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Government to look into abolishment of income tax exemption to charity organisations: report
April, 28th 2014

The government will look into abolishment of income tax exemptions given to to charity organisations in its budgetary exercise for the year 2014, according to an RTI response from the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

It also said that It could not trace files related to proposals for giving income tax exemptions to political parties on donations and fundings received by them.

"Records available with TPL division were thoroughly searched. However, no files/records relating to introduction of the referred provisions from exempting political parties from income tax on funding/donations received by/made to them could be traced," the response said.

RTI activist Subhash Agrawal had made a suggestion to the Central Board of Direct Taxes that income tax exemption for donations made to and received by NGOs (non-government organisations) for charity and other purposes should be abolished.

"Preventing revenue loss by abolishing all types of income tax exemptions in respect to NGOs, charitable institutions, political parties etc will be provide added funds to government for development purposes," he had said.

In response to his RTI application, the CBDT said, "The suggestions presented by you in regard to abolishing of income tax exemptions for charity and other purposes, the same are being taken up in the form of pre-budget memorandum in respect of the upcoming budgetary exercise for 2014."

Section 2(15) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 defines a "charitable purpose" to include relief of the poor, education, medical relief, and advancement of any other object of general public utility.

However, a public utility activity cannot be treated as "charitable" if it involves carrying out of any activity in the nature of trade, commerce or business.

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