An email that a-tax us

Some emails can be downright scary, such as this one that has been landing in scores of inboxes and even appears as a news item (seemingly) on the website of India Journal, making it available through Google News.

NEW DELHI – The Government of India announced April 22 imposition of a flat 5% tax on all NRIs over their world-wide income.

Income that is already taxed in India has been kept out of the purview to avoid double taxation. No double taxation benefits would be available for this 5% tax, meaning even if you are paying tax on your income in a country with which India has double taxation agreement, the benefit would not be allowed against this 5% tax.

All those Indians who are holding Indian Passports and have been out of the country for more than 180 days during the year are under this requirement. Income proof would have to be submitted in form of employer certificates, foreign tax filings etc.

The Indian government is also coordinating with Australia, Europe, America, UAE and other countries on collecting Income data for its citizens as part of data sharing initiative on terror prevention measures. This has been hailed as bringing in compulsory participation in development of India from Non Resident Indians. This means NRIs can no more just continue to retain their Indian citizenship without paying taxes in India. …

Having recently filed my taxes, the thought of having to hand over another piece of my income almost gave me a lump in my throat. Thankfully, Fawaz Iqbal put me at ease when I came across a post on his blog that confirmed the email's hoaxity (is that a word?). But I'm still a little concerned and join a commenter named Guru on Fawaz's blog in asking – even begging – the creator of the email "not to give such ideas to our Indian politicians."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Whoa! My heart nearly stopped beating till you talked about the ‘hoaxity’.
    And right, why give our politicians such ideas? Beats me!

  2. Vaidy S says:

    I can’t speak for Canada, but in the US the various Federal departments are notorious for not sharing information amongst themselves. So, I can’t imagine the IRS parting with any information to a “third world” foreign country, India! So, NRIs in good old USA are safe!!
    PS: I am a US citizen.

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