NRE status for Indian Seamen


NRE days Calculator:-Download

For more info, download free booklets from IT Dept website Download


 

  • Understanding the Indian Financial year for taxation purposes

NRIs may sometimes find it confusing when they hear terms such as previous financial year, assessment year etc. Hear are three points to help clarify these terms and help understand what a financial year is and how a financial year differs from a assessment year.

1.The financial year in India begins on the 1st of April every year and ends on 31st March of the subsequent year.

2.The year in which the income is earned is known as the previous year. The financial year following a previous year is known as the assessment year.

3.The assessment year is the year, in which the salary earned in the previous year is taxable.

 

Provisions regarding Resident and Non-Resident under Income Tax Act

Click here to Read section-6 of IT act from IT dept website

Click here to read NRE status provisions from IT department website

-Screen shot from www.incometaxindia.gov.in

nre1

 


Note:- As per above , condition no-2 will not be applicable to

(a) those who are leaving India for employment purpose ( This is the case of seafarers working on foreign ships/ those who are working abroad)

(b)those who leave India as crew of Indian ship (this is the case of Indian registered ships) 

If condition 2 is applicable, for NRE status- One should not be in India more than 60 days in the financial year and not more than 365 days in last four years.


 

In short:-

An Indian citizen who leaves India in any previous year for the purpose of employment outside India OR as a crew member of an Indian ship would be treated as a resident in India if he stays in India in that year for 182 days or more.

  • Conversely, if he stays in India for less than 182 days(ie 181 days in india), he will be treated as non-resident for that year and his foreign income would not attract tax liability.
  • As per this, to get NRE status, One has to be outside India(for employment purpose)

  • 184 days in non-leap year and 

  • 185 days in leap year.


    ===========Note============

  • From 1st April 2015, As per following circular from Finance Ministry, Indian crew working on Indian registered , foreign going ships in indian water will be considered as OUTSIDE India for taxation.

  • In such cases CDC dates will be counted for establishing the no of days outside India.
  • In case of those who are working on foreign registered ships, same old rules will apply and dates stamped on passport  will be taken for NRE days.
  • Arrival India dates will be considered as outside India for counting.(But better to do some more days if possible to avoid problems from IT office) .
  • If you are served with notice from IT Department considering, the arrival  dates are counted as days in India, you can submit the IT Tribunal verdict (given in “Arrival /Departure dates” page in this site to support your case.

## Click to download the new IT circular regarding certain Indian Registered Ships :- notification70_2015

126. Computation of period of stay in India in certain cases. – (1). For the purposes of clause (1) of section 6, in case of an individual, being a citizen of India and a member of the crew of a ship, the period or periods of stay in India shall, in respect of an eligible voyage, not include the period computed in accordance with sub-rule (2).
(2). The period referred to in sub-rule (1) shall be the period beginning on the date entered into the Continuous Discharge Certificate in respect of joining the ship by the said individual for the eligible voyage and ending on the date entered into the Continuous Discharge Certificate in respect of signing off by that individual from the ship in respect of such voyage.
Explanation: For the purposes of this rule,-
(a) “Continuous Discharge Certificate” shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Merchant Shipping (Continuous Discharge Certificate-cum- Seafarer’s Identity Document) Rules, 2001 made under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958);
(b) “eligible voyage” shall mean a voyage undertaken by a ship engaged in the carriage of passengers or freight in international traffic where-
(i) for the voyage having originated from any port in India, has as its destination any port outside India; and
(ii) for the voyage having originated from any port outside India, has as its destination any port in India.’.
[Notification No. 70/2015/ F.No.142 /12/2015-TPL]

90 thoughts on “NRE status for Indian Seamen

  1. Suppose in case of march 2015.salary of this month will be counted in which financial year if it reaches in bank in april 2015.
    Because the no. of days in march 2015 will be counted in financial year 2014-15. But salary reaching in the bank in april 2015 is financial year 2015-16

    Like

    1. Salary can Reach In June also ,as long as You show the company Salary slip along with 185/185 Days requirement in financial year there is Nothing to doubt..

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  2. what ever you made really appreciate.Please note that this notification is made for indian citizen working on indian registered vessel.

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  3. Hello sir Kindly answer
    Do we need to send the passport stamps to IT department as a proof of NRI
    Or how we get relexsestion from tax as nre

    Like

    1. We dont have to give any proof while filing IT return. You just declare as Non Resident.
      Only if the department ask you to give more details for detailed verification, you should give proof for NRE status and salary(passport, contract letter,account of wages , passbook etc)
      But this happens only in approx. 10% of cases.

      Like

  4. Sir can I trip a foreign country for 4-5 days to show IT dept. for fulfilling my nre status, as date stamped on my passport contain 182 days( I was working on foreign going ship)
    Will that work for financial year 2015

    Like

  5. I completed NRE time in FY 2012-13, but not in FY 2013-14. I consulted a CA then and paid Income Tax as suggested by him for FY 2013-14. After that, I again completed my NRE time for FY 2014-15 and for FY 2015-16. Now, my CA is telling me that my income will be taxable for FY 2014-15 which I doubt. Can you please guide me for this? Thanks in advance.

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  6. suppose if I’m unable to maintain NRI status in FY 2016-2017……would i have to pay tax on the income which shipping company deposited in my account(through allotments) or also on the cash which i received while signing off in hand.

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  7. if any crew sign on before 31 march on indian flag foreign going vessel his days before 31st march will be counted as nre days in next financial year….

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  8. Sir if the day of entry and exit is same (Came out of India and catch another flight to leave in two three hours) is that day count as day in India or not for a seamen while calculating his total number of days out of India.Thanks In advance.

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  9. good day sir,
    Just would like to know which type of letter do we require from company. It should be a shipping company or could be any other . right now I’m in sri lanka for completing NRE days. Please Explain…..

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  10. Good day sir,
    Can any seafarer take tax benefit of NRE 183 days , if is working as a consultant on the vessel.

    Like

  11. If a seafarer is working on Indian registered foreign going vessel which is sailing in Indian water then NRE days will be considered and can he take the payment in NRO account and if he could not complete NRE days then what will happen to NRO account?Please explain

    Like

    1. He will get NRE status only if the ship is doing foreign going voyages. (For the number of days calculation, CDC dates will be applicable.) If the ship is sailing only in Indian waters, salary is taxable. Please check the govt. circular regarding this. Keeping NRO account will not be a problem even if not NRE for a year.

      Like

  12. Dear sir

    I have been maintaining my NRE status for past many years.
    Now i want to start filling ITR

    Kindly plz suggest for past how many years i can file and
    IT dept ll ask for how many years of previous ( completed NRE time)

    Thanks

    Like

    1. You may file for last one year now. Some times IT department may ask you last three years high value transactions, (if any clarification is required). If you are maintaining NRE status for last three years, no problem. Start filing.

      Like

  13. Im working on a foreign flag foreign going ship….if in a financial year i signed off from ship in 174 days (10 days short for nre time), and after coming to india i go on a foreign vacation for 10-15 days in same financial year. Then will i complete the nre time or not.

    Like

  14. I am short of 30 Days to maintain my NRE status. Can I go for a tourist visit out of India for 30 days. Will that help me maintain my NRE status? I work onboard foreign Flag ships for a foreign company.

    Like

  15. Dear sir, there has been a lot of doubt about NRI time calculation for seafarers working on foreign registered ships and in foreign waters, though it is mentioned in above article. However may I request you to pls clarify it specifically once again. Do the NRI time for these seafarers will be passport dates (including arrival date) OR CDC dates? Many seafarers are advising that you have to be gainfully employed, means stamped on CDC, for the time to be counted as NRI and few of the days in Sri Lanka etc, before/after joining/leaving ship will not be accounted for. OR foreign vacation will also not be accounted for, however not specified anywhere. Pls clarify..

    Like

      1. For foreign flag vessels, it is as per passport dates. For Indian registered , foreign going ships it is as per CDC. Hope it is clear. As per law, the days spend outside India should be for employment purpose. We should have some proof to show ( in case of query form IT) that you went outside India for employment purpose.(the travelling dates also included) You can show the employment contract and passport dates. This is only when if any detailed inquiry happens.

        Like

  16. Please suggest if sign on and sign off dates from foreign flagged ship doing foreign voyages will be counted in required 182 days for NRI status .. or 182 days will be counted excluding sign on sign off dates.. thanx

    Like

    1. For foreign flag vessels, it is as per passport dates. For Indian registered , foreign going ships it is as per CDC. Hope it is clear. As per law, the days spend outside India should be for employment purpose. We should have some proof to show ( in case of query form IT) that you went outside India for employment purpose.(the travelling dates also included) You can show the employment contract and passport dates. This is only when if any detailed inquiry happens.

      Like

  17. Last financial year I completed 182 days outside india..but this time it was 167 days. Will my salary be taxable? What should I do

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  18. Any one plz let me know as I have completed 175 days in foreign water during financial year 2017, and now Iam joining Indian registered ship in Indian water before ending of financial year 2017. whether this period will be considered to complete the NRE period as 182 days.

    Like

  19. I’ve spent 178 days onboard a ship… I’ve also spent 70 days in the US in the same financial year… During these 70 days I wasn’t working… Do I still qualify for tax exemption as I’ve been out of India for a total of 248 days in the financial year?

    Like

  20. A very useful article.
    The same does not address cases where Non-Indian crew is aboard a foreign flag vessel. In such cases, how will the period of stay in India calculated ?

    Like

  21. Kindly advice what is the NRE requirement for seafarer working in foreign flag vessel? ( i.e) How many days we have to be outside India for NRE requirement.
    Also advice whether passport stampings or CDC stampings will be considered for NRE calculation for working in foreign flag vessels. Expecting your reply sir.

    Like

  22. Is there any relaxation for 182 days outside india clause for indian seafarers on foreign ships after maintaining nri status for 6 -7 years.

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  23. Good day sir .
    I have been maintaing nre days from last 4 years but never filed ITR can ot be a issue agaist me.
    Thanks

    Like

    1. IF you maintain NRE days and income from India less than taxable limit, you are not bound to file return(not compulsory). But keep the account details ready.(bank account statements,passport stamp dates etc. ) In case of inquiry you can produce that.

      Like

  24. Good day,

    Appreciate the very informative article.

    I could not complete the required 184/185 days in last 3 years. But now, this financial year(2017-18) I do complete 184 days and my annual income falls more than 10 lakhs. Can I file returns now ? I see in previous queries here, that filing is possible for those who have completed NRI days in last 3 yrs. Do I have to pay tax for the past 3 years ?

    Kindly assist.

    Like

    1. IF you are NRE and income from India comes below taxable limit, it is not compulsory to file tax return. When you file , normally IT dept enquire about last three years high value transactions and you keep it ready if required to produce before IT officer.

      Like

  25. Dear sir
    I sailed on an Indian flag foreign going vessel which converted to coastal after 173 days onboard, I continued the vessel for 184 days i also know that remaining 11 days will not be considered as NRI days
    Now i am joining a foreign flag ship in march first week and will completely additional 11days to 173, now for this financial year will i be considered as NRE and tax exmpted though i have changed the employer?

    Like

    1. Yes, of course . Even if you change the employer, no problem. When you sailed it was FG ship. So you get 173 days there. That days are counted as per CDC. When you are with foreign ship , the days are counted as per passport. So 11 days as per passport you need. Then you file as NRE . No need of furnishing any documents while filing. Only in case of any detailed inquiry you have to furnish the documents like CDC and passport.

      Like

  26. Sir I joined vsl in January 2017 and back to India 1st October 2017 my sailery will be taxable because 1St October 2017 to 31 2017 March I Didn’t not join vsl so 2017 to 2018 my sailery will be taxable thanks In advance

    Like

  27. Sir I joined vsl in January 2017 and back to India 1st October 2017 my sailery will be taxable because 1St October 2017 to 31 2017 March I Didn’t not join vsl so 2017 to 2018 my sailery will be taxable thanks In advance

    Like

  28. Sir pls inform us correctly about nre days. Is it 182 or 183 or 184 days to complete in a financial year. The day when we fly out of india and the day we land in india is also counted in our nre days. Awaiting yours. Many thanks.

    Like

  29. Sir I completed 183 day in 2017 financial yr, excluding Arrival and departure date.
    Is that my NRI status in complete or not

    Like

  30. Sir I am seafarer for 15 years maintaining nri status.can I open a new ppf account.i will continue as a seafarer in future also.

    Like

  31. Sir, i am failing to complete my NRI time this year as i will join ship in october, what if I can take most of my salary as cash on ship and the salary which is being credited into my account is nominal i.e. total amount which gets credited into my account is less than tax payable income. Then tax shall be on total salary or on the salary which got credited into my account?

    Like

  32. Sir I have spent 177 days on board foreign going vessel and signed off in srilanka, but choose to extend stay in srilanka without coming to india for next 7 more days to complete 184 days . Am I eligible to gain nre status even though the last 7 days were spent without earnings after I signed off but not reached India according to my passport

    Like

    1. If you check the rules, if you are out of India for employment purpose, that time will be counted for NRE days. But people try to complete the time by spending some time in foreign country. If you can show that you are spending the time for employment purpose that is OK.

      Like

  33. If i fall short of 184 days outside India by just 2 to 3 days, how much tax am I liable to pay? Can anyone please reply on this ?

    Like

  34. A seafarer who is sailing in foreign flagged ship in Indian waters if receives the salary in INR from the sub agents in India whether the sub agents are required to deduct tds u/s 192B

    Like

  35. Good day sir

    Sir I sailed on Indian flag ship , registered as forigen going but during my tenure route was fixed from Kolkata to Kochi .

    Sir please advise will these days can I count in NRE days.

    Thanks

    Best regards

    +91 9521371355

    Like

      1. sir in CDC it is stamped as F.G , Port of Registry OF SHIP KOLKATA but during My contract (2.5 months) ships route was from kolkata to kochi.

        Rest 3.5 months i completed on Foreign flag ship world wide going.

        please advise

        if include these 2.5 months then my NRE days completing

        otherwise no.

        what i should do.

        Like

      2. sir in CDC it is stamped as F.G , Port of Registry OF SHIP KOLKATA but during My contract (2.5 months) ships route was from kolkata to kochi.

        Rest 3.5 months i completed on Foreign flag ship world wide going.

        please advise

        if include these 2.5 months then my NRE days completing

        otherwise no.

        what i should do.

        Like

  36. If i dont complete nri status and pay the tax as per it slabs my quetion is what should i do with nre and nro account status the status will be resident anf my account will be rupee account than can i continue receiving salary in foreign currency in nre account or in this case what should i do

    Like

    1. merchant navy personnel are a separate category of NRE. ie, NRE status is only for tax purpose. Even if you are resident for one year, you can continue to keep the account and remitt the amount to NRE account. Normally banks will ask CDC copy also along with passport for opening an nre account. If valid US visa is there, that is enough for keeping NRE account active. Also please note, that having an NRE account doesnt mean that you are a non – resident.

      Like

  37. I am a seaman with NRI status for last 10 years but couldn’t complete status 2018-2019 also getting retirement benifits from last company. Is income 2018-19 taxable?? Also pension funds recieved taxable??

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  38. Hi sir ,i was not completed nri sea time due to exams pending. Means I didn’t complete 182 days. What is the %of tax will applicable for me. Is there exemption is there to prevent tax. Now I don’t have money to pay because of exams and problem. Please tell me the solution for exemption. Thank u sir in advance

    Like

  39. Hi
    What happens if we go for a office visit abroad or a for short stint in the shipping company office during leave from ship or on training courses abroad? Can we use that time spent abroad to account for NRI days ?

    Like

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