All Trusts / Societies / Charitable Institutions/ NGOs who are in receipt of any funds from Foreign countries need to register themselves under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010. FCRA Registration is completely online process.
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FCRA stands for Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. FCRA registration is governed by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and can be accessible through portal fcraonline.nic.in.
The registration of FCRA is in accordance with the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 and guidelines enumerated in Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules 2011 and its subsequent amendments made till 2019 and Foreign Contribution (Acceptance or Retention of Gifts or Presentation) Rules 2012.
The main objective of FCRA Registration is those organisation (NGOs / NPOs / Trust / Society / Section 8 Companies etc) which are registered in India for carrying out charitable activities can accept donations from general public and other entities within India. However in the case of accepting any foreign contribution by any individual or domestic registered entity, there is mandatory requirement of obtaining approval from MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) and adherence to FCRA Act.
Foreign Contribution Regulation Act was enacted to ensure proper utilization of foreign contribution, recording and authenticate the source of foreign contribution and is not intended to affect prejudicially the integrity and sovereignty of India, its Public interest and other measures.
FCRA Registration is of two types; Proper FCRA Registration and Prior Permission FCRA Registration.
Proper FCRA Registration is for those entities which are already registered under any domestic laws and already carrying out charitable activities and intended to receive foreign contribution in India.
Silent Features of obtaining FCRA Registration are:
1. The entity shall be registered under any domestic laws and is operating for a minimum of 5 years.
2. The entity must meet its expenditure of minimum INR 10 lakhs on the objective of the entity, this expenditure is apart from meeting the administrative cost of entity.
3. The entity must submit its duly Audited Financial Statement for period of at-least 3 consecutive previous years.
Silent Features of obtaining Prior Permission of FCRA Registration are:
1. Those entities which are newly registered or are in existence of less than 5 years and which cannot make application under normal FCRA registration can seek for prior permission of FCRA Registration.
2. The entity in order to seek prior permission must give details of Foreign Owner to identify and establish the authenticity and source of Foreign Contribution.
3. Undertaking shall be given to utilize the funds received for the purpose of objective of the entity.
The FCRA licence received is initially valid for 5 years, unless it is cancelled or suspended by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). This FCRA registration can be renewed by filing renewal application in proper format at-least six months prior to the date when the registration is going to expire.
Post registration of FCRA licence, the registered entity must file the Annual Return in Form FC-4 on the online portal of fcraonline.nic.in before the end of nine months from the end of financial year. This annual return in Form FC-4 shall be accompanied by Duly audited scanned copy of financial statement along-with statement of Foreign Receipts during the year and statement of expenditure incurred by the entity.
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