I am an NRI. Will I get a tax exemption on my donation?

As a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), you might often want to give back to your homeland by supporting charitable causes. But did you know that your generous donations can also provide you with tax benefits? Understanding the tax implications and exemptions available to NRIs on their donations can help you maximize your contributions. In this blog, we’ll explore how NRIs can benefit from tax exemptions on their donations and introduce you to an impactful NGO making a difference in India.

Understanding NRI Status

An NRI, or Non-Resident Indian, is an Indian citizen who resides outside India for tax purposes. This classification determines your tax obligations in India, including eligibility for tax benefits on charitable donations.

Here’s how the Income Tax Act defines NRI status:

  • Duration of Stay Outside India: Generally, an NRI is someone who spends less than 182 days in a financial year (April 1st to March 31st) in India.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • For employment or as crew on an Indian ship: If you leave India for work or as a crew member on an Indian ship, the minimum stay requirement to be considered a resident increases to 182 days.
  • Special rule for exceeding 15 lakh income: If your total income from India (excluding foreign income) is more than ₹15 lakh (subject to change) in a financial year, you might be considered a resident even if your stay is less than 182 days. However, this applies only if you are not liable to pay tax in any other country.

Tax Laws Governing Donations in India

The Indian government encourages charitable giving by offering tax breaks to donors. Let’s delve into the relevant sections of the Income Tax Act and explore the types of donations that qualify for tax deductions.

Section 80G: The Key Player

This section of the Income Tax Act governs tax deductions for charitable donations. It outlines two main categories of deductions:

  • 100% Deduction: Certain donations, like contributions to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or donations for scientific research to specified institutions, qualify for a full 100% deduction of the donated amount from your taxable income.
  • 50% Deduction: This is the more common category. Donations made to various charitable organizations registered under Section 80G qualify for a 50% deduction. There’s a limit, though – the total deduction cannot exceed 10% of your Gross Total Income.

Who Gets Your Donations? Understanding Eligible Entities

Not all donations qualify for tax breaks. Section 80G specifies a list of eligible entities that can receive donations for tax-deductible purposes. These include:

  • Charitable institutions like trusts, societies, and Section 8 companies working for various causes like education, healthcare, and environmental protection.
  • Religious institutions
  • Sports organizations

What Can You Donate? Eligible Donation Types

Section 80G allows deductions for various types of donations, including:

  • Monetary contributions
  • Donations of certain in-kind items (restrictions apply)

Important Note: Cash donations exceeding ₹2,000 (subject to change) do not qualify for tax deduction under Section 80G. Donations above this amount should be made through cheque or online transfer to be eligible.

Are You an NRI? Can You Get Tax Exemptions on Your Donations?

Yes, as an NRI, you can get tax exemptions on your donations, provided they meet certain conditions under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act. This section allows for tax deductions on donations made to eligible charitable institutions and funds. However, you need to follow certain eligibility criteria to claim these tax benefits. Here are the key conditions:

Eligibility of NRIs for Tax Exemptions on Donations

NRIs are eligible to claim tax benefits under Section 80G for donations made to specified charitable institutions in India. Here’s a breakdown of the conditions and limitations:

Can NRIs Claim Under Section 80G?

Yes, NRIs can claim deductions on donations made to institutions registered under Section 80G. However, there are some specific conditions:

  • Source of Income: The deduction can only be claimed on income derived from India, such as rental income or interest on bank deposits. Donations cannot be used to offset foreign income.
  • Donation Mode: Cash donations exceeding ₹2,000 (subject to change) do not qualify for tax deductions by NRIs as well as residents. Donations must be made through electronic means like cheque or online transfer.

Donations to Eligible Institutions

Just like residents, NRIs can claim deductions for donations made to institutions registered under Section 80G for various causes. These include:

  • Charitable trusts working for education, healthcare, or environmental protection
  • Religious institutions
  • Approved sports organizations

Documentation Requirements

To claim the deduction, NRIs need to maintain proper documentation:

  • Donation receipt issued by the charitable institution. Ensure it mentions the institution’s registration details, your details, donation amount, and mode of payment.
  • Proof of electronic transfer or a copy of the cheque used for the donation.

Limitations on the Amount of Exemption 

Similar to residents, NRIs have a limit on the total deduction they can claim under Section 80G. This limit is 10% of your Gross Total Income (GTI) derived from India.


Let’s say you’re an NRI with a rental income of ₹5 lakh (GTI) in India for a financial year. You donate ₹1 lakh to an NGO registered under Section 80G.

Maximum deduction allowed under Section 80G = 10% of your GTI = 10% of ₹5 lakh = ₹50,000

In this scenario, even though you donated ₹1 lakh, your maximum tax deduction under Section 80G would be capped at ₹50,000.

How to Claim Tax Exemptions

Making a tax-deductible donation to a worthy cause in India is a great way for NRIs to give back while enjoying some tax benefits. Here’s a step-by-step guide to navigate the process:

Step 1: Choose Your Cause and Donate

  • Research and select a charitable institution like Daan Patra that is registered under Section 80G and aligns with your philanthropic goals.
  • Remember, cash donations exceeding ₹2,000 (subject to change) won’t qualify for the deduction. Make your donation electronically via cheque or online transfer.

Step 2: Gather Your Documentation

Keep these documents handy for claiming your tax exemption:

  • Donation Receipt: This receipt issued by the charitable institution should clearly mention:
    • The institution’s registration details under Section 80G.
    • Your details as the donor.
    • The donation amount.
    • The mode of payment (cheque number or online transfer reference).
  • Proof of Electronic Transfer/Cheque Copy: Maintain a copy of the cheque used or a record of the electronic transfer for the donation.

Step 3: File Your Income Tax Return (ITR)

NRIs typically cannot file ITR-1 anymore. Depending on your income sources in India, you might need to file ITR-2, ITR-3, or another applicable form. Consult a tax professional for guidance on the specific ITR form you need to file.

Step 4: Claim Your Deduction

While filing your ITR, you’ll claim the deduction for your donation under Section 80G. Ensure you have the required documentation mentioned earlier to support your claim.

Looking to make a difference in India? Consider supporting Daan Patra!

Daan Patra is a dedicated organization working to uplift the lives of those in need across India. They offer a helping hand to various groups, including:

  • Elderly individuals: Daan Patra provides a safe haven and care for those who may be facing neglect, abuse, or financial hardship.
  • Homeless people: They offer shelter and support to individuals who have lost their homes, giving them a chance to rebuild their lives.
  • Slum children: Daan Patra recognizes the challenges faced by children in underprivileged communities. They offer free education and work to break the cycle of poverty.

By supporting Daan Patra, you’ll be contributing to a cause that empowers individuals and strengthens communities.

The good news for NRIs: Donations made to Daan Patra can qualify for tax exemptions under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act. They’ll provide all the necessary documentation to ensure your contribution is tax-deductible.

Let’s help Daan Patra continue their vital work and build a brighter future for those in need!


Donating to charitable causes is a fulfilling way to give back to society, and as an NRI, you can also enjoy tax benefits on your contributions. Understanding the eligibility criteria and process for claiming tax exemptions can help you make informed decisions.

Support the Daab Patra today and make a difference in the lives of those most in need. Your generosity can bring hope and change, and with the added benefit of tax exemptions, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.


  1. Can NRIs claim tax exemptions for donations made to foreign charities? 

No, NRIs can only claim tax exemptions for donations made to institutions or funds registered under Section 80G in India.

  1. Is there a limit to the amount that can be deducted under Section 80G for NRIs?

Yes, the deduction is limited to 10% of the donor’s gross total income for the financial year.

  1. How do NRIs file for tax exemptions on their donations? 

NRIs can claim the deduction while filing their tax returns in India. Typically, NRIs use Form ITR-2 or ITR-3, depending on their sources of income. Consulting a tax professional who specializes in NRI tax matters can help ensure accurate filing.

  1. Can NRIs donate in foreign currency and still claim a deduction? 

Yes, NRIs can donate in foreign currency, but the amount will be converted to Indian Rupees for the purpose of claiming deductions. Ensure that the charitable institution is authorized to accept foreign donations and provides a proper receipt.

  1. Are there any specific benefits for NRIs when donating to a registered NGO in India?

Besides the tax exemptions under Section 80G, donating to a registered NGO helps support vital social causes and contributes to the development and betterment of society. Additionally, NRIs often find a sense of fulfillment in giving back to their home country.

  1. Can an NRI claim a deduction if the donation is made through an NRE or NRO account?

Yes, NRIs can claim a deduction for donations made through either an NRE (Non-Resident External) or NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account. Ensure that you maintain proper documentation and receipts for the donation.

  1. What should NRIs consider when choosing a charitable institution to donate to? 

NRIs should ensure that the charitable institution is registered under Section 80G and is authorized to receive foreign donations if applicable. It is also important to verify the credibility and transparency of the organization.

  1. Can NRIs living in countries with a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with India benefit from tax exemptions on donations? 

NRIs living in countries with a DTAA with India may benefit from provisions that prevent double taxation. However, specific benefits can vary based on the agreement and it is advisable to consult a tax professional for detailed guidance.

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