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  • Overview
  • Regulation
  • Eligibility
  • Benefits
  • Types
  • Requirement
  • Documents
  • Process
  • Validity
  • Renewal
  • Assist
  • Fees
  • FAQs

What is FCRA Registration?

In accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) of 2010, all charitable trusts, societies, and Section 8 Companies that receive contributions or donations from foreign sources must undergo FCRA registration. The FCRA was enacted with the purpose of achieving two primary objectives. Firstly, it aims to ensure a balanced acceptance and utilization of foreign contributions or foreign hospitality by established individual associations or companies. Secondly, it serves to prohibit the acceptance and utilization of foreign hospitality or contributions for activities that could be averse to national interest or matters related thereto. Under this regulation, government authorities issue the FCRA registration certificate, which holds crucial significance for registered trusts, social institutions, and NGOs. Before they can acquire or receive any foreign contribution grants, obtaining this certificate becomes mandatory. This process helps in maintaining transparency and accountability in the handling of foreign funds, safeguarding the national interests and ensuring that the foreign contributions are appropriately utilized for intended purposes.

 

What is FCRA Registration Regulation?

Any trust, organization, or Section 8 charity that receives a donation or contribution from foreign sources is required to undergo registration under Section 6(1) of the Foreign Gift Regulation Act, 2010. This registration process is commonly known as FCRA registration due to its mandate under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010. The complete form of FCRA stands for the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, and the registration procedures for entities in India are outlined here.
The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010 was established with specific objectives in mind, which are as follows:

  • Organizations are prohibited from receiving unrestricted foreign funding or accepting hospitality from foreign governments.
  • No foreign hospitality or gift may be accepted or used for activities that could be harmful to the national interest or activities related to or ancillary to such actions that could have a detrimental impact on the national interest.

 

What is the Eligibility Criteria for FCRA Registration?

Applicants are required to meet specific conditions for standard registration of FCRA as follows:

  • The application must adhere to the applicable laws, which may require the applicant to register either as a Section 8 company under the Companies Act of 2013, or as a society under the Society Registration Act of 1860, or under the Indian Trusts Act of 1882.
  • The organization must have made a significant impact on its field by achieving innovative milestones.
  • An investment of at least Rs. 10,00,000 over the past three years is necessary for eligibility (excluding administrative expenses).
  • To apply, it is necessary to provide copies of audited financial accounts prepared by qualified Chartered Accountants for the preceding three years.
  • In case of a newly formed organization, approval can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs to accept foreign donations for a specific purpose, activity, and source through a process known as Prior Permission (PP).
  • Requirement for Preceding Authorization and Documentation.

 

The option of Prior Permission is beneficial for recently established organizations seeking foreign donations. This route is granted when a specific amount of money is raised from an individual or organization to fund a particular project or series of connected actions. To be eligible, the organization must possess valid registration under relevant Indian laws like the Companies Act of 2013, the Indian Trusts Act of 1882, or the Societies Registration Act of 1860. A formal letter describing the donor's commitments, including the donation amount and proposed allocation purpose, is submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Certain conditions must be met regarding the relationship between the foreign donor organization and the Indian recipient group:

  • The head of the Indian nonprofit cannot hold a concurrent position in the most significant donor organization.
  • Indian law requires that at least 51% of the Indian recipient's governing body must not consist of employees or members of the foreign donor organization.

 

In cases where a foreign individual is the donor:

  • The leader of the Indian organization must align with the desired expectations of the Indian entity.
  • More than half of the organization's board of directors cannot be comprised of the donor, their close family, or business connections.

 

What are the Benefits of FCRA Registration?

The benefits of Registration of FCRA are as follows:

  • Supports organizations dedicated to public welfare and social work.
  • Assists registered entities under FCRA in legally accepting foreign contributions and government aids.
  • Enables FCRA-registered entities to receive donations from foreign sources.

 

What are the Types of FCRA Registration?

Organizations aiming to secure foreign contributions for specific cultural, social, economic, educational, or religious programs have the option to obtain FCRA registration or receive foreign contributions through the "prior permission" route. Ideally, an FCRA applicant should be a Trust, Society, or a Section 8 Company. The not-for-profit entity must have a minimum of three years of existence at the time of FCRA application and should not have received any foreign contribution before that without prior approval from the Government.
Furthermore, the entity seeking registration should have allocated at least Rs. 10,00,000/- towards its objectives over the last three years, excluding administrative expenses. To substantiate meeting the financial parameter, statements of Income & Expenditure audited by a Chartered Accountant for the past three years must be submitted.

 

What are the Requirements for FCRA Registration?

If a recently registered entity wishes to receive foreign contributions, it can seek approval for a specific activity, purpose, and source through the Prior Permission (PP) method from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

There are two ways to obtain registration under FCRA 2010:

Prior Permission Certificate can be obtained after a year, while the Permanent Certificate is valid for a duration of 5 years.

Eligibility criteria for the Prior Permission Certificate are as follows:

  • The Non-Governmental Organization must have been operational for a minimum of one year.
  • The NGO is required to furnish a list of foreign donors, including their addresses, designations, and the causes for which they contribute.
  • The actual amount of money received from foreign contributors must be specified in the registration form.

Eligibility criteria for the Permanent Certificate are as follows:

  • The Non-Governmental Organization should have a track record of at least 3 years of operation.
  • The NGO needs to submit annual reports and audit reports for the past three years.
  • Other mandatory documents include the Pan Card and the By-Laws of the organization.

For newly registered entities that are likely to receive foreign contributions, approval can be sought through the Prior Permission (PP) method from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Upon submitting an FCRA application in the prescribed format, the registration is subject to the following criteria before approval is provided.

The individual or entity applying for registration or prior permission must meet certain conditions:

Must be a genuine and real person or entity, and not fictitious or benami.
Must not have been prosecuted or convicted for inducing or using force to convert individuals from one religious’ faith to another, either directly or indirectly.
The applicant must not have a history of being charged or convicted for inciting communal tension or disharmony in any designated district or any region of the country.
Must not have been found guilty of diverting or misusing funds.
Must not be engaged or likely to engage in advocating sedition or promoting violent methods to achieve its objectives.
Must not be likely to use foreign contributions for personal gain or divert them for undesirable purposes.
The applicant must not have breached any provisions of the applicable Act.
Must not be prohibited from accepting foreign contributions.
In the case of an individual, the person must not have been convicted under any current law, and there should be no pending prosecution against them for any offense.
In the case of an entity other than an individual, none of its directors or office bearers should have been convicted under any current law, and there should be no pending prosecution against them for any offense.
The acceptance of foreign contribution by the entity/person is ensured not to have adverse effects on the following:

The sovereignty and integrity of India.
The interests of the State concerning security, strategy, science, or economy.
The welfare of the public.
The integrity and fairness of elections to any Legislature.
The maintenance of friendly relations with foreign States.
The promotion of harmony among religious, racial, social, linguistic, regional groups, castes, or communities.
Moreover, the acceptance of foreign contribution should not lead to:

Incitement of an offense.
Endangering life / safety of anyone.

 

What are the Documents Required for FCRA Registration?

The following documents are necessary for registration of FCRA:

  • Self-attested copy of the incorporation certificate, trust deed, or any other relevant certificate held by the entity.
  • Details of the Non-Profit Organization, along with the PAN (Permanent Account Number).
  • Copy of the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) of the institution.
  • Impression of the chief judiciary (in JPG format).
  • A comprehensive report on the activities of the preceding 3 years.
  • Audited copies of the financial statements, Profit and Loss (P&L) account, Income-Expenditure details, and cash flow statement for the preceding 3 years.
  • Certified true copies of the resolutions passed by the governing body, authorized by the Non-profit organization.
  • Certificate obtained under section 12AB of the Income Tax Act.

 

What is the Procedure to get FCRA Registration?

To apply for FCRA Registration, individuals or entities should follow the step-by-step process outlined below:

  1. Accessing the FCRA Online Portal: The first step is to access the official FCRA online portal. This can be done by visiting the designated website provided by the concerned government authorities.

  2. Click on the Forms: Once on the FCRA online portal, applicants need to choose the appropriate form based on the type of registration they seek. There are two options available:
    • Form FC-3A: This form is used for FCRA Registration Application.
    • Form FC-3B: This form is used for FCRA Prior Permission Application.
  3. Creating the Username and Password: After selecting the relevant form, applicants must proceed to create a username and password to initiate the online application process. This step is essential for security purposes and allows applicants to have access to their account for future updates or modifications.
  4. Login to Respective Account: Once the username and password have been successfully created, applicants can log in to their respective accounts using the provided credentials. Upon logging in, the screen will display the option "I am applying for," from which the applicant should choose "FCRA Registration." After this selection, the applicant can click on "Apply Online" and then proceed with "Proceed Registration."
  5. Start the New Registration Procedure: The next step will lead the applicant to FC-3, the title bar for starting the new registration procedure. This step is crucial for commencing the application process for FCRA registration.
  6. Providing the Relevant Details: In this step, applicants are required to fill in all the necessary details in the provided form. These details may include the entity's or person's information, purpose of foreign contribution, activities undertaken, and other relevant information as required. Along with the form, certain documents are to be attached to support the application.
  7. Providing the Bank Details: After filling in the necessary information, the applicant is required to provide the bank details. This includes information such as the bank name, account number, IFSC code, and the address of the bank. Accurate bank details are essential to facilitate the proper flow of foreign contributions.
  8. Uploading Documents in PDF Format: Following the submission of relevant information and bank details, the next step is to upload all the required documents in PDF format. These documents may include a self-attested copy of incorporation certificate, trust deed, or any other relevant certificates held by the entity. Additionally, a detailed report on activities for the preceding 3 years is necessary. Furthermore, audited copies of financial statements, Profit and Loss (P&L) account, Income-Expenditure details, and cash flow statement for the preceding 3 years need to be submitted. Moreover, certified true copies of the resolution passed by the governing body, authorized by the Non-profit organization, are required.
  9. Making the Payment: The final step in the application process is making the online payment for the registration of FCRA. Once the payment is made, the form is submitted, and no further changes can be made. It is essential to ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete before proceeding with the payment.

Note: Upon successful registration, the FCRA registration remains valid for a period of 3 years. After this period, the entity or person needs to renew the registration to continue receiving foreign contributions lawfully.

For Prior Permission Registration: The Prior Permission Registration is specifically suited for newly registered institutions that anticipate receiving foreign contributions for specific projects. This option is granted when an entity expects to receive a specific amount from a specific donor for carrying out particular projects or activities. To be eligible for Prior Permission Registration, the Non-profit organization must be registered under one of the following acts:

  • Societies Registration Act, 1860
  • Indian Trusts Act, 1882
  • Incorporated as a Section 8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013, or any relevant Act as required.

In the case of Prior Permission Registration, the applicant needs to submit a particular commitment letter from the contributor to the Ministry of Home Affairs, specifying the amount of contribution and the intended purpose of the donation.

Additionally, if the Indian recipient organization and the foreign donor organization have common members, certain conditions must be met to ensure transparency and avoid any conflicts of interest. In particular, the Principal Officer of the Indian entity must not have any affiliation with the contributor entity, and the governing body of the Indian recipient entity should consist of at least 51% individuals who are neither employees nor members of the foreign contributor entity.

Similarly, if the foreign contributor is an individual, that individual cannot serve as the Chief Functionary of the Indian organization. Furthermore, at least 51% of office-bearers or members of the governing body of the recipient entity should not be family members or close relatives of the donor.

Entities that are ineligible for FCRA registration include:

  • Fictitious or Benami applicants.
  • Applicants against whom prosecution is conducted for engaging in any unfair activity.
  • Applicants who have been convicted or prosecuted for creating communal tension in a specified district or any part of the country.
  • Entities involved in violent activities.
  • Entities that have misused foreign contributions for personal gain.
  • Entities debarred from accepting foreign receipts or foreign grants under any legal provision.
  • Any acceptance of foreign grants that adversely affects:
    • The sovereignty of India.
    • Public interest.
    • Relationships with any other state.

 

What is FCRA Registration Validity?

Entities registered under FCRA with a validity period of 5 years that are set to expire between April 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023, and have already applied or will apply for renewal before the expiration of their 5-year validity period, will receive an extension of their validity until September 30, 2023, or until the date of disposal of their renewal application, whichever occurs earlier.
In simpler terms, FCRA entities whose registration of FCRA validity is ending between April and September 2023 and have already applied or will apply for renewal before their current validity expires, will have their registration extended until September 30, 2023, or until their renewal application is processed and decided, whichever comes first. This extension allows them to continue operating under FCRA provisions while awaiting the outcome of their renewal application.

 

What is FCRA Registration Renewal?

The renewal of FCRA Registration must be done in the following

  1. Access the Application for Renewal of FCRA Registration:

    • To begin, access the specific Application for Renewal of FCRA Registration form through the FCRA Online Forms page.
  2. Log in to the FCRA Portal:
    • Use your designated credentials to log in to the FCRA portal.
  3. Complete the Application for Renewal:
    • Select "FCRA renewal" from the "I am applying for" drop-down menu to proceed with the renewal process.
    • Follow the required steps to complete the application for renewal.
  4. Keep FCRA Registration Current:
    • Repeat the above steps to ensure that your FCRA registration remains current and in compliance with the law.

Businesses with FCRA registration are given a five-year validity period, and renewal can be done up to six months before the registration's expiration. To renew the registration, access the Application for Renewal of FCRA Registration through the FCRA Online Forms page, log in to the FCRA portal, and complete the renewal application by selecting "FCRA renewal" from the appropriate drop-down menu. By following these steps, businesses can maintain their FCRA registration and stay in accordance with the FCRA regulations.

 

What is FCRA Registration Assist?

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ApkaTax offers comprehensive support for the FCRA registration application process, including legal assistance based on the specific priorities of our clients.

Our dedicated support team ensures that our clients stay informed about the latest guidelines and updates regarding FCRA registration requirements and periodic inspections.

 

What is FCRA Registration Fees?

Are you looking for FCRA Registration Fees then here the details for you. The FCRA Registration cost start from ₹25000 to ₹50000 along with Government Fee ₹10000 and Professional Fee ₹15000.

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Fees
FCRA Registration Fee ₹25000 To ₹50000
Govt Fees ₹10000
Professional Fees ₹15000

FAQs

All trusts, organizations, or Section 8 charities that receive foreign contributions or donations are required to undergo registration in accordance with Section 6(1) of the Foreign Gift Regulation Act, 2010. This registration is commonly known as FCRA registration, as it is required by the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010. The complete form for FCRA is The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, and the registration procedures for India are outlined here.

As per the FCRA Act - All trusts, organizations, or Section 8 charities that receive foreign contributions or donations are required to undergo registration in accordance with Section 6(1) of the Foreign Gift Regulation Act, 2010. The registration process is conducted under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. FCRA was introduced in 1976 during the Emergency due to concerns about foreign powers influencing India's internal affairs by channelling funds through independent organizations.

Section 3(1) of FCRA, 2010 prohibits foreign contribution acceptance by candidates for election, media personnel, government employees, legislators, political parties, certain organizations, and electronic media entities.

Failure to apply for renewal by the stipulated deadline may result in the revocation of an NGO's registration. Nevertheless, the department might consider overlooking the delay if valid reasons for not submitting the renewal application are provided.

Following an inquiry, the Central Government may typically approve prior permission within ninety days from the application's receipt date. If the Central Government fails to grant prior permission within this ninety-day period, it will inform the applicant of the reasons for the decision.

As per Rule 6 of FCRR, 2011, if a gift is received from a relative exceeding ` 1 lakh per year, it should be notified to the Central Government. It is essential to highlight that prior permission is not required for receiving gifts from relatives residing abroad, but an intimation must be submitted within 30 days using Form FC-1.

To seek compounding of an offense under section 41, an application should be submitted on plain paper to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi. Furthermore, the application must be accompanied by a fee of Rs. 1000/- (One Thousand only) in the form of a demand draft or a banker's cheque payable to the "Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs," in New Delhi.

Failure to comply with FCRA regulations may result in significant penalties, which may include the following: (a) Seizure and confiscation of foreign contribution receipts. (b) Imposition of fines up to five times the value of the foreign contribution spent. (c) Account(s) Inspection and seizure.

Notification of receiving foreign contribution from relatives is required when the amount exceeds one lakh rupees or its equivalent in a financial year. The individual must inform the Central Government using Form FC-1 within thirty days from the date of receiving such contribution.

Rule 20 of FCRS states - To request a revision of an order issued by the competent authority under section 32 of the Act, an application should be submitted to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi, on plain paper.

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