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FCRA Registration

NGOs intending to receive funds and donations from other countries should first register under the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976.

The NGOs cannot take foreign contribution directly. For this purpose they should be registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976, commonly known as the FCRA.

There can be two types of contribution from the foreign source, i.e. one time or expected more than once and even regularly. For any one time contribution the NGOs can receive the amount by seeking prior permission of the FCRA Section of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India; whereas for multiple and regular contributions of the foreign source it is advisable to seek permanent registration from the said Ministry.

Exactly what is Foreign Contribution Regulation Act:-

Foreign contribution regulation Act 1976 or FCRA is a law of government of India which manages receipt of foreign contributions or help from outside India to Indian areas. This is important to ensure that such help does not affect political or other circumstances in India. For real contribution, the arrangement of law is not really difficult to comply. The routine compliance is restricted to filing of annual return every year. This law is implemented by the ministry of Home affairs, Government of India. There is a different section in the ministry to make sure compliance to the Foreign Funding Registration.

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976 is undergoing a sea change with its new avatar and at present the Foreign Contribution Regulation Bill, 2010 has been passed by both houses of the Parliament. Now it awaits the assent from the President to be enacted. This may take some time to come into force and till that time the existing act, FCRA, 1976 governs the entire gamut of foreign funding.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 (FCRA) was enacted in the year 1976 with the prime objective of regulating the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution and foreign hospitality by persons and associations working in the important areas of national life. The focus of this Act is to ensure that the foreign contribution and foreign hospitality is not utilized to affect or influence electoral politics, public servants, judges and other people working the important areas of national life like journalists, printers and publishers of newspapers, etc. The Act also seeks to regulate flow of foreign funds to voluntary organizations with objective of preventing any possible diversion of such funds towards activities detrimental to the national interest and to ensure that such individuals and organizations may function in a manner consistent with the values of sovereign democratic republic.

The organizations seeking foreign contributions for definite cultural, social, economic, educational or religious programmes may either obtain registration or prior permission to receive foreign contribution from Ministry of Home Affairs by making application in the prescribed format and furnishing details of the activities and audited accounts. The registration is granted only to such association which has proven track record of functioning in the chosen field of work during last three years and after registration, such organization is free to receive foreign contribution from any foreign source for stated objectives. Registration is granted only after thorough security vetting of the activities and antecedents of the organization and office bearers thereof. However, such organizations which are newly established and do not have proven track record of functioning may also receive foreign contribution for specific activities, for a specific purpose and from a specific source after seeking project based prior permission (PP) from the Ministry of Home Affairs

A Ngo relates to get subsidizes from abroad presuming that it has an international financing registration declaration. Administration of India and outdoors subsidizing companies discharges a considerable measure of funds for the well-being of the underprivileged area of the caste. Then again, such counts on are not legally made use of by a variety of such collection. UNO keeps tabs on conglomerations who have done extraordinary work in elevating the poor location of the caste. In this way, the right outlook to getting legit financial resources is to channelize your vigor in working for the society. Presuming that you would like to know the best ways to get a FCRA endorsement, you can counsel us.

The second generally essential viewpoint to get Foreign Funding enlistment is that you ought to have used at least 10 lakhs rupees in the most current three years under the social activities to get Foreign Contribution Regulation Act authentication. Consequently, you can ask for FCRA online through their site. After the fulfillment of five years, you have to renew the enrollment for an extra five years. This guideline will begin from the year 2015. You will just get a restoration if Government powers discover your work veritable and exemplary.

Outside funding has turned into a standard part of Indian social order of NGO section. In any case getting remote establishments is not that easy as it should be. NGOs meaning to get funds and contributions from various other nations must initially registered under the arrangements this internationl funding act 1976. Either long-term registration or prior consent for a specific contribution can be looked for from the FCRA Section of Ministry of House Affairs. A signed up NGO having existence for a minimum of three years can be registered under this arrangement.

The Ministry sends out the accepted application to local knowledge people for confirmation of the credentials and records of the company. On their positive opinions, the FCRA Section of the Ministry issues the Certification of Registration to the candidate organization.

It is necessary to receive foreign contribution just in one designated bank account. For that reason, the applicant organization should open a fresh savings account with the intention to operate it for such funds and mention it in the application. The said Ministry will straight inform the worried bank to keep watch on the use of the foreign contribution and report back to the Ministry in case of any inconsistency. The organizations signed up under the FCRA need to keep separate accounts incurred under the FC head and send a return in the recommended format to the Ministry together with the audited statement of accounts of the previous year by 31 July every year.

The non government organizations registered under the FCRA, ought to inform to the Ministry about any change in name of the organization, its Registered Workplace and purposes and objects within 30 days of the appropriate change. Similarly, prior consent will be needed from the stated the Ministry for any modification in the designated bank or replacement of more than half of members of the governing body at the time of its registration under the FCRA. The management ought to be cognizant of various arrangements of the FCRA and need to strictly follow the exact same otherwise they may deal with a number of extensive punishments under the Act. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was enacted in the year 1976 and just recently, modified in the year 2010 with the prime objective of managing the approval and usage of foreign contribution and foreign hospitality by persons and associations working in the important locations of nationwide interest.

The focus of this Act is to ensure that the foreign contribution and foreign hospitality is not made use of to affect electoral politics, public servants, judges and other people working in to the crucial locations of national interest viz reporters, printers and publishers of newspapers, etc.

Charitable Trusts, Societies, Section 8 Company that receive foreign contribution or donation from foreign sources are required to obtain registration under Section 6(1) of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. Such a registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 is called a FCRA registration. In this article, we look at the procedure for obtaining FCRA registration in India. Eligibility for obtaining FCRA Registration

Organizations seeking foreign contributions for definite cultural, social, economic, educational or religious programmes may obtain FCRA registration or receive foreign contribution through “prior permission” route. It is preferable for an FCRA applicant to be a Trust or Society or a Section 8 Company. The not-for-profit entity must have also been in existence for a minimum of three years while making the FCRA application and should not have received any foreign contribution prior to that without the Government’s approval. Additionally, the entity seeking registration should have spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- over the last three years on its aims and objects, excluding administrative expenditure. Statements of Income & Expenditure, duly audited by Chartered Accountant, for last three years are to be submitted to substantiate that it meets the financial parameter.

In case a newly registered entity would like to receive foreign contributions, then approval for a specific activity, specific purpose and from a specific source can be made to the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Prior Permission (PP) method.

Criteria for grant of FCRA Registration

Once, an FCRA application is made in the prescribed format, the following criteria are check before providing registration.

(a) The ‘person’ or ‘entity’ making an application for registration or grant of prior permission- Is not fictitious or benami;
Has not been prosecuted or convicted for indulging in activities aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another;
Has not been prosecuted or convicted for creating communal tension or disharmony in any specified district or any other part of the country;
Has not been found guilty of diversion or mis-utilisation of its funds;
Is not engaged or likely to engage in propagation of sedition or advocate violent methods to achieve its ends;
Is not likely to use the foreign contribution for personal gains or divert it for undesirable purposes;
Has not contravened any of the provisions of this Act;
Has not been prohibited from accepting foreign contribution;
The person being an individual, such individual has neither been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.
The person being other than an individual, any of its directors or office bearers has neither been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.

(b) the acceptance of foreign contribution by the entity / person is not likely to affect prejudicially –

The sovereignty and integrity of India;
The security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the State;
The public interest;
Freedom or fairness of election to any Legislature;
Friendly relation with any foreign State;
Harmony between religious, racial, social, linguistic, regional groups, castes or communities.

(c) the acceptance of foreign contribution-

Shall not lead to incitement of an offence;
Shall not endanger the life or physical safety of any person.

Papers Required For FCRA Registration:-
Under Section 6 of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, it is provided that any company having a categorical social / useful / religious / monetary article simply acknowledge outside commitment in the wake of getting international funds registration. Following documents are necessary for registration under FCRA.
  1. Copy of registration certification of society or trust deed as the case may be.
  2. Copies of the audited statements of accounts for the last 3 years.
  3. Copies of the annual report of last three years.
  4. Bank Information.
  5. Bank Name.
  6. Account Number.
  7. Bank Address.
  8. List of governing body.
  9. Name.
  10. Father's Name.
  11. Occupation.
  12. Designation.
  13. Address.
  14. Name of the chief functionary and his mobile Number.
  15. Phone number of the office.
  16. Copy of PAN Card of The Society / Trust.


Types of FCRA Registration

There are 2 kinds of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act certificates :

1. Prior consent certification which is possible after one year.
2. Long-term certificate for 5 years.

For Prior Approval, these criterias should be fulfilled :-

1. Prior authorization certificate is provided those NGOs who have finished a minimum of one year in running.
2. The non government organization has to offer the list of foreign benefactors in addition to their addresses, classifications and cause for which they are donating.
3. The public welfare organization needs to point out the overall quantity of cash which is being received as a foreign donation.
* For Foreign Contribution Regulation Act certification for 5 years, these criterias shall be satisfied.
1. The Non Government Company must be three years old.
2. Last 3 years annual report, audit report should be sent.
3. Copy of pan card, Bye laws of the ngo shall also be offered.
* After 5 years, FCRA certification must be renewed. This guideline will be executed from the year 2015.

For obtaining registration under the FCRA, the applicant association should preferably be registered under any of the following Acts :-

  1. Societies Registration Act, 1860
  2. Indian Trusts Act 1882
  3. Charitable and religious Trusts Act 1920
  4. Companies Act 1956 (Section 25)

Time taken for Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration : -

Typically, the time taken for the registration is 4 months but it might vary if the NGO has several branches. The reason is that after online declaring of Foreign Funding Registration, within 1 month, the policemans of Knowledge Bureau, Department of Ministry of Home Affairs visits the workplace of the organization to confirm whether it is appropriately working or not. For registration to get international funds, there are following 3 actions involved: -
1. Online filing at the website of Ministry of House Affairs.
2. Report sent by the IB Team after one month.
3. Hard Copy Submission in the Ministry.

Benefits of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act :-

The NGO can approach different foreign financing companies after FCRA registration. Some of them are as follows -

  1. British High Commission.
  2. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  3. Oxfam.
  4. Ford Foundation.
  5. SWISSAID.
  6. Infinity Foundation.
  7. BORDA( Germany ).
  8. Canadian High Commission.
  9. New Zealand High Commission.
  10. Findhorn Foundation.
  11. GIFRID( Israel ).
  12. European Commission(EC).
  13. UNESCO.
  14. AUSAID.
  15. Japanese Embassy.


Something is extremely clear. The foreign financing agencies only donate to those ngos working in certain area or for particular cause like education, women empowerment, wellness etc . The social welfare organizations who work in an authentic method get granted for their exemplary work and achievement. The slogan of a NGO must not be to misuse the fund however to work for the social upliftment of the poor and the needy and provide the world a boost.

Cancellation of FCRA Registration: -
There are numerous reasons where a NGO's foreign funding registration can be canceled on conditions such as--

1. The fund given by the foreign contributor is not made use of correctly and used for own individual interest.
2. The ngo fails to submit yearly compliance for three successive years.
3. Any member of the company submits a complaint that the NGO is not working effectively and if it is proved.

Regarding grant of FCRA Registration

1) The FCRA registration is granted only to such association, which has proven track record of functioning in the chosen field of work during last three years, and after registration, such organization is free to receive foreign contribution from any foreign source for stated objectives.

2) Organizations which are newly established and do not have proven track record of functioning may also receive foreign contribution for specific activities, for a specific purpose from a specific source after seeking project based previous permission (PP) from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Key Points for FCRA Registration

Before starting registration process, It is ensured that

1. NGO is at least three years old.
2. It does not have a parent Society which is already registered under FCRA.
3. Majority of the members of the board should not be on the board of another Society, which is already registered under FCRA.
4. The parent society of the applicant, if any, should not be based abroad.
5. No foreigner is on the board of the society.

Registration process without complying with the above is likely to be useless. There are no legal requirements regarding the above condition.
Internally Ministry of Home Affairs does not grant a registration without ensuring the above major issues.

FCRA Bank Account

it is essential to receive foreign contribution only in one designated bank account. Therefore, the applicant organisation should open a fresh bank account with the intention to operate it for such funds and mention it in the application. The said Ministry will directly inform the concerned bank to keep watch on the use of the foreign contribution and report back to the Ministry in case of any discrepancy.

FAQ

1. Is FCRA regulated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI)?
Ans. -
FCRA is an internal security legislation and it is not regulated by RBI. It is regulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

2. Is Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) also applicable to foreign contribution received by Indian Ngo?
Ans. -
FEMA is a fiscal legislation coming under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. It does not apply to foreign contribution received by Indian Ngo.

3. Is it necessary to have registered Ngo in order to get FCRA registration?
Ans. -
Section 2(1)(a) of FCRA defines the term association as:
" association" means an association of individuals, whether incorporated or not, having on office in India and includes a society, whether registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860), or not, and any other
Organization, by whatever name called;
The act does not specify registration as a condition precedent to for the purposes of this act. It is not necessary for an association to be a registered one but there must be some documentary evidence to establish the existence and activities of the association. But for all practical purposes registration is a defecate necessity+

4. Is it necessary to obtain registration under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act in order to apply for registration under FCRA?
Ans. -
The FCRA does not specify registration under the Income Tax Act as a condition precedent for registration under FCRA. Infact, there are numerous instances of organization having FCRA registration with Income Tax registration. But, since Income Tax registration is mandatory in nature, ideally Income Tax registration should be completed before applying for FCRA registration

5. What are the different forms of registration possible under FC(R) A to receive Foreign Contribution?
Ans. -
There are two ways of registration possible under FC(R) A.
(i) Regular registration (Apply inform F.C 8) - under this registration, there is no restriction (either the total amount or from specific donor) for receiving Foreign Contribution.
(ii) Prior permission (Apply in Form F.C 1A) - under this registration, the permission is granted for a specific amount from a specific donor. A letter of intent from the donor to donate the amount must be enclosed along with the application form (Form F.C 1A).
However, in both the above cases, it is imperative to file the annual return in Form F.C 3.

6. Are donation received in kind considered as foreign contribution?
Ans. -
The definition of the term 'foreign contribution' is wide enough to include donations received in kind. The definition of 'foreign contribution' says that any donation, delivery or transfer made by any foreign source, of article, currency or foreign security.

7. Will the consultancy income of an Ngo be considered as foreign contribution ?
Ans. -
The definition of 'foreign contribution' includes all kinds of foreign receipts. It does not distinguish between a commercial receipt or a voluntary contribution, therefore, the consultancy income should also be considered as foreign contribution. The intent of FCRA is to regulate the foreign receipts of certain specified association and individuals irrespective of the nature of receipt, unless it is specifically excluded in FCRA.

8. Will donations received in Indian rupees in India from a foreigner be considered as foreign currency?
Ans. -
Yes, money received from a foreign source, whether in India or outside India, whether in Indian currency or foreign currency is considered as foreign contribution.

9. Will funds received from an NRI in foreign currency be considered as foreign contribution?
Ans. -
NRI's are not covered within the definition of 'foreign source'. Therefore, any amount received from NRI will not be considered as foreign contribution

10. Will United Nations or World Bank be considered as foreign source?
Ans. -
No, Central Government has notified in the official gazette that agencies of United Nations and certain other international organisations shall not be treated as foreign source, for the purposes of the Act.

11. Can political parties receive foreign contribution?
Ans. -
FCRA specifically debars political parties from receiving foreign funds. Political parties cannot receive foreign fund under any circumstances. Neither can they apply for registration nor can they apply for prior permission on case-to-case basis.

12. Which are the organisations/individuals specifically debarred from receiving foreign contribution?
Ans. -
Section 4 of FCRA specifies that the following persons cannot receive foreign contribution:
(a) candidate for election.
(b) Correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper.
(c) Judge, Government servant or employee of any corporation.
(d) member of any legislature
(e) political party or office-bearer thereof.

The above mention person cannot receive foreign contribution subject to certain exceptions specified in section 8 which are as under:

(a) If they receive foreign funds by way of salary, wages or remuneration for services rendered.
(b) If they receive payment in ordinary course of business transaction in India by such foreign organization or source.
(c) If the funds are received in the course of international trade or commerce or in the ordinary course of business transacted outside India.
(d) Payment is received as an agent of a foreign source of organization in relation to any transaction made by such foreign organisation with the governance.
(e) If the payment is received by way of gift or presentation as a part of any Indian delegation within the norms of acceptance described by Central Government.s
(f) Payment is received from relative staying abroad. Such payments should be received with prior permission only if it exceeds Rs.8, 000.00.
(g) Payment is received through official channel, post office or any authorized dealer in the ordinary course of business.

13. Can an organisation of political nature receive foreign contribution and register itself with FCRA?
Ans. -
Organisation of Political nature are not eligible for registration under FCRA. However such organisation can apply for prior permission on case-to-case basis. A organisation of political nature is an organisation which is associated or close to political parties. The Central Government has published a list of organisations which are considered as organisation of political nature.

14. Does FCRA apply to ordinary citizens?
Ans. -
Apart from the persons mentioned in Section 4 (as discussed above) all individual are entitled to received foreign funds without any restrictions. In other words FCRA is not applicable to private individuals. The only exception in this regard is receipt of stipend or scholarship from foreign source in excess of Rs.36, 000.00 should be reported to Central Government by virtue of Section 7.

15. Does FCRA apply to commercial or business organisation?
Ans. -
Movement of foreign funds in the normal course of commerce and business is outside the purview of FCRA. Therefore, business organisation need not worry about FCRA as FCRA is only a internal security enactment. However, the provision of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, which is a financial legislation, would be applicable.

16. What are the statutory condition for receiving foreign contribution?
Ans. -
Under Section 6 of FCRA, it is clearly provided that any organisation having a definite cultural/ social/ educational/ religious/economic object shall only accept foreign contribution after satisfying two conditions :
(i) It must registers itself with the Central Government.
(ii) It must agrees to receive foreign contribution only through one specific bank account.

17. What are the checklist of documents to be filed with an FCRA application?
Ans. -
The following documents must be filed for obtaining registration :
i) Form FC-8 duly filled up in triplicate.
ii) Audited statement of accounts of past three years.
iii) Annual Report specifying activities have past 5 years.
iv) Detail of the beneficiaries and detail of the socioeconomic factors of the region in which the Ngo is working.
v) List and geographical detail of the state, and districts proposed for work.
vi) Certified copy of the Registration Certificate.
vii) Certified copy of the Bylaws and Memorandum and Article of Association whichever is applicable.
viii) Copy of certificates of exemption or registration issued by the Income Tax Department u/s. 80G and 12A.
ix) Copy of any prior permission granted to the organisation.
x) Copy of resolution of Governing Body of the organisation, authorising the registration under FCRA.
xi) Copy of Power of Attorney or the resolution of Governing Body by which the Chief Functionary is authorised to submit FC-8.
xii) List of present members of the Governing Body of the organisation and the office bearers.
xiii) Copy of any Journal or other publication of the organisation.
xiv) If the association is having any parent or sister or subsidiary organisation which is registered under the FCRA then the registration number along with Ministry of Home Affairs file number should be mentioned.
xv) If the association has submitted any application earlier then its reference number should be mentioned.
xvi) If the association has received any foreign contribution with or without the prior approval of the Central Government, then the detail should be given.

18. What is the time limit of making an application for registration?
Ans. -
No specific time limit has been provided under FCRA for making an application, unlike Income Tax Act, which requires an organisation to apply within one year from its creation or registration under section 12A. Normally FCRA is granted after 3 years of active existence.

19. An undertaking is required to be given by Chief functionary, what are its implications?
Ans. -
The application form which is FC-8, was amended vide Foreign Contribution (Regulation) (Amendment) Rules, 1996[GSR 592(E), dt. 27.12.1996]. After the amendment an undertaking has to be given by the Chief Functionary, affirming that the information's are correct and the organisation would undertake to abide by the following :
(i) Inform within 30days regarding change of name, address, objects, etc. with evidence.
(ii) Not to accept any foreign contribution without prior permission, if more than 50% of the office bearers as were mentioned in the application for registration are changed or replaced.
(iii) Not to change the bank account or branch of the bank without prior permission.
(iv) Not to accept foreign contribution before the registration is granted or with prior permission only.
As discussed above, that after 27.12.1996, all organisations applying for registration are required to give an undertaking which, among other conditions, specifies that foreign contributions, specifies that foreign contribution should not be accepted if more than 50% of office bearers, as were mentioned in the application for registration are changed or replaced. But the organisations who had applied before 27.12.1996 and were registered, are not bound by any such undertaking. The undertaking is a part of Form FC-8 and nothing in this regard has been mentioned in the FCRA. Therefore, those organisations who are not signatory to such undertaking are legally not bound by the clauses of the undertaking. The undertaking in the earlier form did not have the clause of change in more than 50% of office bearers. In the absence of any specific provision in the FCRA, the undertaking given in Form FC-8 does not create any mandatory obligation on the older organisations. But, it is advisable to inform such changes and get them officially regularised.

20. Can an Ngo have foreigner on board at the time of registration ?
Ans. -
Under FCRA, an organisation registered in India, having a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme is entitled to apply for registration. An organisation can apply for FCRA registration even when it has foreigners as its member/board members. The only issue relevant in this regard is that FCRA authorities may exercise greater vigil and caution in processing such application. But as a matter of internal practice FCRA is not granting registration to organisation with foreigners on board. Such registrations are given only in exceptional circumstances, very few instances are available.

21. Is FCRA application be recommended by some local authority ?
Ans. -
Foreign Contribution Amendment Rules, 2000, inserted clause 10A in Form FC-1A, requiring the insertion of a certificate from a competent authority. This certificate can be given by any one of the following :
(1) Collector of District
(2) Department of the State Government
(3) Ministry or Department of the Government of India
In this certificate the competent authority certifies the address and the field of activities in which the organisation is working. It also states that there are no adverse antecedents of the organisation, the proposed activities will be beneficial to the people living in that area and the detail of prior permission if taken earlier

22. What is the remedy if an application is rejected?
Ans. -
To apply for registration, Form FC-8 along with enclosures is required to be filed in duplicate to the Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Internal Security Wing-FCRA, 4th Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Near Khan Market, New Delhi-110003.

23. The authority to whom the application for registration is to be made ?
Ans. -
To apply for registration, Form FC-8 along with enclosures is required to be filed in duplicate to the Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Internal Security Wing-FCRA, 4th Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Near Khan Market, New Delhi-110003.

24.Is it possible to receive foreign contribution prior to FCRA registration?
Ans. -
An association or an organisation can receive foreign contribution even without registration with prior permission from the FCRA department. Foreign funds and materials can only be received under two circumstances-
i) The organisation has obtained permanent registration from the FCRA department.
ii) The association or the organisation obtains prior permission from the FCRA department on case to case basis.

25. What is the procedure for obtaining prior permission ?
Ans. -
The Organisation is required to apply in Form FC-1A for prior approval to the FCRA department along with the required documents.

26. What is the checklist of documents to be submitted for getting prior permission?
Ans. -
i) Form FC 1A, duly filled up in triplicate.
ii) Audited statement of accounts of past three years.
iii) Annual Report specifying activities of past 3 years.
iv) Details of the beneficiaries and details of the project for which foreign contribution is expected. The detail should include narrative as well as financial details.
v) Letter of commitment from the foreign donor agreeing in principle to provide funds.
vi) Certified copy of the registration certificate under the Societies Act/ Companies Act.
vii) Certified copy of the Bylaws and Memorandum and Article of Association whichever is applicable.
viii) Copy of certificates of exemption or registration issued by the Income Tax Department under sections 80G or 12A.
ix) Copy of any prior permission granted to the organisation.
x) Copy of resolution of governing body of the organisation, authorising the prior permission.
xi) Copy of power of attorney or the resolution of governing body by which the Chief Functionary is authorised to submit FC-1A.
xii) List of present members of the governing body of the organisation and the office bearers.
xiii) Copy of any journal or other publication of the organisation.

27. What is the time limit for making application for prior permission ?
Ans. -
An application for prior permission in Form FC-1A can be made any time after the legal constitution of an organization. But it is important to have a written commitment (Letter of Intent) from the donors.

28. What if funds are received prior to getting a prior permission?
Ans. -
If the funds are credited in the bank account prior to the receipt of approval from the FCRA authorities, then the funds should not be applied for the purposes for which they are received i.e. it should be kept intact and should be spent only after getting prior permission.
If the application is rejected then the funds have to be refunded back to the respective donors. The refund of fund back to the foreign agencies may involve legal formalities under Foreign Exchange Management Act, depending on the quantum of contribution received.

29. What is a time limit for granting prior permission ?
Ans. -
The FCRA department should dispose of a application of prior permission within a maximum period of 120 days.

30. What if the application is not disposed of within a period of 120 days?
Ans. -
The proviso to Section 11 provides that if the prior permission is not granted within the prescribed time limit, then the applicant can assume that the prior permission is deemed to have been granted. The deeming provision provides an automatic right for receiving foreign funds, to the applicant organisation even in the absence of any written communication from the FCRA department.

Before invoking the deeming provisions, the recipient organisation should wait for a reasonable period from the end of 120 days to ensure that the communication is not in postal transit.

31. What is the law about opening of bank account ?
Ans. -
As per Section 6(1)(b), every organisation, which has either registered itself with the Central Government in accordance with the FCRA rules or has obtained prior permission, shall receive foreign contribution only through one such bank account as specified in its application for registration for prior permission.
Form FC-8 and Form FC-1A which deal with the application for registration and prior permission respectively, require the mention of separate bank account number and the branch of the bank.

32. What is the procedure for changing bank accounts ?
Ans. -
When a change of bank account becomes a necessity by virtue of relevant and justifiable reasons the following procedure may be followed : (i) A new bank account which is proposed to be designated bank account should be opened by depositing the minimum amount required for opening of the account.
(ii) The proposed account, since it is subject to approval, should not be opened with foreign funds.
(iii) An application to the FCRA authorities should be made by citing the relevant and justifiable reasons for such change along with complete details of the old account as well as the new account.
(iv) After receiving the permission from FCRA authorities, the entire unspent balance of foreign contribution from the old designated account should be transferred to the new account.
(v) It is not necessary to close the old account. Therefore, the organisation may use the old account as a local account. But it is desirable to close the old account, to ensure that even by mistake the foreign funds are not credited to the old account.

33. Is change in signatory of bank account is required to be reported ?
Ans. -
Change in signatories of bank accounts is a routine procedural issue and therefore need not be informed to the FCRA authorities. The undertaking given by the Chief functionary in the form FC-8 for informing the changes in the bank account is only about change of the bank or branch of the bank. Any procedural changes in the same bank account do not require an approval of the FCRA authorities.

34. What if there is a change in account number due to computerisation ?
Ans. -
Many designated FC bank account numbers have been changed due to computerisation. In such cases, it is advisable to inform the FCRA authorities about such changes. The new account number should be used for all subsequent reporting and correspondence purposes.

35. Does FCRA allow maintenance of separate bank accounts for separate donors ?
Ans. -
It has been seen that some donors insist of maintenance of separate bank account specifically for their grant and utilisation thereof. But under FCRA, all foreign contributions should be received in one designated bank account only. Therefore, under no circumstances, separate bank account should be opened for receiving funds from various donors. After the receipt of funds in the designated bank account, the organisation may open different sub-account (which is also known as link-up bank accounts) for operational purposes depending upon the need for them.

36. Can an NGO have more than one account for project purposes?
Ans. -
In our opinion, opening of project accounts at different places for utilisation of funds seems to be relevant and justifiable. An NGO may open bank account(s) for different projects, which are linked to main foreign contribution bank account. All foreign contribution should be received in the designated bank and subsequently funds can be transferred to various project accounts.

Opening of an imprest or project area account should not be confused with having more than one account for FCRA purposes. Under FCRA at any given point of time, there can be only one designated bank account for receipt of foreign funds. The other project accounts should be sub-accounts or link-up accounts where the receipt can only be made through the main account. Detail of such subsidiary bank accounts should be provided with the Form FC-3 return every year. Care should be taken to ensure that in the above mentioned link-up bank accounts, local income is not deposited at any time.

37. Can an inter-project loan be received in FCRA account ?
Ans. -
In our opinion, inter-project transaction does not entail receipt of any fresh foreign contribution, such transaction do not violate any provision of FCRA. But it should be ensured that such transactions are made within the FC projects of the organisation. In case, there is a loan or advance received from some other organisation then if it is a FC receipt it should be received in the designated bank account only.

38. Is bank interest earned on foreign funds part of foreign contribution ?
Ans. -
There is no mention made in the Act or the Rules regarding the treatment of interest earned from the designated bank account. In the absence of any clear-cut provisions, the normal practice is to consider interest earned on FCRA funds as foreign contribution only. This argument has been further justified in the amendment to FC-3 Form vide GSR 557 (E) dated 26th July, 2001 wherein a column has been added to report the interest income as well. Thus any interest earned should be disclosed in FC-3 and also the FCRA receipt and payment account.

39. Can FDR's be created out of FC bank balance ?
Ans. -
As far as the creation of fixed deposits of FCRA funds is concerned, there does not seem to be any bar on it. All the funds are required to be received in the designated bank account but any temporary surplus funds may be placed in fixed deposits with the bank, pending utilisation for the objects for which they were received. Care should be taken that the investments are in compliance with the section 11(5) of the Income Tax Act.

40. What is the treatment if fixed asset is created from Foreign Contribution as well as domestic funds?
Ans. -
Any asset created out of foreign funds should be recorded in the FC books of account only. FC asset will continue to remain an FC asset irrespective of time factor or closure of the project. At times it may so happen that a portion of the asset is funded from domestic sources.
For instance, a building constructed on a land purchased from domestic sources. In such cases, the cost of the land should be reflected in the domestic books of account and the cost of the building should be shown in the FC books of account. Only the consolidated, statement will show the total cost of land and building together.

41. What is the procedure to be followed on sale of joint fixed assets ?
Ans. -
If an asset purchased out of FCRA funds is sold, then the amount received on sales of such asset should be shown as foreign receipts. There might be circumstances where assets are created out of both FCRA as well as domestic funds. In such cases, apportionment of the sale receipts should be made on a suitable and reasonable basis out of the sale consideration receipt and the amount, pertaining to foreign contribution portion of the asset should be The funds generated from a FC asset being a FC receipt should be deposited in the designated bank account.

42. Can an organisation take loan from local sources for FC project ?
Ans. -
An organisation may use domestic funds for FC projects temporarily in the absence of receipt of FC funds in time. However, when the funds in FC account are available the advance must be settled forthwith. All the original bills must be kept in FC account and photocopies may be kept in local contribution account.

43. Can FCRA fund be given to another NGO ?
Ans. -
FCRA funds can be given to another NGOs only if the other NGO also possesses FCRA registration.

44. As the FC funds cannot be given to any unregistered NGO, does it imply that funds cannot be transferred to village level SHG's who may not have FCRA registration ?
Ans. -
As already discussed, the second or subsequent recipient is also required to possesses FCRA registration or prior permission. Therefore on strict interpretation of FCRA laws, it is not possible to give revolving funds as loans to community based organisations not possessing FCRA registration. The intent of statute does not seem to be in favour of preventing deserving village based organisations from availing funds meant for them. The amendment made in FC-3 vide GSR 557 (E) dated 26th July, 2001 has specifically included Micro Finance Projects and SHG as heads of utilisation of foreign funds. In our opinion and in the light of the amended FC-3, funds disbursed for revolving funds and micro finance activities should be shown as utilisation in FC-3 and also as expenditure in the Income and Expenditure Account. When loans are recovered the money should be re-deposited in the FCRA bank account and should be considered as foreign contribution received and when the loans are given out again the same should be considered as utilisation and expenditure in the year of the disbursal. For control purposes, separate records of the disbursals or receipt of the revolving funds should be made.
For large organisation having project in various parts of India it may be difficult to redeposit in the designated bank account. But under the prevailing provisions of FCRA, it is advisable to receive all such recoveries in the designated bank account only.

45. Can FCRA funds be transferred to general fund ?
Ans. -
It has been seen that, many NGOs transfer the surplus of income over expenditure to the general fund in the local books of account. A general fund being an unrestricted fund at the discretion of the organisation is at times confused to be a local fund. But, all funds created from foreign contribution should be reflected in FC books of account only. As a result, an organisation can have two general funds, one, created from foreign funds and other from domestic funds. The same is true for the corpus and other funds also.

46. Can domestic contribution be mingled with foreign contribution?
Ans. -
The organisations should distinguish between domestic and foreign contribution. Only foreign contribution should be received in the designated bank account. Possibility of mingling of domestic donation with foreign contribution is there because even funds from overseas in foreign currency may be domestic donation. For example, donation received from an NRI in foreign currency is not a foreign contribution if the NRI holds a valid Indian passport. On the other hand donation received from foreigner in India in Indian rupees is foreigncontribution.
So an organisation should take great care and caution in segregating the foreign contributions and domestic contribution. Accordingly only foreign contribution should be received in the designated bank account and reflected in the FC books of account. Mingling of domestic funds is not allowed.

47. What is the treatment of undisclosed/anonymous donations ?
Ans. -
Many organisations, at times, receive funds through direct credit in their bank account from various overseas sources where the donor's identity may not be available. In such a case the organisation should ask its bank to trace the source of donation i.e. identity of donor, origin of country. The details if obtained from the bank should be reported in the Form FC-3 else the organisation should report in Form FC-3 all such anonymous donations on the basis of bank advices.

48. What is the accounting method for foreign contribution received in kind ?
Ans. -
As per rule 8(1)(a), account has to be maintained for foreign contribution received in kind. Form FC-6 provides the format for recording the receipt as well as the utilisation of contributions received in kind. The entries made in FC-6 should correspond with entries made in Form FC-3.

49. Does FCRA impose 'cash basis' method of accounting ?
Ans. -
No, FCRA does not impose any particular method of accounting. But it does have certain specific reporting requirements, which have to be complied diligently.

50. What documents are required to be filed annually ?
Ans. -
Every organisation which receives foreign contributions shall file an annual return in Form FC-3 under rule 8(2) within 120 days of the closure of the year.
The following should be submitted in duplicate duly signed by the chief functionary and certified by the chartered accountant :
i) Form FC-3,
ii) Balance Sheet and statement of Receipt and Payment exclusively for foreign contribution received and utilised during the year.

51. It is necessary to file annual return even when the organisation does not receive any foreign contribution ?
Ans. -
If an organisation having FCRA Registration does not receive any foreign contribution, even then it should file nil returns. It is mandatory to file Form FC-3 every year as long as the organisation wants to validly retain its registration. The Ministry of Home Affairs (FCRA division) in its press notes dated 09.01.1998 has specifically clarified that even if no foreign contribution is received, filing of nil return is mandatory. In the same press note it has been clarified that non-submission of return in time or furnishing of false submission would constitute violation of the provision of the Act and attract penal consequences.

52. Who should make the declaration and authentication in the annual return ?
Ans. -
The FC-3 form is required to be signed by the Chief Functionary of the organisation and a certificate is also required to be given by a Chartered Accountant giving a brief summary of the FCRA funds movement and the opening & closing balances of FCRA Funds.
The Term "Chief Functionary" has not been defined in the FCRA Act or Rules. Normally the head of the organisation should be construed as the Chief Functionary. The organisation may also designate any office bearer as the Chief Functionary through a General Body/Governing Body resolution, for the purposes of filing the FCRA returns, Forms etc.

53. What is the implication for delay in filing of annual return ?
Ans. -
FCRA is silent about consequences for delay in filing FC-3. It can be construed that an NGO would stand the risk of losing the FCRA registration if it does not file returns properly but whenever an NGO is not able to file FC-3 by 31st of July, it should write a letter to the FCRA office explaining the circumstances causing the delay. Normally FCRA authorities condone such delay in filing of returns.

54. What is FCRA ?
Ans. -
Foreign contribution regulation act.

55. Which benefit we will get after FCRA Registration?
Ans. -
After FCRA registration you will get the foreign contribution or grant 56. What will be the charges of FCRA Registration?
Ans. -
2999/-

57. Passport Photo of all the body members is required?
Ans. -
yes

58. Why we have to open new account for FCRA registration?
Ans. -
You have to open account for currency conversion.

59. If we don't have an NGO pan card then we have to prepare pan card or not?
Ans. -
Yes you have to apply for new pan card

60. How much time it will take for FCRA registration?
Ans. -
It will take maximum 3 months

61. Who will do the Investigation?
Ans. -
Investigation done by Crime Branch Department

62. Where we have to submit the documents for FCRA registration?
Ans. -
Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi.

63. You will submit the documents & take follow up or we have to do?
Ans. -
we will submit the documents in Delhi as well as take follow up.

64. For FCRA is necessary to have completed 3 years for NGO?
Ans. -
Yes, Your NGO should have completed minimum 3 year.

65. What is annual report?
Ans. -
Annual report containing all the activity & program perform by Your NGO.

66. How much expenditure we have to show in audit report?
Ans. -
You have to show minimum 6 lacks expenditure (only last year).
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