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Wait for a second ……… Let’s step back in time. A time when you were a child. An activity like playing board games then with family and friends was so gripping that you could go on and on for the longest hours.

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In fact, even today it would be if you were to sit around with children. One such game that you would have absolutely relished, literally every time you played it, was ‘Monopoly’ or ‘Business’. Remember that? Moving your token around the square board to buy premium properties, collecting heavy rents from opponents, building houses & hotels, etc. were the actions to take with the sole aim to get richer with every board round completed. You would cautiously want to roll the dice (as if your desired number-total would occur out of nowhere) to avoid landing on other’s property & doling out a crazy stash of cash in rent, turning poor, and eventually crashing out of the game. And yes, the greatest hesitation was in picking up a random ‘Chance’ card, hoping to never draw out a nasty card that required you to pay hefty government taxes on all your purchases. Whoa! All of it was fun, wasn’t it?

While monopoly is a funny game, financial planning on the other side which targets to maximize returns & generate higher portfolio value, surely is a serious one. What if you learnt today about a compelling ‘Chance’ card, already up your sleeve, which can continually benefit you to save Indian government taxes, across any global geography you live in. This holds good for all qualified investments & insurances that you purchase in India electronically from the largest financial institutions, be it debt or equity.

And…… Now the card. Not just 1, but 3. It is your OCI Card, NRE/ Global Bank Statement & global Address Proof. All PIO, OCI, NRI & Expats qualify for the benefits below, even if you didn’t have a PAN (Permanent Account Number) from India.

With the prevalent coronavirus pandemic and multiple waves hitting one after another, the economic uncertainties in one’s own earnings are mounting. An individual’s effort to save minuscule amounts earlier did not matter as much as the attention one has today to stop any unnecessary spending. Especially when it’s a question about saving as much as 4% to 18% every year on all new investments in India, or even life insurance products, it is definitely worth a quick online effort to save oneself a tax fortune each year, multiplied into several years.

Most Indian-origin investors globally are mistakenly paying the Goods & Services Taxes (GST) on existing or new premiums for their Term Plans or Term Life covers purchased from India up to 18%. As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) changed guidelines/added clarity regarding Foreign Exchange Management (Manner of Receipt of Payments), amounts received from NRE (Non-Resident External) bank account or even their home country bank account (through SWIFT), in freely convertible currency through proper banking channel, would not attract GST at all.

To know more, read: 2 expert modes NRIs can use to invest in Indian markets, using home currency advantage

Not just term plans, GST is not even applicable on: Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs), Money back plans, Guaranteed return policies, and Income plans, which fall under the life insurance umbrella. As a matter of fact, you could push to seek a waiver of GST on your existing policies as well, by writing into your end policy-issuing insurers.

Now, this could save you between 2.25% to a high of 18%, year on year. What this directly means is that the IRR/ Absolute returns on products & your overall financial portfolio drastically shoots up, just because you smartly saved a sizeable chunk of taxes outflow, by learning this right of yours. Next Steps?

1. Immediate Fix: Write on the customer support email IDs of your respective life insurance providers, asking about the GST waiver. Send in your documents digitally as they ask. Make the next payment from your NRE or Global Bank Account and avail GST waiver by sharing your Bank Statement (showing transaction of premium) & a global Address Proof. Note: You would get your home country currency advantage (being higher denominated to INR) as well, as you do transactions, year on year.

2. Mid to Long-Term Fix: Set up a review of your entire financial portfolio (existing or newly planned) with a Financial Advisory in India to calculate the savings that you obtain by knocking off the taxes. Don’t be surprised if besides saving the GST, you even end up exploring better investments or life cover alternatives. Even if it needs squaring-off some existing investments in India to buy newer ones with improved returns, greater tax efficiencies, newest features, lower pricing, leverage to switch payment banks (NRO/ Resident Indian Bank Account to NRE/ Global Bank Account) to make maturity proceeds repatriable, etc. – Take that call!

Summing up – it isn’t a valid excuse to burn your hard-earned money just because you’re not finding enough time abroad to execute these fundamental actions which save you capital instead. Undoubtedly, the return rates, growth & features on investments in India are far more superior compared to the investment avenues that you have access to in your home country. Don’t leave the advantage that you at hand to ‘chances’, or else the ‘opponents’ in your own homeland, would win this financial game faster than you could imagine.

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