Indian technology industry paid USD 22.5 billion in taxes during the financial years 2011-15, besides investing USD 2 billion in FY 2011-13 in the US, Parliament was informed today.
“The Indian tech industry invested more than USD 2 billion in USA during FY 2011-13, has paid USD 22.5 billion in taxes during FY 2011-15 and supported 4,11,000 jobs in FY2015 directly or indirectly,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
She quoted data from a report ‘Contributions of India’s Tech Industry to the US Economy’, published by the Indian IT Industry body Nasscom.
Besides, the US government hiking of Visa fee is likely to adversely impact the Indian IT Industry.
Almost all Indian IT companies would pay between USD 8,000 and USD 10,000 per H-1B visa from April 1, when the next annual H-1B visa filing session starts, thus making it quite unsustainable economically for them.
This is not only because of the USD 4,000 new fee imposed on Indian IT companies under the Consolidated
Appropriations Act 2016, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama, but also due to the series of other fee that the Congress has added in the H-1B visa application over the past one decade.
Notably, the original H-1B visa application fee is just USD 325.
As per the bill signed into law by Obama, companies having more than 50 employees and more than 50 per cent of employees that are on H1B or L1 Visa status would have to pay an additional USD 4,000 per H-1B visa applications.
In the case of L1 visa, it is USD 4,500. And not to miss is the Premium Processing Fee of USD 1,225.
In addition to all these, most of the Indian companies pay between USD 1,000-USD 2,000 as attorney fee for filing the H-1B visa application fee.
The H1B visa application fee is non-refundable.
Further, Indian techies who come to the US on H-1B and L1 visas also pay Social Security and Medicare as part of their pay role. According to some estimates, it is more than USD 1 billion per annum.
While on paper they are eligible to receive Social Security benefits even if they leave the US, provided they have paid Social Security payroll taxes for at least 10 years, but since Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas can’t stay in the US for more than six years, that entire amount becomes non-partible.
India has been in talks with the US in this regard, but there is hardly any movement.