Foreign Contribution Regulation Act or FCRA is Law regulating the foreign contributions or receipt from outside India. FCRA came into force to make sure that the foreign contribution does not affect the sovereignty & political integrity of India. NGOs, Charitable institution receiving donations from Foreign Country or foreign source are required to get the registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. FCRA Department comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the registration is get through the prior permission method. NGOs cannot take the foreign contribution directly from the foreign country so they require to get registration under FCRA.
FCRA registration is valid 5 years from the date of approval. After the expiry of the tenure, the registered entity has to apply for the renewal at least 6 months before the registration is lapsed, if the entity is working on ongoing projects then the renewal must be applied for at least 12 months before the registration gets lapsed.
After the FCRA registration, the institution is required to file online Annual Return in Form FC-4. The due date of filing this form is 31st December of every year i.e. within 9 months of the closing of every financial year. The authority can cancel the registration of an institution if it doesn’t comply with the compliances under the act or any other laws, and if the NGO is not utilized for the purpose stated in the FCRA registration application.
Types of FCRA Registration
Proper FCRA Registration
An Institution gets the proper Registration after completing 5 years of its operations and has spent at least Rs. 10 Lakh in last 3 years towards its main object. The Institution is required to submit its Financials for last 3 years with the FCRA Department.
Prior Permission FCRA Registration
Prior Permission is required by newly incorporated NGO expecting foreign donations for specific purposes. In the application, the NGO must specify the details of Foreign donor and the amount to be contributed.
1. Minimum Tenure
The applicant must be registered and operating for minimum period is 3 years before applying the Registration.
2. Financial Statements
The financial statements must be signed and submitted for the last 3 Financial Years, the financial statements and statement of income and expenditure must be duly signed by the Chartered Accountant.
3. Minimum Expenditure
The minimum amount of Rs. 10 lakhs should have been incurred on the main objective of the NGO and it shall not include any kind of administrative expenditure.
4. Registration of NGO
The applicant must be registered under the following acts such as trust should be registered under the Trust Act,1882, Societies Registration Act, 1860 and Section 8 Companies i.e. NGO should be registered under the Companies Act.
5. Objective of NGO
The main object of the organization must be charitable work or serving in the society without the motive of earning profit like health, education, art, cultural, entertainment, etc.
Grounds for rejection of FCRA Registration
The NGO is not registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
If the NGO has not been carried on any activity during the last three years.
If the Office bearers are of Foreign National.
If the NGO is having only one office bearer.
Where the association is found to be fictitious or ‘benami’ in nature.
Where the NGO formed for personal gain or for diversion of the funds.
If there is a doubt on credibility of any member of Governing Body.
If the NGO has links with any banned organizations or any other organization whose application has already been rejected.
If the principal office bearers of the NGO have been convicted.
if a prosecution for any offence is pending against office bearers.
If the Office Bearers are found guilty of misusing or diversion of funds of NGO
If the NGO is creating communal disharmony.