Category: US

Investment analyst and entrepreneur Dr. Marc Faber concluded his monthly bulletin (June 2008) with the Following:

”The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

If we purchase a good car it will go to Germany. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy.

The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I’ve been doing my part.’

Based on a forward received.


For the New York Times and the Washington Post, Kasab is strictly a gunman.

“Mumbai Gunman Enters Plea Of Guilty”, the Post headline read a day later, and the 428 words of the report from New Delhi do not include “terrorist” — not even to qualify the “attack”.

Kasab is “one of the 10 gunmen who laid siege to India’s financial capital for three days last November”, Lashkar-e-Taiba is “outlawed, Pakistan-based group” and the attack that claimed more than 170 lives is “the deadly carnage”.

The NYT report with the headline “Suspect Stirs Mumbai Court by Confessing” has 1,050 words, but terrorist is not among them. Kasab is “suspect”, “gunman” and “attacker”.

The Wall Street Journal calls the incidents “terrorist attacks”, but those behind them were “10 suspected gunmen”. For the Los Angeles Times, the 21-year-old Pakistani is “the only suspected gunman”.

This is, of course, no different from the terminology the American media used in reporting those ghastly events on Nov 26-29 last year.

Read detail report here

Here is an article by Parvatha Vardhini C in the Hindubusinessline that talks about Taxation matters, especially when going on a stint abroad.

Before you go on overseas deputation, you must be aware of certain regulatory requirements. A little effort to fully understand the issues involved can prevent a lot of eleventh-hour hassles.Read on…..

You are in that dream job with that dream company. And, like the icing on the cake, that much-awaited stint abroad has arrived. While you have made the mandatory visa visits to the embassy, given your wardrobe a new look and written down recipes for your favourite dishes, spare a thought for the new tax and regulatory environment you will find yourself in. If you put in a bit of effort to fully understand the issues involved, you can save yourself a lot of eleventh-hour ha ssles.

Browse the Internet, and you will find numerous queries from employees like you travelling overseas on deputation or assignment:

— I am an employee of a Chennai-based company deputed to London for one year. Do I fall in the NRI category?
— I left India on international transfer to our UK office in September and am getting a UK salary since then. Is it taxable in India?

— I’ve just been posted to the US for a long term. Can I continue to operate my Indian bank accounts?

— I have some savings in the allowances during my assignment abroad. If I bring it back to India, will it be taxed?

Determine your residential status first. As a first step, you need to find out if you are a ‘resident’ in India for every year in which you are out of the country, under tax laws. This is necessary as, under the Income Tax (IT) Act, the tax treatment of your earnings will vary depending on your residential status. For someone travelling overseas, a simple rule of thumb to determine if he is a resident will be to check if his stay in India in a financial year (April 1 to March 31) will exceed 182 days.

For example, take the case of a programmer who works onsite in Canada from October 15, 2007 to January 22, 2008. For the year ended March 31, 2008, he will be a resident as he has been abroad only for about 100 days during that year and has stayed in India for the remaining 265 days.

If he is sent abroad from January 22, 2008 to, say, January 22, 2009, then, for the year ended March 31, 2008, he will be a resident but for the year ended March 31, 2009, he will become a non-resident as he would have spent less than 182 days in India.

So, the next time you hear the words ‘short-term’ and ‘long-term’, remember, IT law does not decide your residential status that way. It’s the 182-day rule that rules.

The FEMA angle

But, wait, didn’t your friend tell you that he opened a non-resident bank account just before he left for the UK on a ‘long-term’ deputation? How could he have opened a non-resident account even before determining his residential status?

This is because under FEMA, (Foreign Exchange Management Act) a person may become non-resident simply by leaving India on purposes of employment or for any other purpose that would indicate his intention to stay abroad for an indefinite period. While FEMA is concerned with your rights and obligations in moving funds in and out of India, the IT Act is bothered about the taxability of such funds and their movements.

So, don’t be foxed if you are considered resident for income-tax purposes and non-resident for banking purposes in the same year!

Remuneration and taxes

When an employee goes abroad for a few weeks or months, the Indian company retains him on their payrolls and continues to credit his salary to his local bank account. In addition, he will get some allowances to meet his personal expenses during the period of his stay.

In such a situation, he will be a resident in India by virtue of having spent more than 182 days here and his Indian salary will be subject to tax in the usual manner. The allowances will be exempt from tax.

In many cases, the employee is given a salary both in India and abroad. If you are on deputation for, say, three years, what will you be taxed on? A golden rule to remember is that a resident should pay tax on his global income. So, in the first year, if you are a resident, then both your Indian and your foreign salary will be taxed in India.

In the second year, when you become a non-resident, only income received, accruing or arising or deemed to be received or accrue or arise in India will be taxed in your hands.

This means that, although you are a non-resident, your Indian salary will still be taxed here while your foreign salary will be tax-free as it is received outside India from a foreign source.

When you are paid salary only in the foreign country, the tax incidence will be the same as above. Thus, in the first year, if you are a resident, your foreign salary will be taxable in India.

In the subsequent years, it will be tax-free as it arises outside India from a foreign source in the hands of a non-resident.

Double Taxation?

Relax. There’s a way out Take the case of Shilpa, who works with a software company in India. From July 2006-November 2006, she was sent to the US and was paid her salary there after withholding tax. For the rest of the months, she was paid salary in India as usual.

For year ended March 31 2007, Shilpa was surprised she had to pay tax in India for the income received in the US (because she was a ‘resident’ under IT Act for that period) though the US authorities had already deducted tax when they paid her. This is unfair! She has been taxed twice on the same income!

If you find yourself sailing in the same boat, cool off. India has signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with several countries. You can claim a relief in India on the doubly taxed income, which will be the lower of taxes leviable in India or the other country you visited.

Want to send money home?

Most companies who send their employees abroad for a longer term, say two or three years, do so after helping them open a non-resident account with a local bank. Besides, you can also open an NRE (Non-Resident External) account. The NRE account allows funds to be freely repatriable (moved back). This fund will be maintained in rupees and any debit or credit of foreign currency will be converted immediately to rupees.

You can give your parents the ‘power of attorney’ to operate it on your behalf. Whenever your family needs money, you can credit it into the NRE account from your account abroad and your parent can withdraw it. If not, you could also send cheques or drafts.

Should you go to a foreign location for a very short period, says two months, you may not have the privilege of using bank accounts or cheques. In such cases, the most popular method seems to be to first credit the money into a friend’s bank account and then send it to India. Online money transfers are also a popular mode of sending money into India.

All remittances are tax-free.

Read the full article here

Recession hits dinosaurs

A 150-million-year-old complete and mounted skeleton of a dinosaur has failed to sell at a New York auction.

There are only two skeletons of its kind in the world; the other Dyosaurus skeleton in existence is on display at the Carnegie Museum in Philadelphia, the IM Chait Gallery said in a statement before its Natural History Auction on Saturday.

The 150-million-year-old, 2.7 metre long and 0.9 metre wide skeleton of the Jurassic age dinosaur was discovered in Wyoming in 1993 and was expected to sell for around $500,000.

Although two US museums expressed interest in the dinosaur skeleton, they could not afford the minimum bid, broadcaster CNN reported.

The fossil was dug up by Western Paleontological Laboratories in Lehi, Utah, which was selling it for economic reasons. It took two years to reconstruct the skeleton.


Oscars: Lucky seven for ‘Slumdog…’

Best Direction: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Song: A R Rahman for ‘Jai Ho…’ (Slumdog Millionarie)

The Indian music maestro, Rahman wooed the audience with ‘O Saya’ and ‘Jai Ho…’ the nominated songs from ‘Slumdog…’, as the nominees for Best Original Song were being announced.

Best Original Score: A R Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire . “I have nothing but my mother and she is there with me. I thank her for making me coming all this way with her blessings,” said a proud Rahman.

Best Film Editing: Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Mixing: Ian Tapp, Resul Pookutty for Slumdog Millionaire. “This is just not a sound award, but a history being handed over,” said Indian receiver Pookutty.

Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire.
Best Documentary Short Subject: Megan Mylan for Smile Pinki

Best Foreign Language Film: Departures (Japan)

Best Sound Editing: Richard King for The Dark Knight

Best Visual Effects: Eric Barba for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Documentary Feature Film: James Marsh for Man on Wire

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight . It was a special moment for actor’s family – mother Sally, father Kim and sister Kate who came to receive the trophy on Ledger’s behalf.

Best Live action short film: Jochen Alexander for Spielzeugland Toyland

Best Make-up: Greg Cannom for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Costume Design: Michael O’Connor for The Duchess

Best Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Animated Short Film: Kunio Kato for La Maison En Petits Cubes

Best Animated Feature: Andrew Stanton for Wall-E

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for Milk

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

उम्मीद और बदलाव की लहरों पर सवार होकर अमेरिका की किस्म बदलने निकले बराक हुसैन ओबामा ने मंगलवार को देश के 44 वें प्रेजिडेंट के तौर पर शपथ ले ली। अमेरिका ने पहली बार एक अश्वेत अफ्रीकी के बेटे को अपना मुखिया बनाकर दासता और रंगभेद के तकलीफदेह इतिहास का बदला लेने का संकल्प दिखाया। उत्तेजना , जोश और भावुकता से सराबोर यह माहौल इस बात की गवाही दे रहा था कि एक नए युग की शुरुआत होने जा रही है- ओबामा युग। लेकिन इस अहसास के साथ कि चेंज का चैलेंज मामूली नहीं है। ओबामा को वह कर दिखाना है , जो उनकी पीढ़ी में किसी को नहीं करना पड़ा। मंदी की मार झेल रहे अमेरिका को ओबामा से चमत्कार की उम्मीद है और ऐसे में सिर्फ यही कहा जा सकता है- ऑल द बेस्ट।

Democrat Barack Obama wrote his name indelibly into the pages of American history on Tuesday, engineering a social and political

upheaval to become the country’s first black president-elect in a runaway victory over Republican John McCain.