Foreign Liability and Assets Annual Return (FLA Annual Return)
All companies that have received FDI or made overseas investments in any previous year, including the current year, are required to submit an annual return on Foreign Liabilities and Assets (FLA).
As more companies become involved in foreign investments, the importance of complying with Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations becomes a major part of their operations.
FLA annual returns are one of the compliance requirements for companies that are involved in FDI or that invest in foreign companies via joint ventures or wholly owned subsidiaries. The FLA annual return should cover all foreign investments made by or to the company and must be submitted directly to the Reserve Bank of India by the company.
What Is the Due Date of Filling of The Fla Return?
Entities who comply with the criterion mentioned in Q1 are mandatorily required to submit the FLA return under FEMA 1999 based on audited/ unaudited accounts of the entity by July 15 every year.
Who Is Required to File a Fla Annual Return?
The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) requires any company that has received or made foreign direct investment (FDI) to file an annual return with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The return must include information on the company’s foreign assets and liabilities for the current financial year as well as for any previous years.
If a company does not have any foreign assets or liabilities for the current year but has outstanding FDI or ODI from previous years, it must still file an annual return indicating its outstanding assets or liabilities.
The same requirements apply to partnership firms that have received FDI or made ODI. For these firms, the RBI will issue a dummy corporate identification number (CIN) upon request, which will be used only for the purpose of filing the FLA annual return. If a dummy CIN has already been issued, the partnership firm will use that number to file its FLA return.
The annual return on Foreign Liabilities and Assets (FLA) is required to be submitted by the following entities 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 i.e., who holds foreign assets or/and liabilities in their balance sheets;
- A Company within the meaning of section 1(4) of the Companies Act, 2013.
- A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) registered under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008
- Others [include SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), Partnership Firms, Public Private Partnerships (PPP) etc.]
Filing of Fla Return:
The prescribed method of filing the FLA annual return is via an excel sheet. All companies that fall under the specified criteria are required to file the return before July 15th of the respective year. The return must include data on FDI or ODI received or made by the company in previous and current years.
The form is to be emailed by an authorized member of the company (e.g. Company Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, Director) from their email ID to the official email ID of the RBI ([email protected]). The details filed must include financial information as well as other required details in accordance with the company’s audited accounts.
If the company does not have its accounts audited before 15 July, they must file the FLA return according to the unaudited accounts and then have its accounts audited. If there are any changes to the details filed after the audit, the company must file another form with the updated details before the last day of September. After the FLA return is filed, the RBI will send an acknowledgment email to the authorised person. The format for the FLA return can be found on https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_ViewFemaForms.aspx. Queries can be sent by email to [email protected]
Non-filing of the return on or before due date (July 15 of every year) will be treated as a violation of FEMA and penalty clause may be invoked for violation of FEMA.
For Further Details on Penalty Clause, Please See the Below Links:
- Notification No. FEMA. 395/2019-RB dated October 17, 2019.
- A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.16 dated September 30, 2022.
What Information Should Be Reported in Fla Return, if Balance Sheet of The Entity Is Not Audited Before the Due Date of Submission?
Entities should mandatorily fill the FLA return within the due date. In case the entities do not have their audited balance sheet ready, they may fill the return with the provisional/unaudited numbers. Thereafter, once the audited numbers are ready, request for revision of the previously filed return to RBI needs to be raised. Once approved by RBI, you can revise the previously filed return with audited numbers and re-submit the same to RBI.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced a new online system for filing the FLA Annual Return. This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you file your return using the new system.
How to File FLA return to RBI?
Entities can submit the FLA return through the online web-based portal Foreign Liabilities and Assets Information Reporting (FLAIR) system, having address https://flair.rbi.org.in/fla/faces/pages/login.xhtml.
- To access the URL https://flair.rbi.org.in/fla/faces/pages/login.xhtml, any of the browsers viz, Internet Explorer, Google chrome, Firefox etc. can be used, as all of these would support this application.
- The entity has to register on the portal by clicking Registration for New Entity Users.
- The entity has to fill the details in the FLA user registration form, upload the documents mentioned (Verification Letter and Authority Letter) and click submit to complete the registration.
- After successful registration, user id and default password will be sent to the authorized person’s mail id. Using this user id and password, entities can login to the FLAIR portal and file the FLA Return.
- Please note: The excel-based format and email-based reporting system has been replaced by the web-based format for submission of annual FLA return from June 2019.
For Details Information you can refer Source FAQ on RBI (Annual Return on Foreign Liabilities and Assets (FLA) under FEMA 1999).