How to gift money to India: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

Sending money home to your parents in India can be a major source of income and help, especially as they get older.

And it doesn’t hurt that there could be tax savings when sending money back to India too.

But what are the tax implications if you are sending money to your parents or loved ones in India? Let’s take a look at what you can expect as income taxes in India when you send money home.

Just to be clear, it is always best to consult a tax attorney for your personal taxes in your current country, and in India. The points outlined below are not to be taken as tax advice, but rather a quick and broad look at gift taxes in India.

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You can sign up for free online and send money directly to local bank accounts all across India with one low transfer fee.

Is gifting money to parents taxable in India?

No, gifting money to parents in India is not taxable, as long as they are your parents or are relatives.

Under the Income tax rules, gifts from NRIs to relatives in India are not taxable. Now how do you define a qualifying relative? Here is the list¹:

  • Your spouse
  • Your brother or sister
  • A brother or sister of your spouse
  • A brother or sister of your father or mother
  • Any lineal ascendant or descendant you have
  • Any lineal ascendant or descendants of your spouse
  • Any spouses of the previous two

Uncles and aunts also fall into the category of tax exemption for gifts from abroad, but they have to be a true uncle or aunt defined by blood relation or marriage (Not a family friend.)

But, if you are sending money to a non-relative in India things are a little different.

Any amount above ₹50,000 received by a non-relative in India from a sender abroad is taxable, unless the purpose for sending meets any of the conditions below for gifting money.

How much money can I send to parents in India?

There is no cap on how much you can send back to India from abroad, per se. But rather it depends on the rules around taxation on gifts where you are.

For example, in the US, there aren’t taxes on sending gifts below $15,000 USD within a year. If you send more than that to India from the US, you will have to pay taxes on the amount².

So check with your tax professional locally to find out what is optimal for you to send.

With India being one of the largest recipients of remittances in the world, there is no limit to how much can be sent.

What to consider when gifting money to India

On top of sending money to parents and relatives, there are other reasons why gift-money can be tax free too.

If your gift falls into any of these categories, your recipient won’t have to pay taxes on the amount you send³:

  • For marriages
  • Inheritance
  • Death
  • From a fund, foundation, university or educational institution, hospital or medical institution
  • From a specifically recognized trust or institution

But there are few other points to consider when sending money to India. Read on to understand what other factors can help you decide how to send your helpful gift.

Cost of transfer 💰

Money transfers have come a long way in the last decade, so there is no need to pay extra fees or for marked up exchange rates. Make things easy on your wallet and look for money transfer options that let you pay low fees and convert at the real exchange rate.

The true cost of sending USD to INR

Transfer speed 🏃

There are so many reasons to send money home, so make sure it gets there when you need it. Some providers only operate on business days, while others can have your money in an Indian bank account within a few hours.

Convenience 📱

It is not practical to ask your parents to head down to a bank branch to pick up cash all the time. So instead find providers that deposit money straight into a bank account or a method that works best for your family.

And the same goes for you. Sending money gets easier if you can complete a transaction right from your living room or from your mobile on-the-go.

Trust 🤝

This is one of the most important points to consider when handing over your hard earned money. Make sure you are gifting your money through a trusted provider to not only get it to India properly, but also to get the support you need if your transaction is held up for any reason.

Save with Wise when sending money to India

Sending Money Abroad? Meet Wise

Wise uses smart technology to make transfers safe, fast and cheap. It is why over 8 million people around the world choose Wise for their global money transfers.

With Wise, you will only have to pay one low transfer fee. That’s it. The exchange rate you get is the mid-market exchange rate, which is the same banks use. No mark ups or surprises here. Just real savings.

Sources used for this article:
  1. Government of India Income Tax Department- NRI
  2. United States IRS Gift Tax
  3. Non-taxable Gifts

All sources checked as of 2 October, 2020

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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