Know all about Foreign Liabilities and Assets(FLA)

Last Updated On: July 24, 2021, 10:56 p.m.


Foreign Liabilities and Assets (FLA) is an Annual Return which is to be submitted by all those Indian Resident Companies which have received Foreign Direct investment (FDI) and/or made Investment Overseas (FDI Abroad) in previous year(s) which shall also include information of the current year


The company can file unaudited accounts 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 the companies are supposed to submit the revised FLA return based on audited accounts by end – September.

No FDI/ODI in the latest year – if the company has not received ODI/FDI in the latest year but still the company is required to file FLA every year by 15th July because the company has outstanding FDI/ODI.

FLA and APR – The company is required to file FLA even if it has filed Annual Performance Report (APR) for ODI as both are two different returns and are filed to two different departments of the RBI.


Cases where the Company is not required to file FLA

1. In case, if the company does not have any outstanding investment in respect of FDI (inward and outward) as on end March of the reporting year.

2. Second case could be where the company has only received share application and does not have any foreign direct investment or overseas direct investment outstanding as on 31st March of the reporting year.


The entity which is required to file FLA needs to have a login on Foreign investment in India – Reporting in Single Master Form (FIRMS) portal-

Following are the requirements to register on the FIRMS Portal.

  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Last Name
  • User Name
  • Email
  • Confirm E-mail
  • Mobile Number
  • PAN number
  • Mobile Number
  • Entity Name
  • Company Type
  • Regional Office Name
  • Address
  • Authority Letter

Once the details are submitted successfully, the user will receive the password on the registered email id within 48 hours.

After receiving the password the user will be asked to change the password and create a new one.

In case the user does not receive the password within 48 hours, the can raise their query through mail for any further assistance or call the FIRMS helpdesk number.



Who needs to file FLA Annual Return?

  • The regulation under FEMA, 1999 requires any company who has either made ODI or received FDI, to file the FLA annual return. The companies have to report the current financial year’s FLA as well as the previous year(s) assets and liabilities. In the case where a company does not have any foreign assets or liabilities for the current year but has outstanding FDI or ODI from the previous year(s), it must file the FLA annual return indicating their outstanding assets or liabilities.
  • The FEMA regulations also require partnership firms to file FLA annual return if they have received FDI or made ODI. In the case of partnership firms, the RBI will issue a dummy CIN upon its request which will be used only for the filing of FLA annual return. In case a dummy CIN has already been issued, the partnership firm will use the same for the filing of the FLA return.


Important points to be kept in mind for filing FLA return

  • In case the company does not file the FLA return within the given time, the company will be liable to pay a penalty of thrice the sum involved in the contravention. In case it is not quantifiable, then a penalty of Rs 2,00,000 will have to be paid by the company. If the contravention is continuing, a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day will have to be paid by the company.
  • The Due date for the filing of FLA return is on 15 of July of that year. In case the FLA return filed is based on unaudited accounts, a revised form has to be filed based on audited accounts before the end of September of the same year.
  • The regional offices of RBI have the power to compound contraventions without any limit. This, however, does not apply to the regional offices of Kochi and Panaji.


Companies exempted from filing FLA return

  • Companies that have only issued shares on a non-repatriable basis to the non-residents of India are exempt from filing FLA return.
  • Companies who do not have any outstanding balance of FDI or ODI by the end of the financial year are exempt from filing FLA return.
  • Companies that have only received share application money and have not received any FDI or not made any ODI, are exempt from filing FLA return.

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