Are DTAA Benefits Applicable to Mutual Funds for NRIs?

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Are DTAA Benefits Applicable to Mutual Funds for NRIs?

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) looking to invest in the Indian market often consider mutual funds as a viable option. Understanding the tax implications, particularly the benefits under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), is crucial for making informed investment decisions. In this blog, we explore whether DTAA benefits apply to mutual funds for NRIs and how these can be leveraged to optimize returns.

Understanding DTAA

The Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) is a treaty signed between two or more countries to avoid taxing the same income twice. India has DTAA agreements with several countries, which can benefit NRIs by reducing their tax liability on income earned in India, including investments in mutual funds.

DTAA Benefits on Mutual Funds

  1. Tax Relief: NRIs investing in Indian mutual funds can avail of DTAA benefits to reduce tax liabilities. Depending on the provisions of the DTAA between India and the NRIʼs country of residence, the tax rate on dividend and capital gains from mutual funds can be lower than the standard rates under Indian tax laws.
  2. Credit Mechanism: Under DTAA, NRIs can also opt for the credit mechanism where the tax paid in India can be credited against the tax payable in the resident country, thereby reducing total tax liability.
  3. Lower Withholding Tax: For NRIs, the tax deducted at source (TDS) on capital gains from mutual funds can be lower under DTAA. This ensures that the NRI investor does not pay more tax collectively (in India and the resident country) than the maximum rate specified under the treaty.

How to Avail of DTAA Benefits

  1. Tax Residency Certificate (TRC): NRIs need to obtain a Tax ResidencyCertificate from the tax authorities in their country of residence. TRC serves as proof of their tax residency status and is mandatory for availing of DTAA benefits.
  1. Submission to the Fund House: The NRI investor must submit the TRC along with a self-declaration form (as required) to the mutual fund house or the custodian to avail of the DTAA benefits.
  2. Furnish PAN: Providing a valid Permanent Account Number (PAN) is essential for the processing of DTAA benefits on mutual fund investments in India.

Implications and Considerations

Tax Rates and Rules Vary: The DTAA provisions vary between different countries, and NRIs should understand the specific clauses applicable to their resident country and India.

Periodic Compliance: NRIs should ensure that the TRC and other necessary documents are submitted timely, usually at the beginning of each financial year, or as specified by the fund house or tax authority.


DTAA benefits can significantly impact the net returns from mutual fund investments for NRIs, reducing the overall tax burden. By understanding and utilizing these provisions, NRIs can enhance their investment efficiency in India.

However, tax laws and treaties are subject to change, and keeping abreast of these changes is vital. Consulting with a wealth manager or financial advisor who specializes in NRI investments and is knowledgeable about DTAA regulations can provide tailored advice and help navigate the complexities of cross-border investments effectively.

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