Is there a US tax impact when repatriating cash from India to the US?
I understand the foreign gift provision under IRS rules, but my question is, what if I transfer cash from my own account in India, to my account in the US? Would it be considered "income" by the IRS?
If the cash is simply your savings not your income in India, it is not considered income for U.S. tax purposes. If it comes from a gift or bequest from a foreign source, you just need to report it on Form 3520 if it is over $100,000 from an individual or estate or $15,797 from a foreign entity.
The U.S. persons are not only taxed on worldwide income but also are subject to certain foregin assets reporting requirements. For your case, if the money in all your financial accounts in India is over $10,000 at any time during the year, you may need to file FinCEN Form 114. If it is over $50,000 (for individual or married filing separately) / $100,000 (for married filing jointly) on the last day of the tax year or more than $75,000 / $150,000 at any time during the tax year, you may also need to file Form 8938. This may not apply to your case, but if you have some investments like mutual funds, you may also need to file Form 8621 which is usually complicated and time-consuming.
Based on the limited information you provide, I can only give you some general guidance here. I always recommend you to consult a tax professional for your specific situation.
If this is money in an account in your name in India, then the answer is "no", it is not considered income. Even if it was coming from an account NOT in your name, it still would not be considered "income", but rather a gift. You can go to your bank here in the US and simply request a wire transfer from your bank in India. You will pay a flat fee for this, usually around $50 or so. You also may be able to do this using PayPal, depending on the total dollar amount. Either way, very common, simple, and easy thing to do.
If you transfer ‘cash’ from your own account in India it is not considered income. However, if in the amount transferred there is any income that has not been taxed (such as interest accrued or paid but not taxed) that portion will be considered taxable income. You may want to talk to a tax accountant for your specific case.