Relief to NGOs – a decision by Chennai Income Tax Tribunal

Recently Chennal Income Tax Tribunal has given a judgement reversing the Income Tax Dept.’s order of cancelling an NGO’s (SAE India) section 12A registration because it has crossed the threshold limit of income (currently Rs 25 lakhs) under S. 2(15).

As many of you would know that under S.2(15) of Income Tax, an NGO whose objects falls under ‘the public utility clause’ income is currently limited to Rs 25 lakhs. Several Inocme Tax officers interpret this as that S.12A should be cancelled once this limit is crossed. This as per the judgement is a wrong interpretation.

The Honourable ITAT observed that assessee’s objects and activities (to serve as a forum where Engineers, Scientists, Technologists and Innovators in mobility engineering field can exchange ideas and learn from each other experience) are genuine and registration cannot be cancelled merely because receipts are exceeding the threshold limit.

It further opined that the IT Officer in case the limit u/s 2(15) exceeds the threshold amount than s/he has a right to levy tax in respect of these receipts but not to cancel the 12A Registration, which can be done only if the activities are not for general public utility.

We have provided the details of the above case, it may be possible that a number. of NGOs may be facing similar situation they can rely on this case to get the necessary benefit.

Citation :SAE India v/s DIT(E) (ITAT Chennai), I.T.A. No.386/Mds/2012, 17th October, 2014 

Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008
e-mail:; website:

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Smart City Means

Dear Friends,
Wish you all Happy Sankranthi / Pongal!

Smart Cities should satisfy certain basics without which other smart elements established at whatever cost would not be sustainable. The Central Smart City -project plan should detail the strategies to achieve the basics and other smart elements.

Some CSOs are reported to be working on the subject issue and awaiting the 100 smart city-project plan to be released by the U D M shortly.

It should be recognized that every City, smart or otherwise, forms part of a watershed / River basin. No activity within the Cities should affect the ecology of the downstream areas. Proper resource and effluent / waste management is a must for environmental and ecological health within and downstream side of Cities.

The basics:
The interests of slum dwellers, migrant workers, safety of women and children, affordable good quality drinking water, affordable and effective health care and education for all, nutritional security through efficient PDS  to support urban poor, quality-up gradation of Government and Municipal Schools, opening many more Central Schools and Polytechnique colleges…..

Most importantly gender justice and child rights are well taken care of.

In a smart city, all the traditional Tanks are rejuvenated, pollution of every kind is zeroed and at least 20% of the smart City is under green cover.

Other important elements:
Segregation of domestic waste right at home into different colored bins (bio-waste, recyclables such as paper/card board/packaging, rigid and flexible plastics and non-recyclables for safe disposal) world class waste collection system and transportation of the same directly to the recycling units. Special system for hazardous waste (Chemicals / medicines, CFLs, glass, electrical and electronic items, mobiles and related accessories, old air conditioners, refrigerators, water / Air coolers, etc.) collection and transportation to recycling units should be given priority – Reduce use of resources, Recycle and Reuse.

Domestic energy and water efficiency:
Interest free loans on attractive repayment terms for replacing the old inefficient electrical and gas based appliances.

Well trained teams for enhancing domestic energy efficiency to visit every home  for suggesting appropriate measures (Mummy ho ya daddy ho….Ad is in the right direction – catch children and the youth !) Educate school children and college youth on resource and waste management as part of compulsory general education.

Low flow rate – tap heads in kitchens, wash rooms and domestic gardens and garages for drastically reducing water wastage.

Recharging groundwater in cities, roof rain water harvesting  and efficient storm water drainage system should be prioritized.


Most of the above mentioned measures form the joint responsibilities of the Citizens / Corporates / Municipalities / State and Central Governments.

Transportation, power and building (individual / businesses / Industries / establishments  etc,) sectors and e- governance that make a City smart need to be addressed separately.

Civil society need to address the subject issue on a priority basis before our Governments finalise things.


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NGOs found receiving Foreign Contribution without FCRA permission banned

MHA has blocked funding of 4 more organisations in India after Greenpeace. These are Avaaz, Bank Information Centre, and Sierra Club. These organisations neither had prior permission nor registration. Infact some of these NGOs even received funds in the personal accounts of their employees.

MHA has now asked RBI to stop all their fundings.

All of us are aware that no NGO should receive funds without necessary permission from FCRA. Such organisations only bring bad name to the NGO sector and bringing in disrepute the name of a large number of NGOs who go through the rigours of complying with difficult FCRA norms.

Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 1 Comment

Is Society Registration renewal required?

Dear Sir

Our organisation was registered under 1860 act Fasli 1350 dated 9-4-1992 and Renewal was completed in 2001 Year in Hyderabad.Now All documents were sent to Districts from last 4 years onwards.Now we submitted for Renewal with All supporting documents to District registrar. They are not responding and Some times They are telling like Long time societies not possible to it correct if it is correct what is is the alternate possessor

Shramika Vikasa Kendram
Telangana-State, India

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 11 Comments

FCRA Renewal

Dear Friends,

I would like to know if the renewal application for FCRA has to be made online or manual. Also, there is a deadline of April 30, 2015 prescribed for filing the renewal application but is there a stating date as well. If no such date is there, kindly let me know by when the NGOs can start applying for renewal.

Thanks and regards,

B V Soma Sastry

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 3 Comments

Filing of FC-6 Return – Points to remember

Many of you would be busy in filing of your FCRA Annual Return (FC6) since due date of 31st December is fast approaching. To facilitate the same, we provide some important points that you find useful for correct filing of FCRA return.

  • Most important all organisations whether one has received foreign contribution or not must file FCRA returns. That means even if you have not received FCRA funds still file NIL return.
  • Must ensure that return is filed within due date otherwise there will be penalties, even in case of nil returns penalties are being levied.
  • File online return. We have put up a detailed guideline for filing of online return, alongwith screen shots and what you have to do on that screen. Click for more details.
  • Before filing the return, one will need to prepare FCRA financial statements (Balance Sheet, Income & Expenditure & Receipt & Payment account). The FCRA Act does not prescribe any specific method of accounting, thus it is discretionary to the Association to shown the utilization either on actual payment basis or on Accrual Basis. Since the purpose of these accounts is to facilitate preparing of FC6 return, even ICAI recommended policies would not be applicable on FCRA accounts to be submitted to the FCRA Dept.
  • Whatever method you follow make sure that the Bank balance as per accounts is in agreement with what is shown on the FC6. This will avoid unnecessary questions subsequently by Dept. in case of any queries.
  • Under Part I of the FCRA online Return, overall figures are to be given.
  • Under Part II please note detail addresses are required to be given where utilization has taken place. Please use this option and ensure that your return includes details of the places where activity has been conducted. There are no limits on the numbers and you can use this option for as many locations as required.
  • Make sure you take a printout of the draft return before clicking on Final Submit and verify the return. Only once you are convinced about the correctness of the Return please submit the same to the Dept.
  • Once final submission made, take printout have it signed by the Chief Functionary and submit it to the Dept. alongwith following documents;
  • Accounts (Balance Sheet, Income & Expenditure, Receipts & Payments Account),
  • Bank statements of designated account signed by bank official
  • Chartered accountant certificate

If you require any support you can contact at – 9350184168.

Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008
e-mail:; website:

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Grant as Work Order – Implications

Dear Friends,

NGO is receiving funds from a PSU for doing development work. This fund is part of the CSR initiatives. The amount is not given as a grant but in the form of a work order/consultancy. What implications will it have on the NGO receiving such funds?

Please provide your inputs on the same.

Thanks and regards,

B V Soma Sastry

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 4 Comments

General Body Approval needed?

Dear Sir,

I would like to seek clarification whether FCRA requires prior project approval from the general body of the organisation before sending it to the prospective donors.

Thanks & Regards,

Coordinator – Admin & Accounts
HAQ: Centre for Child Rights
B 1/2, Ground Floor
Malviya Nagar
New Delhi 110017

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 4 Comments

What is return form for Assets purchased from FCRA fund

What is the return form ( FC-6 or FC-7 ) for Fixed assets purchased from FCRA  fund ? What is the last date to file the FCRA annual return and Fixed assets return.
Ashok Mishra
SNS Foundation
Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 3 Comments

Clarification on service tax – Where is service receiver located abroad?

Here is an opinion on Service tax. I am quite confused. Could someone throw more light on the subject? What exactly is the right interpretation?

“Services to foreign organisations may not be chargeable to service tax in some cases. To understand this, let’s take an example.

A foreign entity has retained you to provide advisory services in India. You visit and advise their grantees / partners in India, and report back to the client. The foreign entity does not have an office in India. Therefore, your contract is signed with the main office. Your fees also come from abroad. Will this be chargeable to service tax?

No. In most cases, service tax is now charged based on location of the receiver of services. In this case, the receiver is located abroad. Therefore, this service is not taxable. It does not matter that the service is actually performed in India.”

Would be grateful for a response and guidance

Joe D’Souza

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 2 Comments