NRE vs NRO Fixed Deposits: What are the differences?

Understand the key differences between NRE and NRO FDs. Enhance your financial acumen and make informed investment choices.
NRE vs NRO Fixed Deposits: What are the differences?
4 mins
21 November 2023

Investing wisely is integral to financial planning, and Fixed Deposits (FDs) play a crucial role in this strategy. Among the various types of FDs, Non-Residential External (NRE) and Non-Residential Ordinary (NRO) Fixed Deposits are popular choices for Non-Residential Indians (NRIs). In this article we will try to understand the intricacies of NRE and NRO FDs, highlighting their differences, tax implications, and how to choose between them based on individual financial needs.

What is an NRE Account?

Crafted for Non-Residential Indians (NRIs), an NRE Fixed Deposit is a specialised term deposit account enabling the deposit of funds from overseas. These funds are then remitted to an Indian account, with the currency is converted into Indian Rupees. This unique NRE deposit acts as a conduit, facilitating the smooth transfer of foreign earnings to India and reinforcing NRIs' financial connections with their home country.

What is an NRO Account?.

On the other hand, an NRO account is designed for NRIs who have income generated in India, such as rent, dividends, or pension. Specifically designed to handle India-based earnings such as rent, dividends, or pension pay-outs, this account ensures efficient management while adhering to Indian banking regulations. It is crucial for NRIs to be aware that the interest earned on NRO account deposits is subject to taxation, emphasising the importance of considering the associated tax implications when utilising this account for the management of their Indian income.

Difference between an NRE and an NRO Account FDs

The primary distinction between an NRE (Non-Residential External) Fixed Deposit and an NRO (Non-Residential Ordinary) Fixed Deposit lies in the nature of the funds and their tax implications for Non-Residential Indians (NRIs).

Nature of Funds:

  • NRE FD: Funds deposited in an NRE Fixed Deposit originate from foreign earnings and are maintained in Indian Rupees after conversion.
  • NRO FD: An NRO Fixed Deposit holds funds generated within India, such as rent, dividends, or pension payouts, and is also maintained in Indian Rupees.

Taxation:

  • NRE FD: Interest earned on NRE Fixed Deposits is tax-free in India. However, NRIs should check the tax implications in their resident country.
  • NRO FD: The interest earned on an NRO Fixed Deposit is taxable according to the applicable slab rates in India.

Joint Accounts:

  • NRE FD: NRIs can jointly open accounts in both NRO and NRE categories without any complications.
  • NRO FD: For joint accounts with Indian resident citizens, the option is limited to an NRO account; an NRE FD cannot be opened even with direct family members who are resident Indian citizens.

Source of Income:

  • NRE FD: It is suitable for funds generated abroad and ensures tax-free returns in India.
  • NRO FD: Geared towards managing income generated in India, making it essential for NRIs to comply with Indian tax regulations.

Repatriation:

In simple terms, repatriation refers to the ability to transfer funds between India and a foreign country.

  • NRO FD: Only the interest earned can be transferred abroad; the principal investment cannot be fully repatriated to a foreign account.
  • NRE FD: Allows for the complete repatriation of both principal and accrued interest to a foreign account, facilitating the transfer process between an Indian account and a foreign one.

Conclusion

Choosing between NRE and NRO FDs depends on various factors, including the source of income, repatriation needs, and tax considerations. Both NRE and NRO accounts serve distinct purposes and cater to the diverse financial requirements of NRIs. By understanding the differences and aligning them with individual financial goals, NRIs can make informed decisions to optimise their investment strategy and achieve financial success.

Frequently asked questions

NRE vs NRO? Which of the two is better?

Neither NRE nor NRO accounts are better or worst. The choice depends on the nature of income and repatriation needs. Understanding the differences helps in making an informed decision.

Can I open multiple NRE accounts in my name?

Yes, NRIs can open multiple NRE accounts, providing flexibility in managing funds. However, it is essential to comply with regulatory guidelines and bank policies.

Will older citizens receive more interest if they open an NRE or an NRO account?

The interest rates on NRE and NRO accounts are generally similar and not specifically influenced by the age of the account holder. Rates are determined by the bank's policies and prevailing market conditions.

Are NRE and NRO accounts subject to taxation?

Interest earned on NRE accounts is tax-free in India, while interest on NRO accounts is subject to taxation. NRIs should be aware of tax implications in both their resident country and India.

Will I have to pay any fees if I want to open an NRE or NRO account?

Banks may have different fee structures, but opening NRE and NRO accounts usually involves minimal fees. It is advisable to check with the specific bank for detailed information on account opening charges and maintenance fees.

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Disclaimer

As regards deposit taking activity of Bajaj Finance Ltd (BFL), the viewers may refer to the advertisement in the Indian Express (Mumbai Edition) and Loksatta (Pune Edition) furnished in the application form for soliciting public deposits or refer https://www.bajajfinserv.in/fixed-deposit-archives
The company is having a valid Certificate of Registration dated March 5, 1998 issued by the Reserve Bank of India under section 45 IA of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. However, the RBI does not accept any responsibility or guarantee about the present position as to the financial soundness of the company or for the correctness of any of the statements or representations made or opinions expressed by the company and for repayment of deposits/discharge of the liabilities by the company.

For the FD calculator the actual returns may vary slightly if the Fixed Deposit tenure includes a leap year.