Brief of FCRA Registration
FCRA Registration is required for all charitable trusts, societies, and Section 8 companies that receive foreign contributions or donations. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010 governs FCRA registration. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) is an act that regulates foreign contributions. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010 was passed with the following goals in mind:
- Individual organisations or corporations must strike a balance between accepting and utilising international contributions or foreign hospitality.
- Acceptance and use of foreign hospitality or contributions for any acts that are harmful to the national interest, as well as anything related to or incidental to those activities, are prohibited.
The government issues the FCRA registration certificate, which must be obtained before any registered trust, social institution, or non-governmental organisation (NGO) acquires or receives any foreign contribution donations.
What Are the Advantages of Registering with the FCRA?
- Aids organisations that are interested in social work that work for the welfare and betterment of the public.
- If an organisation is registered under the FCRA, it will be able to receive foreign contributions and government aid legally.
- Foreign bodies can donate to an entity that is registered under the FCRA.
Who is Eligible to Register for the FCRA?
The following entities are eligible to register under the FCRA: -
- Companies registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act.
- Under the Indian Trust Act, a trust is established.
- The Indian Society Registration Act regulates the formation of societies.
- The entity must not be banned in any way by the FCRA's provisions.
- Acceptance of a foreign gift by the trust will not jeopardise the life or safety of any individual, nor will it result in any criminal violation.
- The NPO must have charity aims in order to be registered, such as promoting health, education, economic development, art, culture, religion, sports, and so on.
What documents are needed to register with the FCRA?
The documents listed below are required for FCRA registration:
- Self-attested copy of the entity's incorporation certificate, trust deed, or any other certificate.
- Details of the non-profit organisation, as well as the PAN.
- Copy of institution's MOA and AOA.
- The Chief Judicial Officer's Opinion (It shall be in JPG From).
- A thorough report on the last three years' activities.
- Financial statement, P&L account, Income-Expenditure information, and cash flow statement over the last three years, all audited.
- Certified authentic copies of the resolution passed by a non-profit organization's governing body.
- Section 12 AB of the Income Tax Act was used to get the certificate.
What is the FCRA Registration Process?
The following steps must be followed in order to apply for FCRA Registration:-
How to Use the FCRA's Online Portal
The first step is to go to the FCRA's internet portal.
To use the forms, simply click on them.
An applicant must select one of the following options, depending on the type of registration:
- FCRA Registration Application (Form FC – 3A or FC – 3B)
- FCRA Prior Permission Application-Form FC-3B
Username and Password Creation
The next step is to fill out an online application. After selecting the ‘Apply Online' option, the applicant must next select the ‘Sign-Up' option to create a username and password.
Login to the appropriate account
When an applicant generates a user ID and password, a notice about it appears on the screen, and the applicant is able to log in to his or her account. When the applicant logs in, the screen will say "I am applying for," and the applicant must select FCRA Registration from the list. After selecting "Apply Online," the candidate must next click "Proceed Registration."
Begin a New Registration Process
The next step, FC-3, will appear in the title bar and should be clicked to begin the new registration procedure.
Providing Relevant Information
The next step is to fill out the form with the necessary information and documents. Along with that, the following criteria must be followed:
- The Executive Committee option must be selected from the menu bar by an applicant. The information will be included into the form for the Executive Committee.
- By entering "Add details of Key Functionary," the applicant can add, delete, or change the information.
Providing Bank Information
After filling out the above-mentioned criteria and details, the applicant must give bank information, which includes:-
- Name of the financial institution.
- The account number is a unique identifier.
- The bank's IFSC code
Documents in PDF Format Can Be Uploaded
All essential documents must be uploaded in PDF format after the applicant fills out the bank information. The location and date must also be supplied before the final submission can be completed.
The final and most important step is to complete the online payment by clicking on the appropriate button. Furthermore, after the payment is paid and the form is submitted, no changes may be made to it.
Note that after the authorities has given the FCRA registration, it is valid for three years.
What are the Consequences of FCRA Violations?
Violations of the FCRA can result in a variety of penalties, including the following:
- Foreign contribution receipts are being seized and confiscated.
- Penalty of up to five times the amount of the wasted foreign contribution.
- Accounts and records are subject to inspection and confiscation.
What are the different types of registrations available under the FCRA 2010?
According to the FCRA 2010, there are two options for an application to gain registration:
- The applicant must be registered under the following statute: The Societies Registration Act of 1860.
- The 1882 Indian Trusts Act.
- Incorporated by Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 or any other statute that may be specified.
An applicant must have made appropriate contributions to society by engaging in activities in their chosen field.
In the last three years, it must have spent at least Rs. 15 lakhs on attaining its goals.
Financial statements over the last three years that have been duly audited by experienced Chartered Accountants.
If a newly registered entity is anticipated to accept foreign donations, the Ministry of Home Affairs can grant clearance via the Prior Permission (PP) approach.
Registration for Prior Permission
The Prior Permission Registration is best suited for newly registered institutions that are expected to receive foreign contributions. Prior Permission is required in order to receive a specified amount from a specific donor for the purpose of carrying out specific initiatives. The following is a list of requirements for registering a non-profit organisation:
- Incorporated as a Section 8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013 or any other Act as may be needed
- Under the Societies Registration Act, 1860
- The Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
Submit to the Ministry of Home Affairs a specific commitment letter from the donor that specifies
- the amount of contribution offered and
- the purpose for which it is requested to be contributed.
If the Indian receiving organisation and the international donor organisation have members in common, the following requirements must be met:
- The Indian entity's Chief Functionary cannot be a member of the contributor entity.
- A minimum of 51% of the members/office-bearers of the Indian recipient entity's governing body should not be employees/members of the foreign contributor entity.
- If the foreign contribution is a single person:
- That person cannot be the Indian organization's Chief Functionary.
- At least 51 percent of the beneficiary entity's office bearers/members of the governing body should not be family members or close relatives of the donor.
Entities that are ineligible to apply for FCRA registration
The following entities are not eligible for FCRA registration:-
- The applicant is either fake or Benami in nature.
- Applicant who is being prosecuted for engaging in any unethical behaviour.
- An applicant who has been convicted or prosecuted for inciting communal strife in any area of a specific district or throughout the country.
- There has been no evidence of the entity engaging in any violent behaviour.
- Has used foreign contributions for its own benefit.
- Any entity that has been sanctioned for accepting a foreign receipt or a foreign grant in violation of any law.
- Any acceptance of a foreign grant that has a negative impact.
Renewal of the FCRA License: A Summary
FCRA registration is valid for five years and can be renewed by submitting an application. Within the following timeframes, an entity must apply for renewal:
- At least six months prior to the expiration date of the licence.
- If the entity is working on a multi-year project, at least 12 months before the registration expires.
FCRA Registration Cancellation/Suspension
If authorities believe that a registered entity is not operating in accordance with the law and that its licence should be revoked, they can do so by sending a notification to the affected entity. The following are some of the factors to consider while terminating the licence:
- The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act is not being followed by the NGO.
- If the entity fails to file an annual return by the due date, or if an investigation is conducted into any claim made against it for any misconduct in its activities, and the allegation is found to be accurate.
- The funds obtained are not used to achieve the entity's main goal or the purpose specified in the FCRA registration application.
FCRA Amendment Rules 2020 Revised Conditions
- The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) (Amendment) Rules, 2020 have been published by the Home Ministry. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011, have undergone numerous revisions as a result of the amendment. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, was recently changed by the Ministry of Finance, which notified the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020, as well as the method for opening and operating the designated FCRA Account.
- Revisions to the FCRA registration conditions are one of the most significant changes. The institution seeking FCRA registration must have been in operation for three years and have spent a minimum of rupees fifteen lakh on core operations for the benefit of society during the previous three financial years, according to the new criteria.
- A person seeking prior approval to receive a specified amount from a specific donor for the purpose of carrying out specific activities or initiatives must also meet certain criteria.
- It has been provided that if an application for renewal of FCRA registration is not received or is not accompanied by the required fee before the certificate of registration's validity expires, the certificate of registration's validity shall be deemed to have expired from the date of completion of the five-year period from the date of grant of certificate of registration. In such instances, the mandated authority receives the amount of unutilized foreign contribution in the FCRA Account.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs has extended the validity of registration certificates issued under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) of 2010, which were due to expire between September 29, 2020 and May 31, 2021, until May 31, 2019.
- The MHA is authorised to administer the FCRA, and Section 12(6) of the Act states that "the certificate granted shall be valid for a period of five years from the date of its issuing," according to the latest notification.
- If an NGO receives financing from a foreign source, it must register with the FCRA. If NGOs are found guilty of breaking the rules, they may face severe consequences, including the loss of their funding.
Procedure for FCRA Registration by Biz Advisors
Please follow the steps outlined above to legally and securely integrate an FCRA Registration and get the benefits of higher-quality charitable operations. Our business specialists would be happy to provide you with advice on FCRA registration and compliance so that your nonprofit organisation can run smoothly in India.
Professionals from Biz will help you plan smoothly and efficiently at the lowest possible cost, ensuring that the process is completed successfully.
To avoid many of the potential problems that lurk under FCRA Registration and to fully comprehend the need, it is recommended that an attorney with "NGO/Taxation experience" be hired. To begin the process, you will need to provide some basic information. Once all of the information is submitted and money is received, the Attorney will begin working on your request.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Chief Functionary's initials in JPG format, Certified copy of the Association's Trust Deed or Registration Certificate and Donor has signed a letter of commitment.
Once approved, the FCRA Registration certificate is valid for 5 years. An application for FCRA registration renewal can be made 6 months ahead to the expiration date to keep the registration valid.