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Donations to trusts are not business expenditure: ITAT
June, 02nd 2008

Donations to trusts can not be treated as business expenditure, the tax tribunal said while giving a ruling in a case involving an advocate and the tax authorities.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) recently gave this ruling in a case pertaining to an advocate from Indore who claimed tax benefit on donation made to a charitable trust with instructions to use the money for buying books for the court library.

Turning down the argument of the advocate that the money donated was a business expenditure, the ITAT held, "No direct nexus has been established between the expenditure by way of donation and the profession of the assessee, such expenditure cannot be allowed deduction under section 37 of the IT Act (business expense)."

The Inodre-based advocate in his submission before the ITAT argued that the donation to the trust was meant for "larger benefit of his junior colleagues, his own reputation and credibility amongst his colleagues."

ITAT, however, rejected the contention of the advocate and held that once the sum has been donated to a trust, the donor loses control over money and cannot issue any directions for the utilization of the amount.

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