Got a question? A doubt? You can send us an email at query@developaid.org. Or you can tweet or DM us @DevelopAid. 

But before you do that, please check the FAQ below. Questions marked with * are Rarely Asked Questions (RAQ):

No.

Date

Topic

Question

Answer

1

13-Sep-2020

FCRA

When should we file for FCRA renewal?

Registration of most of the organisations is valid till 31 Oct 21. You can file FC 3C upto one year before, between 1-Nov-20 & 30-Apr-21. File As Early As Possible. 

For some organisations, registration might expire earlier or later. Please check your status at http://FCRAonline.nic.in.

1*

2-Oct-2020

FCRA

Our FCRA Registration was cancelled in 20XX - can we apply for renewal now?

Also can we sell off our old FCRA fixed assets?

You can apply for fresh registration after three years - not for renewal. Legal custody of your FCRA assets passes to District Magistrate on cancellation (or surrender). You can’t sell these now without his/her permission.

2

14-Sep-2020

FCRA

Foreign donor agency is asking us to refund unspent grant funds. Can we do so? 

Banks will not clear the remittance without FCRA Dept. approval. And FCRA Dept. doesn’t permit this. 

2*

11-Oct-2020

FCRA

We are an old Indian Congregation of Sisters, canonically recognised by Vatican. We have many schools, centres & institutions in India and abroad. Some of these are registered as societies, with separate PANs. We have a common FCRA in Congregation’s name. Can we share FC funds/materials with other centres/societies within the Order, as per their needs?

Before the amendment, you could share FC with other societies, provided they had separate FCRA registration. Now even this is not allowed. You should apply for separate FCRA registration for each society, and raise FC for each directly.

3

15-Sep-2020

Income Tax

Can board transfer unspent funds to NGO’s corpus by a resolution?

Yes - it can. This self-created corpus is different from one given by a donor, & supported by a letter. the second (doThis comes out of your income - you can not treat this as application of income. The second (donor-mandated corpus) is excluded from your income.

3*

12-Oct-2020

FCRA

Before 2020 FCRA amendment, we had planned to give funds to some hospitals for equipment. Can we now donate equipment instead?

No. This is also restricted as sec 7 prohibits transfer of foreign contribution (whether in cash or in kind).

4

16-Sep-2020

Trusts

Can trustees of a charitable trust be paid remuneration? If yes, what is ‘reasonable’ remuneration for a trustee?

Yes - if:

  1. Trust deed allows it;
  2. Amount is reasonable;
  3. It’s for actual services beyond just attending board meetings.

Is it 'reasonable'? There is no benchmark, percentage or scale - depends on the qualifications, experience, time spent, amount of work, etc. In general, anything that’ll raise eyebrows should be avoided.

4*

12-Oct-2020

FCRA

Can we donate funds/equipment to Govt. Hospitals? Is there an exemption for Govt. bodies?

This depends on each case. In some cases, a government hospital may be exempt from FCRA under revised FCRA notification dated 30-Jan-2020, available on our site.


Briefly, the organisation should fulfil ALL three of the following to be exempt:

  1. It is set up by a Government law/order - registration under Societies Registration Act, Companies Act, Registration Act, 1908, etc. is not sufficient for this. 
  2. It is subject to compulsory CAG audit. 
  3. It is wholly owned by the Government which set it up. 

Most Government organisations fail one of the three tests.

5

16-Sep-2020

Income Tax

What is the last date for filing ITR-7 for financial year 19-20 (AY 20-21)?

Extended to 30-Nov-20. However, audit report in 10B or 10BB must be submitted by 31-Oct-20.

6

17-Sep-2020

Income Tax

When is the last date for filing application for renewing our tax registrations u/s 12A and 80G?

This provision will be applicable from 1-Apr-2021. See Taxation & Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Act, 2020 for details. Date for applying and other formalities may be announced earlier.

7

17-Sep-2020

FCRA

Should we file FCRA form FC-6E even if the change in board members is less than 50%?

Yes. FCRA Dept. issued a notification on 7-Jun-19, asking everyone to file form FC-6, every time there is an addition, deletion or change in Board - whether or not it’s 50%.

8

18-Sep-2020

FCRA

We don’t have FCRA registration. Can we sign a service contract for getting funds from an overseas donor?

You can, but you shouldn’t. You’ll get into big trouble if discovered. Apply for prior-permission in FC-3B instead. Or for registration, if eligible.

9

21-Sep-2020

FCRA

Has FCRA Amendment Bill 2020 been passed yet?

Yes. Received President's assent on 28-Sep-2020. Notified as effective from 29-Sep-2020. (updated 29-Sep-2020)

10

27-Sep-2020

FCRA

Where should we disclose our quarterly FC receipts?

On your own website, if you have one. If you don’t have one, then you can upload these at FCRA website or by clicking this link and logging in.

11

28-Sep-2020

FCRA

Do we have to publish our FCRA audited financial statements in ADDITION to filing FC-4 online? Where? Why? 

Yes - your full FCRA Balance Sheet, Income & Expenditure A/c, Receipts & Payments A/c, along with Audit Report and annexures/schedules. On your website, if you have one. So that public may know EXACTLY what you did last year. This is applicable from F.Y. 2015-16 onwards. Due date is nine months from 31-March. See Rule 13.

12

29-Sep-2020

FCRA

Are salaries of field level staff/volunteers (animators, workers, organisers, mobilisers, etc.) treated as program expense or administrative expense for #FCRA?

All these are covered by clause. ii of rule 5 and counted towards administrative expenses. Unless you are an organisation engaged in Research, Training or bonafide welfare activities (also called relief approach).

As distinct from welfare promoted indirectly through activism, rights-based approach, influencing government policy, mobilising people, etc.  

13

29-Sep-2020

FCRA

Can we return unspent FCRA grant funds to an overseas donor?

You can - if your bank needs gets clearance from FCRA Dept. In practice, this clearance is nearly impossible to get. Some organisations report waiting for several years, without any luck.

14

12-Oct-2020

FCRA

Can we accept FCRA remittances from primary donors in our present designated FCRA bank?

Yes and No. Some banks are allowing these. Others are allowing credits into present designated bank accounts ONLY from the NGO’s FCRA Account opened in SBI (see notification). 


Opening the FCRA Account with SBI might take quite some time. FCRA Department has not yet issued any clarification on banking arrangements till such time. 


If you’ve not been able to open the FCRA Account yet with SBI, please write to support-fcra@gov.in for clarification or relief.


(updated 12-Oct-2020)

15

1-Oct-2020

FCRA

Can FCRA registered NGOs transfer remaining amount of contracted sub-grants for 20-21 to other FCRA NGOs?

No. Please wait till there is a clarification or relaxation by the FCRA Dept.

16

1-Oct-2020

FCRA

Can a Pvt Ltd company accept foreign contribution?

No - they can’t. Term ‘association’ is wide enough to cover companies, trusts, societies & everything else under the Sun.

FCRA Dept also holds this view (FCRA FAQ 5)


17

2-Oct-2020

FCRA

FCRA doesn’t apply to business activities. Is it ok for an NGO to accept foreign contribution through service contracts? 


No. It is about as safe as putting a noose around your own neck and then kicking the stool away yourself! 

You’ve been cautioned!!

18

2-Oct-2020

FCRA

Our bank refuses to credit CSR grant from Indian subsidiary of foreign company to our FCRA a/c. What to do?

Give them AccountAble 84 and a letter confirming that funds are FC. If they still refuse, ask them to give you a letter recording their refusal, with reasons.

19

7-Oct-2020

FCRA

Due to FCRA change we can’t transfer funds to Sub Grantees. Can we make vendor/consultant agreement with NGO & pay against invoice after TDS?

No. It will be treated as a serious FCRA violation if discovered. You will also have to pay 18% GST on total value of the agreement (including expenses). You will have to deduct tax at source (2-10%) on the payment you make to the NGO. In some cases, the other NGO can even lose its tax exemption, if total services/sale revenue is moe than 20% of their receipts. And if this leads to cancellation of their 12A registration, they could end up paying 42.7% tax on the net market value of their assets.

20

10-Oct-2020

FCRA

If we can’t give FCRA grants/material to other NGOs, can we ask them to get bills in our name so we can book these in our own accounts? We will report these as expenditure/utilisation in our own FC-4.

No. This is illegal. If it is discovered by FCRA Department, it can result in cancellation of FCRA of both NGOs, penalties and even jail for key persons/Board members and any one who advised you or helped you do this. Your auditors might also get into trouble.

21

10-Oct-2020

FCRA

Whether financial support (transfer to beneficiary’s bank account or currency payment) to individual beneficiaries as part of project activities are allowed as per FCRA Act? Whether it will be treated as a FC transfer instead of end use of contribution as per the new changes?

Allowed - if the payment is for own personal use of a beneficiary selected as per program criteria, and properly documented. Please always exclude anyone who is prohibited u/s Sec. 3 of FCRA. Minimise cash payment - DO NOT pay more than Rs. 10,000 in cash.