In accordance with the present situation, the world focuses more towards environmental and social causes. Itself the business, apart from the basic objective that is profit-making, are further involved in such activities that promote economic, cultural, social and environmental prosperity and growth.
In Today’s world is well connected and linked where accessibility to any wherein the world is easy. The transactions within places, people and countries that happen on daily basis. Consequently, the flow of foreign currency in and out of every country is completely natural and common.
The volume of these transactions carried on is at a pretty high level, and henceforth, it is impossible to track the inflow and outflow of foreign currency in a regular fashion. This brings the need for the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.
There are two modes of permission to accept foreign contribution under FCRA,2010, which are as under:
This generates applicability for those Associations that are already registered under the prevailing statute such as Societies Registration Act, 1860, Section 8 of Companies Act,2013 or Indian Trust Act,1882 and these Associations must exist for at least 3 years and thus undertaken charitable activities in such field. These Association must have spent at least Rs.10 lakhs on charitable based activities in last 3 years.
Application for FCRA registration can be done with the help of Form FC-3,also along with the application, the below mentioned documents must be submitted:
After FCRA registration is granted, its validity is for a period of five years. The renewal application for FCRA registration is to be made prior 6 months to the date of expiry, in order to keep the registration valid.
Inquiry at the time of Renewal of FCRA
Section 16 of the FCRA Act, 2010 states the process with respect to FCRA renewal, which needs to be done after every 5 years. However, the mentioned section does not entitle the department in making any inquiry of the renewal application at the time of processing, although FCRA department can start inspection and audit as per section 20 and 23 individually at any point of time. Although, together in these sections 20 and 23 the Central Government should with a reasonable reason for commencement of such audit or inquiry.
The latest FCRA Amendment Act, 2020 dated 29th September 2020, states that the central government is authorized in making inquiries and satisfy itself in respect to compliance of Section 12(4) prior for the renewal of FCRA. It should be noted that Section 12(4) is the provision where verification is done at that time of granting registration. Also, the government might make same inquiries before they grant the renewal of FCRA registration. Henceforth, with the proposed amendment, the renewal process has become difficult.
Delayed Application for Renewal
Situation where an NGO fails in applying for renewal that to within the due date, there the registration becomes invalid automatically. Hence, the department might accept the delay if the reason is satisfactory for not submitting the renewal application on time. Any delayed application for renewal can be filed within 1 year from the date of the expiry of the FCRA Certificate.
The rule 12(6) of FCRA Rules 2011 says that in case no application for renewal of registration is received or such application is not accompanied by the requisite fee, the validity of the certificate of registration of such person shall be deemed to have ceased from the date of completion of the period of five years from the date of the grant of registration. For instance, if there are no application is received or is not accompanied with renewal fee, the validity of the registration certificate issued on the 1st November, 2016 shall be believed to have expire with effect from the close of the day on 31st October, 2021.
Any application given for the renewal of the registration should be submitted with a fee of Rs. 1500 (Fifteen hundred only). But, in case of a delayed renewal application should be submitted with a fee of Rs. 5000(Five thousand only).
Subsequent documents are needed for the renewal of FCRA registration
Situations where the registration can be cancelled
There are several reasons where a NGO’s foreign funding registration can be canceled on situations like-
Any individual, if not registered under the Central Government, can receive foreign contribution only soon after getting the prior permission of the Central Government and with such prior permission this can be valid for a particular purpose for which it is obtained and from the specific source.
Any association registered through the Central Government or granted prior permission under section of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976, as it stands immediately before the start of this Act, shall be considered to be registered or granted prior permission, as per the case, under such Act and hence the registration will be valid for a duration of five years from the date this section comes into existence.
For this purpose, the Association should meet following criteria:
Documents Required for the FCRA Prior Permission
Following documents are needed
for FCRA prior permission
RESTRICTION ON USE OF FUNDS UNDER PRIOR PERMISSION
As per section 11 of the FCRA 2010 it says that if a person is registered or grants prior permission, if found “guilty” of any breach under this act, then the central government can levy restrictions on the receipt and usage of the foreign contribution.
Although, FCRA Amendment Act, 2020 dated 29th September 2020 says that, if taken prior permission, the specific limitations may be levied based on any information or report putting hold on the summary inquiry and the FCRA department has grounds to accept that if a person who has been approved prior permission breach any of the provisions of this Act. In other words, such limitations may be levied even if violations are alleged. It may not be necessary that the breach is proved or obtained finality in imposing such restrictions.
iii. The association is directed by the Central Government in taking prior permission under the provisions of section 10 where the power has been given to forbid any organization in receiving foreign funds.
FCRA Annual Return Filling
Organization that are listed under the FCRA must hold separate records under the Head Office of the FC and provide prescribed templates to the Ministry with the audited report of records of previous year. Any of the companies getting the foreign donations are expected to have issued a certification from a CA. The certificate to be issued by the CA and is offered in the form FC-6. Along with this document, Revenue and Expense statement and the collection, the audited Balance sheet and payment account statement, together with the verification and certification approved by the Chief Functionary, shall also be issued.
For each year the return is to be submitted (1st April to 31st March) that is within 9 months of the end of the year, that is by 31st December each year. The filling of a ‘0’ refund, even if none of the international donation is obtained/ used all over the year, is mandatory. The report will be issued in the specific form FC-6 consequently followed by the balance sheet and revenue and expenditure statement approved by the chartered accountant. On the basis of the suitable receipts and accounts, the chartered accountant is projected to report the following:
FCRA Quarter Return Filing
(i) Information of the donors
(ii) Amount received
(iii) The date of receipt.
Ques: – What is the limit up to which person can accept donation without FCRA registration?
Ans: -Foreign Contribution is defined as donation and contribution made by foreign source of:
Ques: –Can foreign contribution be obtained in and avail from multiple bank accounts?
Ans: Foreign contribution can either be deposited or received in the exclusive designated Foreign Currency account of a bank, as mentioned in the order for registration or prior permission granted by Ministry of Home Affairs.
However, single or more accounts in single or more banks may be opened for using the foreign contribution after it has been received.