revenue tax return: Private use of household workplace cash could also be discouraged

Amid an unspoken concern over the flight of capital and migration of the wealthy, Indian regulatory authorities are taking a stance that household workplaces floated by native enterprise households in offshore jurisdictions or in monetary centres like GIFT Metropolis shouldn’t be used to accumulate abroad properties for ‘private use’, or with the intention to completely park cash in another country.

“For getting properties overseas, residents ought to use the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (of the Reserve financial institution of India), and never household workplaces,” an individual conscious of the view informed ET.

A number of enterprise households are actively exploring organising household workplaces in GIFT Metropolis which is nearer to dwelling and cheaper than locations resembling Singapore and Dubai.

Widespread in western nations, the idea of ‘household workplace’ – serving the wealth administration wants of a household – was recognised a yr in the past by the GIFT Metropolis regulator Worldwide Monetary Companies Centres Authority (IFSCA) when it got here out with the ‘household funding fund’ (FIF) laws.

“Nonetheless, the main focus of FIFs ought to be on ‘funding’ and never on acquisition of properties overseas for private use. Or, for utilizing it as a automobile to maneuver funds that will by no means come again, or with the target of transferring funds to relations who would subsequently develop into residents of one other nation. That wasn’t the intention behind permitting FIFs,” stated the particular person.


An FIF could be housed beneath entities like a belief and a restricted legal responsibility partnership.

The choice of GIFT Metropolis for incorporating household workplaces additionally stems from the regulatory hurdles in forming related devoted entities in different offshore centres (like Singapore). The household cash pooled into an LLP in India and invested in a household workplace entity in Singapore would require the permission of RBI as it could be construed as ‘abroad direct funding’ (ODI) as towards ‘abroad portfolio funding’ (OPI).

“Beneath the Abroad Funding Rule learn together with the Grasp Instructions, an Indian particular person who’s a resident in India in addition to an unlisted Indian entity is permitted to spend money on a fund arrange in GIFT Metropolis. This creates alternatives for household workplaces to arrange a self-managed FIF within the GIFT Metropolis. Nonetheless, IFSCA has been uncomfortable permitting funding by residents in GIFT funds the place the monies are getting invested again into India. Additional, whereas funding into an FIF by unlisted entities is legally permissible, RBI will not be comfy in permitting funding by such entities whose sole objective could also be to take a position into such FIFs,” stated Parul Jain, who heads the worldwide tax apply on the regulation agency Nishith Desai Associates.

Beneath LRS, a resident particular person is allowed to take a position as much as $250,000 a yr abroad in securities and properties. Towards this regulation, the query arises whether or not a lot of people can collectively pool in an enormous quantity and remit it overseas to carry the cash beneath a household workplace.

The likelihood to make use of GIFT FIF as OPI – which has simpler compliance necessities in comparison with ODI – may additionally be driving many to look at GIFT as a location for his or her household workplaces. Presently, an FIF is allowed to spend money on quite a lot of property. Beneath the circumstances, this will likely require a clarification within the FIF guidelines if the investments need to match the regulatory pondering that deployment of any GIFT household workplace cash ought to be purely for ‘investments’ and never ‘private use’.

“A number of households are exploring investments within the Present Metropolis via the household funding fund construction. Larger readability will facilitate and expedite such funding via this route,” stated Moin Ladha, companion, Khaitan & Co.

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