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Devise mechanism to check misuse of tax exemptions
December, 17th 2015

Concerned over misuse of tax exemption laws by some religious and charitable trusts, a Parliamentary panel today suggested that the government look at the provisions afresh and devise a procedure for systemic evaluation of such institutions.

"The Finance minister should seriously ponder and look the whole issue afresh with a view to devising a procedure for proper and systemic evaluation of charitable trusts/ institutions so that those trusts which are not discharging their functions in consonance with the objectives ... do not escape any tax liability," the PAC report said.

The Public Accounts Committee, headed by Lok Sabha Member KV Thomas, today tabled the report 'Exemptions to Charitable Trusts and Institutions' in Parliament.

Based on the examination of a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Report No 20 of 2013), the PAC cited several instances of violations of Income Tax provisions and mentioned names of important institutions like Jamshetji Trust, Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust, four Cricket associations, and Symbosis Society Group.

The Committee suggested that the government should set up a web-based interactive plan to plug any possibilities of leakage in revenue or misreporting by charitable institutions.

And that is my concern too. When I pay several lakhs each year as income tax, I want to see that it doesn't go to the s... Read More

The PAC report suggested that government should conduct survey of all educational trusts in a timebound manner "to verify whether they are actually charitable in nature, especially considering the huge profits generated and surpluses accumulated by most of these trusts".

It also recommended that the government should take necessary action within a stipulated timeframe to cancel the registration of those trusts which do not exist for charitable purpose.

With regard to contributions received from abroad, it said government should make suitable amendments in the Income Tax Act to ensure that separate accounts are maintained for foreign contributions and local funds by trusts and charitable institutions.

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