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I have been staying abroad for the last two years. I am not employed but am studying on a European scholarship.
Prior to that, I was working in India for a year and also filed my income tax return for that year. After that I did not, as I was not here.
At that time, I did not have a PAN number. Now I do.
Presently, I have no income in India and am still studying abroad.
When I do visit India on vacation, I use a cell phone.
Do I still have to file the tax returns?
If you do not have any income in India then you are not required to file an income tax return under the regular provisions of the Income Tax Act.
Let's talk about the need to file a return under the one-by-six scheme. The six requirements are:
i. Own immovable property like a piece of land or a home.
ii. Own a motor vehicle.
Two-wheelers are not included.
iii. Travelled abroad during the last financial year.
iv. Member of a club with an entrance fee over Rs 25,000.
v. Hold a credit card. Add-on cards are excluded.
vi. Own a cellular phone.
If you fulfill any of them, you will have to file a return. However, these provisions would be applicable to you only if you are a resident (whether ordinary or not ordinarily).
The above scheme is not applicable to non-residents.
In your case, based on your days of residence in India, the actual residential status needs to be defined. Only then can one accordingly decide if the provisions are applicable.
I am working with an Indian IT company and am currently on a one-year project in London since January 2005. As I was out of India, I could not file my Income Tax return for this assessment year. Will I be fined for the same?
You would be liable to file returns for the year in question. Though the time defined in the Income Tax Act for salaried individuals is July 31 (August 31 this year in specified states/cities due to the floods), you could always file the return before March 31, 2006.
The consequences of not filing the returns are briefly mentioned below: