FCRA Registration

An NGO with minimum 3 years of operation can apply for FCRA Registration. 

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  • High-level Application Drafting.
  • Due diligence about the operations of the NGO.
  • In-depth analysis past 3 years Balance sheet of the NGO.
  • FCRA Application to the ministry of home affairs.
  • End to end follow-ups
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What is FCRA Registration?

FCRA Department comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs. FCRA Registration is optional for NGO / Trust / Section 8 Company.. 

In order to regulate the foreign contribution or foreign hospitality received by any individual, association or company the Government has consolidated all the laws and regulations relating to such transactions. For this purpose Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 was enacted. This was done to create a transparent mechanism for individuals and organizations through E-governance of FCRA related activities. This transparent system was created to discourage any detrimental activities which can be against national interest.

Process of FCRA Registration?

The process of FCRA Registration is quite straight forward. This registration is done through filing an online application on Form FC-3. Scanned copies of all the relevant documents and information is required to be uploaded at the time of filling this form.

However, there is a pre-requisite to this registration. To register under FCRA, the NGO must have a DARPAN ID. For this ID, it is required to register on DARPAN portal provided the NITI Ayog.

However, this seems relatively easy. There is a long list of documents required to be attached with the application. Thus, it is recommended to take expert help of professionals to the process. The authority has been very strict in terms of approving the FCRA Registration application. The applications along with the attached documents are analyzed in great detail. In past large no of FCRA Registration / License have been canceled.

Our team of experts, here in Enterslice can ensure to file error free FCRA Application will reduce the chances of rejection / re-submission.

What is The Document Requirement for FCRA Registration?

For Registration
  • Self-certified copy of registration certificate/Trust deed etc., of the applicant association.
  • Copy of PAN of the NGO.
  • Self-certified copy of relevant pages of MOA/AOA/Deed reflecting the main objects of the association.
  • Jpg file of signature of the chief functionary.
  • Activity Report of last three years.
  • Copies of audited Assets and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure statement etc. of last 3 years reflecting the expenditures.
  • Detail about the current and past management of the trust.
  • Annual report of the NGO and details of work done in past 3 years.
  • A true copy of the resolution passed by the Governing Body of the NGO.
  • A Copy of certificate issued by the Income Tax Authority under 80G & 12A of the Income Tax Act.
For Prior Permission
  • Self-certified copy of registration certificate/Trust deed etc., of the applicant association.
  • Copy of PAN of the NGO.
  • Self-certified copy of relevant pages of MOA/AOA/Deed reflecting the main objects of the association.
  • Jpg file of signature of the chief functionary.
  • Duly signed approval/commitment letter from the foreign contributor.
  • Copies of audited Assets and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure statement etc. of last 3 years reflecting the expenditures.
  • Detail about the current and past management of the trust.
  • A true copy of the resolution passed by the Governing Body of the NGO.
  • A Copy of certificate issued by the Income Tax Authority under 80G & 12A of the Income Tax Act.

Return Requirement after FCRA registration

After Successful FCRA registration, the registered entity is required to file a return annually in prescribed Form FC –4.

After registration the entity is required to maintain proper accounts and record of all the foreign contribution received as well as its utilization. And file a return in FC-4 online.

Certified (by CA) and Scanned copies of the following documents must be submitted with the return:

  • Income and expenditure statement,
  • Balance sheet
  • Statement of receipt of Foreign contribution and
  • Payment made by the entity.

Due Date: FC-4 is required to be filed within 9 months of the closing of every financial year i.e. by 31st December of every year.

FAQ For FCRA Registration ?
1. When is FCRA Registration Required?

Whenever any NGO either in the form of Trust, Society or Section 8 company is willing to receive any kind of foreign contribution or donation, they are required to obtain FCRA Registration under Section 6 (1) of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. Irrespective of the nature of the contribution i.e. either cash or kind, the registration is mandatory. Enterslice is well known FCRA Consultants in India. We help organization willing to register under FCRA.

2. In case of prior approval can Foreign contributor and Indian recipient organization have common members?

Yes, it is possible. But, there are certain pre-conditions to be satisfied. They are:

1. The Chief Functionary of the recipient organization shall not be the Foreign contributor (if contributor is individual) or a part of Foreign contributor organization.
2. Majority (51%)of members of the governing body of the recipient organization are not related in any way either as family or as members/employees of the foreign contributor.

3. What is the difference between prohibited and disqualified person?

There is a basic difference between prohibited and disqualified person. The prohibited person does not qualify for FCRA registration just because of its inherent nature. However, on the other hand in case of disqualification the person could have been able to apply for registration if it was restricted because of any act done by them. Such 'act' disqualifies them from filing an application.

4. What is the difference between Registration and Prior Permission under FCRA?

As we have discussed there are two separate ways to receive foreign contribution, i.e. registration and prior permission. Following are the point of difference is the eligibility criteria.

For registration: It is required that the applicant
1. Is in existence for a minimum period of 3 years.
2. Has done reasonable work in the area to public interest.
3. Has spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- over the span of last 3 years for the furtherance of their main objects.

For Prior Permission: The applicant is not required to be registered for any minimum period as they are in the initial state. No work experience is required. However, the registration is situation specific in nature. This means that the prior permission is for:

1. Receipt of a specific amount of foreign contribution.
2. From a specific contributor.
3. For any specific project/ activity.

The applicant is required to submit a copy of approval letter from the foreign contributor for the stated amount of contribution.

5. Who is prohibited to accept foreign contribution?

Section 3(1) of FCRA, 2010 specifies a list of person who is prohibited from receiving any foreign contribution:

1. Anyone contesting election.
2. Editor, owner, printer, publisher, columnist, cartoonist or correspondent of any registered newspaper.
3. Judge of court of law, government servant or any employee of a Corporation either owned or controlled by the Government.
4. Member of any legislature.
5. Any political party or its office bearer.
6. Any other organization of political nature specified under sub-section (1) of Section 5 by the Central Government.
7. Any company or association engaged in the production or broadcast of news or current affairs programmers through any electronic mode of mass communication, or any other electronic form as defined in clause (r) of sub-section (i) of Section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 or otherwise.
8. Editor, owner, correspondent, cartoonist or columnist, of any organization referred to in point 7.
9. Anyone else who have been prohibited from receiving foreign contribution.

6. Who can be a foreign contributor?

Section 2(1) (j) of FCRA, 2010 has provided clear definition of Foreign source who can provide foreign contribution. This list includes the followin:-

1. Any foreign Government including any agency of such Government.
2. Any international agency, this will not include any agency specifically excluded by the Central Government by notification ( like United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund etc.).
3. Foreign company incorporated outside India.
4. Any foreign corporation.
5. Any multi-national corporation referred to in Section 2(g) sub-clause (iv) of FCRA, 2010.
6. Company registered under Companies Act, 1956, whose minimum 51% of share capital is held, either singly or in the aggregate, by:
a. Foreign Government.
b. Foreign citizens.
c. corporations incorporated in a foreign country or territory d. trusts, societies or other associations of individuals (whether incorporated or not), formed or registered in a foreign country or territory e. Foreign company.
7. Foreign trade union either registered or not.
8. Foreign trust or a foreign foundation financed majorly by a foreign country or territory.
9. Any society, club or other association or individuals formed or registered outside India.

7. Under FCRA what constitutes as foreign contribution?

In order to apply for registration, first it is necessary to understand what actually constitutes as foreign contribution. The definition of 'foreign contribution' is stated under Section 2 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. It states that "foreign contribution" will include any donation, delivery or transfer made by any foreign source,

1.Of any currency, whether Indian or foreign.
2.Of any article. However, if such article is a gift and its market value at the time of transfer does not exceed Rs. 25,000/-.
3.Of any security as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 and includes any foreign security as defined in clause (o) of Section 2 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

8. How can a person accept foreign contribution Under FCRA?

As it was above mentioned, for receiving any kind of foreign contribution FCRA registration is mandatory. There are two ways to receive such contribution under the Act, they are:

1. Proper Registration: They are already under business for a minimum period of 3 years.
2. Prior Permission: This route is for organizations in their initial formative stage.

In order to accept foreign contribution following conditions must be satisfied:

1. The receiver must have been involved in cultural, economic, educational, religious or social program me.
2. It must either have FCRA registration or prior permission under the Act.
3. The receiver is not included in the prohibited list under Section 3 of FCRA, 2010

9. Who are disqualified to apply for FCRA registrations?

Before making an application for registration we have to be clear that the applicant is not disqualified under the Act. Following are the conditions which disqualify a person:

1. It is fictitious or benami in nature.
2. Either the applicant being an individual or in case of any organization any of its directors/ office bearers has not been prosecuted or convicted for
a. Forcing religious conversions either directly or indirectly through their activities.
b. For creating communal tension.
3. Is involved in propagation of sedition or advocating violence of any nature.
4. Found guilty of wrongful utilization of its funds and is likely to use amount of contribution for its personal gains.
5. Has contravened any of the provisions of this Act.
6. Is prohibited from accepting foreign contribution.

10. Who can be an applicant for FCRA?

One basic pre requisite for registration under FCRA is that the applicant must be a registered under an existing statute including.

1. Societies Registration Act, 1860 or
2. Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or
3. Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013) etc.

11. What is validity period of registration under FCRA?

Once the applicant is granted registration under FCRA, such registration shall remain valid for a period of 5 years.

However, in case of Prior Approval the validity expires once the forien contribution is fully utilized, for which the permission was/is granted. This period shall not exceed 5 years.

12. What are the restrictions relating to foreign contribution?

Under Section 12 (4) (g) it is clearly stated that no registered person under FCRA can accept any amount of any foreign contribution which:

1. Can lead to incitement of an offence or
2. Can endanger the life or can cause physical harm to any person

13. Whether any donation by an individual of Indian origin and having foreign nationality be counted as 'foreign contribution'?

Yes. Such donation will be treated as foreign contribution. However, 'Non-resident Indians', who still have Indian citizenship will not be counted in this category.

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