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For those who are planning to invest in international real estate, following are some tips that one must follow:
Before investing, one should consider the total cost of the property, including registration charges, stamp duty, annual maintenance charges and land tax, and prepare your budget accordingly.
One should also be aware of the amenities that are available with the project, along with their specifications. This will be beneficial if the investment made is to be put on rent immediately.
If the investor has no intention of occupying the property that he or she is investing in, the premises should be put on rent through qualified agencies. In this case, he/she should be aware of the laws and terms and conditions of the country. He/she also needs to finalize the period of rent (long-term lease, monthly or weekly) as well as the charges incurred by these services.
It is preferable to take advice from a tax consultant so as to understand capital gain tax, rental income tax and also examine tax liability under the Wealth Tax Act of India.
It would further benefit the investor to be aware of the RBI regulations that are involved while making international investments. These are listed below:
RBI permits international investment in real estate under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme which RBI introduced in 2004 and the Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property outside India) Regulations, 2000.
As per the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) as well as RBI’s “Master Circular on Miscellaneous Remittances from India – Facilities for Residents”, individuals are allowed to remit up to US $250,000 in the amount per financial year for the holding and acquisition of immovable property abroad. However, without the approval of RBI, the LRS facility is unavailable for corporates, HUF, trusts, partnership firms, etc. It is only applicable for resident individuals.
This facility allows resident Indians the freedom to hold and acquire immovable property, shares or other assets outside India, without the need of RBI’s approval.
Individuals can also hold and maintain foreign currency accounts in banks outside India to make remote remittances under the scheme with no need of prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India. Foreign currency accounts are useful for conducting transactions arising from or in connection with remittances that are eligible under the scheme.
A person who is a resident of India may transfer or acquire immovable property outside India under provisions stated in Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property outside India) Regulations, 2000.
An Indian resident may acquire immovable property internationally in a variety of modes. These include getting a gift or inheritance from an Indian resident who gained acquisition of it while residing outside India, or inherited it from a person who was an international resident; purchasing out of foreign exchange that is held in Resident Foreign Currency account; and by a company that is based in India and has offices overseas.
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