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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Can trustees of a charitable trust be paid remuneration? If yes, what is ‘reasonable’ remuneration for a trustee?
Yes - if:
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.
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:
Most Government organisations fail one of the three tests.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
Has FCRA Amendment Bill 2020 been passed yet?
Where should we disclose our quarterly FC receipts?
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com for clarification or relief.
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.
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)
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!!
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. See also FAQ 22 below.
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.
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.
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.
Can we accept CSR grant from Indian subsidiary of a foreign MNC in our FCRA Bank account? Or will this be a violation of the prohibition on sub-granting?
Ans. It is not a violation. Accepting FCRA funds from foreign sources in India is permitted under FCRA, so long as the donor is not registered under FCRA. Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies are a foreign source, and their contribution is foreign contribution, even if given in rupees. See also FAQ 18 above.
Are University Professors (or people nominated to Juvenile Justice Board, etc.) public servants? Can they be on Board of an FCRA NGO? What about retired Civil Servants?
Professors in Government Universities are Government Servants. They cannot accept Foreign Contribution or Hospitality without approval.
JJB members are public servants — they can accept foreign hospitality, but not foreign contribution while they are public servants.
Neither of these restrictions apply to Civil Servants or professors, etc. once they retire.
Should FCRA administrative expenses be calculated separately for each project or for all FC utilised during the year by the NGO?
For all FC received (as funds, material or securities) during a financial year. Sec. 8(1)(b) and form FC-4 both use the term ‘received’ for this. However, calculating this as a percentage of total FC utilised during the year would be more practical.
What is the last date for filing form 10B?
Normally the last date is 30-September of each year. This year, it has been extended to 31-December-2020.
What is the last date for filing ITR-7?
Normally the last date is 31-October of each year. This year, it has been extended to 31-January-2021. If you are filing forms 9A or 10, file these before you file ITR-7.
What is the last date for filing form 9-A for carry-forward of unspent balance?
Normally the last date is 31-October of each year. This year, it has been extended to 31-January-2021. If you are filing form 9A, file it before filing ITR-7.
What is the last date for filing form 10 for accumulating funds for long term projects?
Normally the last date is 31-October of each year. This year, it has been extended to 31-January-2021. If you are filing form 10, file it before filing ITR-7.