This article is written by Aashish Ramchand, a Chartered Accountant by profession. Aashish is the co-founder of makemyreturns.com. He also has completed his CFA Level I (American) and is very passionate about writing articles on taxes and tax advisory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Generally, gifts are not regarded as Income chargeable to tax. However by virtue of Section 56(2) any sum of money exceeding Rs. 50000 received without consideration by an individual or an HUF from any person is chargeable to tax as income under “other sources” subject to exclusions as below:
- Receipts on occasion of marriage of the individual
- Receipts under a will or inheritance
- Receipts received from a relative.
Since 1/10/2009, Section 56(2) has been amended and the scope of ‘’gifts’’ will include even immovable properties or any other property besides sums of money under its ambit.
Gifts that are not taxable at all are those that are received from relatives. Relatives are defined by the following relationships of the individual:
- Parents siblings and their spouse
- Spouse of siblings
- Daughter and son
- Spouse of daughter and son
- Spouse’s parents
- Spouse‘s siblings and their respective spouse.
Even NRI’s are covered as long as they fall in the category of relatives. Therefore an individual Indian resident can receive a tax free gift from an NRI as long as he/she is that individuals relative. Any amount can be received as a gift from a relative. Also the purpose for which the gift is received from a relative is inconsequential as it is completely tax free. Thus a gift received can be used for any purpose ranging from purchasing shares to buying property to even simply keeping it with the bank.
Note on gifting on immovable properties
There is a valuation aspect involved in gifting of immovable properties:-
- If the property is gifted without any consideration then if the stamp duty value exceeds Rs. 50000/-, stamp duty value will be taken
- If the property is gifted for a consideration, then the actual value of the property will be taken
In case of other properties:
- If gifted without consideration and fair market value exceeds 50000, then the fair market value will be taken as the final value
- If gifted for a consideration and the FMV less consideration is greater than 50000, then the FMV less consideration amount will be taken as the value of the gift.
As mentioned earlier NRI’s can also give gifts to resident Indians. Therefore, It is important to understand the meaning of an NRI as per the IT act.
An individual will be treated as a non resident in India in any previous year if he fulfils any of the following two conditions:
- he/she is NOT in India in that year for period or periods amounting in all to 182 days or more, or
- Having within the four years preceding that year NOT been in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 365 days or more, and has NOT been in India for 60 days or more in that year.