The NGOs cannot take foreign contribution directly. For this purpose they should be registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976, commonly known as the FCRA.
There can be two types of contribution from the foreign source, i.e. one time or expected more than once and even regularly. For any one time contribution the NGOs can receive the amount by seeking prior permission of the FCRA Section of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India; whereas for multiple and regular contributions of the foreign source it is advisable to seek permanent registration from the said Ministry.
For this purpose an application is to be made by the NGO, which should be in working for at least three years after its due registration, to the Secretary to the Government of India, ministry of Home Affairs, 26 Man Singh Road, New Delhi – 110003 in the prescribed Form FC-8 along with the desired enclosures (Certificate of Registration, Memorandum and Rules or the Trust Deed or any other proof of registration, audited financial statement and activity report of the least three years, and if possible letter of the prospective donor.
The Ministry sends the accepted application to local intelligence people for verification of the credentials and records of the organisation. On their positive remarks, the FCRA Section of the Ministry issues the Certificate of Registration to the applicant organisation.
It is essential to receive foreign contribution only in one designated bank account. Therefore, the applicant organisation should open a fresh bank account with the intention to operate it for such funds and mention it in the application. The said Ministry will directly inform the concerned bank to keep watch on the use of the foreign contribution and report back to the Ministry in case of any discrepancy.
The organisations registered under the FCRA have to maintain separate accounts incurred under the FC head and submit a return in the prescribed format to the Ministry along with the audited statement of accounts of the previous year by 31 July every year.
The organisations registered under the FCRA, should inform to the Ministry about any change in name of the organisation, its Registered Office and aims and objects within 30 days of the applicable change. Similarly, prior permission will be required from the said the Ministry for any change in the designated bank or replacement of more than half of members of the governing body at the time of its registration under the FCRA.
The management should be well aware of various provisions of the FCRA and should strictly follow the same otherwise they may face a number of rigorous punishments under the Act.
FCRA Registration Benefits:
- 12A Registration means Income of the society shall not be taxable. This is one time registration.
- 80G Registration means Donor can claim exemption. This is periodic registration.
- Benefits in taking grants from Govt./Abroad/ other Agencies.
- Benefit in FCRA Regis