies for two years. I have certain shares, debentures and fixed deposits in my name and my annual income from the investments is around Rs.1 lakh. Am I liable to file my income tax return in India? What will be my tax status in India for the year ended 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015?

As per the Indian tax laws, you will be considered a resident in India if you satisfy any of the following two conditions—you are in India in that year for a period or periods totalling 182 days or more; you are in India for 60 days or more during that year and 365 days or more during the four years preceding that year.

In your case, since you will be in India for more than 60 days during the current fiscal and it is assumed that you have been in India for more than 365 days during the last four years, you will be a resident for fiscal 2014. The income tax return is required to be filed if your total income after claiming all deductions exceeds the threshold limit of Rs.2 lakh. Since your income is likely to be below the threshold limit, you are not liable to file income tax return.

I have been working abroad for a year-and-a-half now. I have filed income tax returns till last year. However, I was not aware that I needed to get a tax clearance to go abroad and did not apply for it at the time I left. How do I apply now?

The purpose of tax clearance certificate is to ensure that taxes wherever applicable have been paid.
The provisions of obtaining tax clearance certificate by persons domiciled in India at the time of their departure have been simplified. Such persons have only to furnish their Permanent Account Number, purpose of visit outside India and estimated period of stay outside India in Form 30C to the jurisdictional chief commissioner of income tax prior to their departure. Based on the information, tax authorities may direct the person to obtain tax clearance certificate in cases of arrears due, serious financial irregularities and where tax demands are likely to arise. The tax department may also inform the immigration authorities who would then ask for a tax clearance certificate at the time of departure. If such a direction is received, an application has to be made in Form 31 to the jurisdictional assessing officer who will issue the tax clearance certificate on being satisfied that there are no arrears due.

When you left India, there was a possibility of the immigration authorities asking for the certificate. Since you have already left, there is no requirement to obtain tax clearance certificate or furnish Form 30C now. There are no specific penal provisions for not furnishing Form 30C.

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