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Taxes and Social Security in Bangalore

Are you planning on working in Bangalore? Here’s one of the many reasons to consider it: India’s Silicon Valley is an attractive workplace for tech-savvy expats. The InterNations Guide to working in Bangalore offers information on the local economy, job market, taxes, and healthcare for expatriates.
"The Silicon Valley of India", Bangalore offers many business opportunities.

Income Tax

In general, income tax needs to be paid by all working residents of Bangalore. It is calculated at a rate of 0%, 10%, or 20% for incomes up to 250,000, 500,000, or 1,000,000 INR, respectively. Annual incomes of more than 1,000,000 INR are taxed at a rate of 30%.  As of the 2012–2013 fiscal year income tax in India is the same for male and female professionals.

Foreigners who don’t have fiscal residence status in Bangalore, i.e. who spend less than 180 days in India during one financial year, may be eligible for double taxation relief on their income from non-Indian sources. However, they have to keep paying income tax in their official country of residence. India has signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) with over 80 countries around the world.

A list of DTAAs can be found on the Income Tax Department website of the Ministry of Finance. For detailed information, though, expats had best consult the tax authorities of their country of residence. All these DTAAs are more or less standard double taxation treaties and follow OECD guidelines. The Indian government also reserves the right to grant unilateral double taxation relief to individuals who, on grounds of their nationality, are not covered by a DTAA.  

Social Security: Not So Secure in Practice

There are two government schemes providing social security for what is but a minority of the Indian workforce. India’s major social security organizations are called the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and the Employees’ State Insurance Company (ESIC). Although ESIC coverage in particular is being extended to ever more low-earning workers and employees, there are still hundreds of millions of people without any access to social security schemes or benefits.

In reality, a lot of companies may fail to pay social security contributions for their employees, and the government lacks the necessary means to carry out comprehensive checks and enforce the rules. Moreover, a vast majority of India’s workforce, the so-called “unorganized sector”, still has no proper claim to any form of pension or financial aid whatsoever.

Social Security for Expatriates

Expats working in Bangalore are likely to be employed in the organized sector. They should thus be liable to pay social security contributions, although special arrangements might be in place for expats working for multinational companies.

Expats from selected countries — mainly Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland — can profit from the Social Security Agreements between India and their country of origin. They can continue to pay contributions to social security schemes in their home country if their work assignment in India does not exceed 60 months. Both agreements are available on the Emigration Services website of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Similar documents have been drawn up for a variety of other countries, and talks have been initiated with even more national governments. Please consult your local social security office for more information on the current state of a potential social security agreement with India.

As far as your own pension fund is concerned, we recommend that you contribute to a private pension plan during your time as an expat in Bangalore and/or keep paying voluntary contributions to the national social security scheme (if possible).

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Kelly Powell

"I work in software development. With InterNations I've built up some very good contacts in the tech industry here in Bangalore."

Maria Lombardi

"My first 2 weeks here in Bangalore were difficult since I didn't know anyone. Then I finally discovered InterNations…"

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