Companies these days are more involved in foreign investments in order to expand their businesses in international market. Infact, foreign direct investments has become a major monetary source for economic development in India. Therefore, RBI introduced the concept of FOREIGN ASSETS AND LIABILITIES (FLA) RETURN in order to keep the track record of statistics relating to foreign investment and overseas investments
Under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999, Foreign Liabilities and Assets(FLA) return is required to be submitted directly by all the Indian companies which have received FDI (foreign direct investment) and/or made FDI abroad (i.e. overseas investment) in the previous year(s) including the current year. This means if the company holds any kind of outstanding foreign investment or overseas direct investment as on the end of financial year, such companies are required to file FLA returns.
Such FLA returns are required to be filed by July 15 every year.
However, If the company’s accounts are not audited before the due date of submission, i.e. July 15, then the FLA Return should be submitted based on unaudited (provisional) account.
Once the accounts gets audited and if there is any kind of changes as per the information filed previously by the company, then updated details regarding the same needs to be submitted by the company by filing FLA revised return by the end of September based on the audited accounts.
WHO ALL ARE REQUIRED TO FILE FLA RETURN-
However, there are certain cases where companies are not required to file FLA return. Following are the cases-
1. If there is no outstanding balance of foreign direct investment or overseas direct investment by the end of financial year.
2. If a Company has received only share application money and does not have any FDI or ODI outstanding as on 31st March
3. If the shares are issued by the company to non-residents on non-repatriable basis.
4. If all non-resident shareholders of a Company have transferred their shares to the residents during the reporting period and the Company does not have any outstanding investment in respect of inward and outward FDI as on 31st March;
5. RBI introduced a new web based interface FOREIGN LIABILITIES AND ASSETS INFORMATION REPORTING (FLAIR) SYSTEM, where the applicant can file the return through online mode in the portal https://flair.rbi.org.in
Earlier FLA returns used to be filed through traditional e-mail based system.
In case the FLA return is not filed within the prescribed due date, it will be considered as violation of FEMA Act and penalty will be levied accordingly.