When it comes to selling property in India, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) face unique tax implications, including the requirement to deduct tax at source (TDS). This comprehensive guide explores the nuances of tds on sale of property by nri in India, including relevant rules, exemptions, and procedural steps. Understanding these details is crucial for NRIs to comply with Indian tax laws and avoid potential legal complications.

Understanding TDS on Sale of Property by NRIs

The concept of TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) is a mechanism where tax is deducted at the source of income. For NRIs, TDS on the sale of property is governed by Section 195 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. This section mandates that any person making a payment to a non-resident, such as the sale proceeds of a property, must deduct tax before remitting the payment. The rate at which TDS is deducted can vary depending on the nature of the property and the duration of ownership.

Applicability of TDS on Property Sales

TDS on the sale of property by NRIs applies to both residential and commercial properties. The responsibility of deducting TDS lies with the buyer of the property. It is important for NRIs to understand that TDS is not a final tax but a prepayment of tax, which will be adjusted against the total tax liability computed at the time of filing the tax return. The buyer must deduct the applicable TDS rate and deposit it with the Income Tax Department.

TDS Rates for NRIs on Property Sales

The TDS rate for NRIs on property sales is primarily determined based on the nature of the property and the duration of its holding. For properties held for more than two years, it is classified as a long-term capital asset, and TDS is deducted at 20% on the capital gains amount. If the property is held for less than two years, it is considered a short-term capital asset, and TDS is deducted at the applicable slab rate based on the income tax rates for individuals.

Exemptions and Deductions Available

NRIs can avail of certain exemptions and deductions while computing TDS on the sale of property. One such exemption is under Section 54, which provides relief on long-term capital gains if the proceeds are invested in another residential property. Similarly, under Section 54EC, NRIs can claim an exemption by investing the capital gains in specified bonds. These exemptions can help reduce the effective TDS amount, but it is essential to ensure compliance with the conditions specified under these sections.

Procedure for Deducting and Depositing TDS

The process of deducting and depositing TDS involves several steps. Firstly, the buyer of the property must calculate the TDS amount based on the applicable rate. This amount should be deducted from the sale consideration and paid to the seller. Subsequently, the TDS must be deposited with the Income Tax Department using Form 26QB. The buyer is also required to issue a TDS certificate (Form 16B) to the seller, which serves as proof of the TDS deduction.

Filing of Income Tax Return by NRIs

After TDS has been deducted and deposited, the NRI seller must file an income tax return in India. The return should reflect the details of the property sale, including the TDS deducted and deposited. Filing the return ensures that the TDS is accounted for and adjusted against the total tax liability. NRIs should also keep a record of the TDS certificate and other relevant documents to support their tax filings and claims.

Common Challenges and Issues Faced by NRIs

NRIs often encounter challenges related to TDS on property sales, such as incorrect TDS rates, delays in depositing TDS, or issues in obtaining the TDS certificate. To avoid such issues, it is advisable to seek professional guidance from tax experts or legal advisors who are well-versed in Indian tax laws. Ensuring proper documentation and adherence to procedures can mitigate potential complications and ensure smooth compliance.


TDS on the sale of property by NRIs in India involves a detailed understanding of the applicable tax regulations and procedures. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, NRIs can navigate the complexities of TDS, ensure compliance with Indian tax laws, and avoid any legal issues. It is crucial to stay informed about the latest tax regulations and seek professional advice when needed to manage tax obligations effectively. By doing so, NRIs can ensure a hassle-free property sale experience in India.