Tax benefits for Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund under section 80G – Finance Act 2015

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Under the existing provisions of section 80G of the Income-tax Act, a deduction is allowed in computing the total income of a person in respect of donations made to certain funds and charitable institutions. The deduction is allowed at the rate of fifty percent of the amount of donations made except in the case of donations made to certain funds and institutions formed for a social purpose of national importance, where it is allowed at the rate of one hundred percent, such as the National Defence Fund set up by the Central Government, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, the Prime Minister’s Armenia Earthquake Relief Fund, the Africa (Public Contributions-India) Fund, the National Children’s Fund, the National Foundation for Communal Harmony etc.has been set up by the Central Government to mobilize resources for improving sanitation facilities in rural and urban areas and school premises through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Similarly, Clean Ganga Fund has been established by the Central Government to attract voluntary contributions to rejuvenate river Ganga.

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With a view to encourage and enhance people’s participation in the national effort to improve sanitation facilities and rejuvenation of river Ganga, it is proposed to amend section 80G of the Act so as to incentivise donations to the two funds. It is proposed to provide that donations made by any donor to the Swachh Bharat Kosh and donations made by domestic donors to Clean Ganga Fund will be eligible for a deduction of hundred per cent from the total income. However, any sum spent in pursuance of Corporate Social Responsibility under sub-section (5) of section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013, will not be eligible for deduction from the total income of the donor.

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The existing provisions of section 10(23C) of the Act provide for exemption from tax in respect of the income of certain charitable funds or institutions like the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund ; the Prime Minister’s Fund (Promotion of Folk Art); the Prime Minister’s Aid to Students Fund; the National Foundation for Communal Harmony. Considering the importance of Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund, it is also proposed to amend section 10(23C) of the Act so as to exempt the income of Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund from income-tax.

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These amendments will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2015 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to assessment  year 2015-16 and subsequent assessment years.

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