I will be travelling to South Africa for a year starting May 2014. I will be paid a substantial sum for freelance work there. How and where will this income be taxed if I bring back some of the money to India?
The taxability of the income earned by you in India from your freelance work would depend upon your residential status for the purposes of the Indian tax laws. If you stay in India for a period of 182 days or more during the year or if you have stayed in India for 365 days or more in the previous four years and for 60 days in this year, you will be considered to be a resident for tax purposes.
Considering that your stay in India will be less than 60 days during the year, you will qualify to be a non-resident for Indian tax purposes and the taxability of the income would depend upon the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961, and India’s Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with South Africa. I am assuming that your freelance work is not linked to any business or professional setup in India, in which case the income will be taxable only in South Africa. The mere act of bringing such income into India should not result in any further tax liability.
I moved to London in October of 2013. I was paid salary in India until then and in London for the rest of the year. Where will I be taxed for 2012-13?
The taxability of the income earned by you would depend upon your residential status for tax purposes in India as well as the UK. I am assuming that you have not travelled out of India during the period April-September. As a consequence, you would have stayed in India for more than 182 days, thereby making you a resident for Indian income-tax purposes.
Under the Indian tax laws, the entire income of a person resident in India is taxed in India irrespective of where it is earned. However, this is subject to the benefits, if any, under the India-UK DTAA. Under this, salary paid to you pursuant to your exercise of employment in the UK may be taxed in the UK. However, if your presence does not exceed 182 days and if the salary is paid to you by or on behalf of an employer who is not a resident of the UK and the salary paid to you is not deductible in computing the profits of your employer taxable in the UK, the salary paid to you will not be taxable in the UK. Consider consulting a tax consultant for any further clarifications.