Currently, I am working in USA on H1B visa. I came to US in JAN 2015. So for income tax purpose, I am Non-Resident Indian for financial year 2015-16.

I have query regarding lottery winnings outside India. After reading income tax rules on web, I understood that if NRI wins lottery in USA, the lottery winnings can be transferred to Indian Bank account legally.

If I win lottery in April 2016 and permanently come back to India in Jun 2016, I think I will be considered Resident Indian for financial year 2016-17. In this case, will I be able to transfer lottery won in April 2016 to my Indian bank account? Will it be considered illegal?

If yes, that means, I will have to stay in US at least till Oct 1, 2016 so that my India stay will get reduced to less than 182 days and hence I will be considered NRI for FY 2016-17. The lottery won in April 2016 will be legal in this case. Please advise. Thank You!

  • 4
    I'd be more worried about the legal ramifications of your being able to guarantee winning the lottery in the future than how to get the money back.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 17, 2016 at 14:24
  • I'd think it is always legal to transfer your money to wherever you want, no matter how you got it, or where you live. The point is probably more if and where you have to pay taxes on it?
    – Aganju
    Jan 17, 2016 at 14:55
  • 1
    @Aganju This may not be fully true. India does not allow gambling [except for race horses]. It does allow select lottery and explicitly disallows gambling on external websites.
    – Dheer
    Jan 17, 2016 at 15:30
  • @ceejayoz I guess that the OP would want to know what the effects of winning before deciding whether to enter. Feb 17, 2016 at 7:50
  • 1
    If you've won a lottery/ would win one in the future, I'd suggest that you hire a professional to answer these questions. What is money for?
    – edocetirwi
    May 17, 2016 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


The rules are not very clear. If you are Indian resident, you are not allowed to use Foreign Exchange outside India for betting and gambling. However even ifs its illegal; any gains are taxable.

If you are non-resident and win lottery you can transfer the gains to India and there is no tax applicable.

There is no clarity if you are non-resident and earn a lottery and then change the tax status as resident Indian. Please consult a professional CA for specific case.

  • Thanks Dheer! I am not sure, but looks like residential status for income tax is decided only at end of that financial year. So even if someone wins US lottery, it can be considered legal/illegal only on 1st April.
    – Sambhaji
    Jan 18, 2016 at 6:20
  • 2
    @Sam You are right. The residential status is determined later and the Indian law is not very clear and hence may need intervention from professional CA.
    – Dheer
    Jan 18, 2016 at 6:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .