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Tax relief to come with a rider for trusts
June, 14th 2007

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Wednesday issued a notification announcing that religious and charitable trusts and institutions, which failed to register with the tax authorities before June 1, 2007 for availing of tax exemptions, would get relief only from the year in which they apply.

Religious and charitable trusts and institutions wanting to avail of tax exemption on income for previous years had been given a deadline of May 31, 2007 to apply for registration. The new notification has removed the power previously vested with the commissioners for pardoning a delay in registration. The Finance Act 2007 has removed the power vested with the commissioners for condoning the delay in registration.

To avoid any ambiguity in this regard, an official statement issued in May said: In order to avail (itself) of the benefit of condonation of delay for earlier years, any trust or institution which has not filed its application within one year of its creation or establishment may file such application before the first day of June 2007.

Applications filed on or after the first day of June 2007 will entitle the applicant to claim exemption of income from the financial year in which the application is made and not for earlier years.

The Finance Act 2007 stipulates that for any application made on or after June 1, 2007, registration will be granted from the financial year in which it is made.

Earlier, to get tax exemptions, the trusts were required to apply for registration within a year from the date of their creation or establishment. In case of late applications, the commissioners of income tax had the power to condone the delay and grant tax exemptions.

Also, charitable trusts have been barred from availing of tax exemption on anonymous donations, but religious trusts would continue to get exemption on such income.

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