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Religious trusts protest abolition of tax exemption
June, 29th 2011

It's rare to see leaders of various religious sects getting together for a common cause. On Tuesday, members of Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Parsee, Swaminarayan and Christian trusts came together under a federation to voice their protest against propositions in Direct Tax Code (DTC).

The soon to come new tax regime will make religious and charitable trusts pay taxes. The members gathered under 'Federation of Charitable and Religious Trusts' at ATMA hall and agitated against the DTC bill which they said proposes to take away exemptions of religious trusts under income and wealth tax.

"Definitions of non-profit organizations which will enjoy income and wealth tax exemptions exclude trusts or institutions established for a particular caste or religious community excludes religious trusts and will have to pay tax at flat rate of 30 %. But Income Tax Act of 1961 has exempted all charitable trusts for particular religious communities set up prior to April 1 1962 from income tax and wealth," said counsel Yousuf Muchalla. Trustees said that if implemented the provisions in DTC will pull down shutters of many such organization.

The federation has made representations to the government and has also met with former finance minister Yashwant Sinha who heads the parliamentary standing committee on finance.

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