How to get CSR funding for your NGO?

There is no straight forward answer to this question – how to get CSR funding? However, one thing is very sure that there is huge funds under CSR, which all the eligible companies should invest in communities. You can check amount spent by companies under CSR in this official website of Ministry of Companies Affairs – Here

So, today, I am not discussing here how much funds available in CSR and which companies are liable  to spare this fund.

Let us discuss from the view point of NGOs. How one grass-root NGO can get CSR funding ? In my opinion, NGOs should make efforts to reach out to CSR company rather than wait to be found by them.

So, before going into details on how a grass-root NGOs have to be prepared themselves for CSR funding and how to approach companies, let us first see what an NGO should not do to get CSR funding.

Don’ts – CSR Funding

 

1. Stay Away from Middle Man

Now days, you can found so many from this species called “Middle Man” . Stay away from this type of person who gives you guarantee to get funding in consideration of some “commission” or “cuts” or “payback” whether this person is your CA, friend, some funding agency employee or company employee. Just stay away from such middle man.

2. Routing of Funds

Another wrong practice, where company gives you CSR funds on a condition (of course unofficially) to route some portion of funds to the specific interested person or companies in the form of Salary, Fees or some procurement expenditures or by any other legal transactions by whatever name called. Though, speaking in legal terms, it may be correct, but still that will affect the credibility of your organization.

Do’s – CSR Funding

Before, approaching for funds to companies for CSR, NGO should do a self-evaluation, particular in the area of progarm implementation and control system. I have divided CSR funding process in three steps –

  1. Improve Program Quality
  2. Establish various Systems
  3. Approach Companies for CSR

Check out this chart –

We will discuss all the above steps in detail in the next part.

How to get CSR funding for your NGO? – PART 2

 

Draft Guidelines providing stringent regulatory mechanism for NGOs

The Centre filed in Supreme Court on Wednesday its draft guidelines providing stringent regulatory mechanism for NGOs. Earlier, in January 2017, famous lawyer for his PILs, Advocate Mr. Manohar Lal Sharma, filled a PIL to regulate the unorganized NGOs ecosystem in the country. SC had asked the Centre to prepare guidelines to regulate NGOs and Voluntary Organisations after finding that nearly 30 lakh of them were operating in India.

In its order, the Court noted that substantial funding is allowed for NGOs and voluntary organisations. Further, Rules 210-212 of the General Financial Rules, 2005 provide for a regulation mechanism for NGOs, though the respondents are not aware of the same. The court noted,

“There are 32 lakh NGOs out of which nearly 3 lakh are filing balance sheets. The respondents are not aware of the responsibility of audit in the General Financial Rules…There can be no doubt that the funds disbursed by CAPART [to NGOs] is public money and needs to be accounted.”

It, therefore, directed the Centre to complete the exercise of audit and submit a report by March 31 this year. It was directed,

“In case of non-compliance, it is essential to initiate civil and criminal action immediately after the completion of the exercise.”

Most importantly, the Court also directed the Centre to lay down guidelines/rules for accreditation of NGOs, the manner in which they shall maintain accounts and auditing of the same.

Centre proposes stringent guidelines for NGOs and VOs requiring all existing ones to register afresh online with Niti Ayog‘s NGO-Darpan. The guidelines submitted by additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta to a bench headed by CJI J S Khehar required them to register afresh if they wish to get govt grants.
It said NGOs will be provided unique ID and subjected to income tax act and foreign contribution regulations act. Centre’s draft guidelines say NGOs/VOs past track record and performance will be put under scrutiny before grant of accreditation. The NGOs and VOs getting govt funds are required to execute a bond to refund the amount with 10% interest if work not done.

However, detailed draft copies of guidelines not available so that can not comment on in dept detail.

SC asked amicus curiae Rakesh Dwivedi to submit his suggestions on the draft guidelines in two weeks.

FCRA Update – File FC6 Bank Account Details

Today, FCRA department has issued two lists of the organizations whose Bank Accounts are either not updated with FCRA or not as per Core Banking System format. These organizations are advised to update their Bank Accounts immediately in Form FC6.

As FCRA department is in the process of being paperless department, this is another step to have updated information regarding Bank Accounts of organizations.

List 1 Those NGOs, whose bank account detail is not updated as per core banking format

Before 4-5 years, due to core banking,  Bank Accounts are changed to 10 or 12 digits instead of 4 or 5 digits. However, many NGOs have not intimate this change to FCRA department.

Check out the list and your NGOs name here – List 1

List 2 Those NGOs, whose bank account details are not there with FCRA department

Some of the NGOs have change their bank account after registration and not intimated such change to FCRA department. Or simply, FCRA department do not have any information regarding NGOs bank Account.

Check out the list and your NGOs name here – List 2

Action to be taken

Above NGOs have to update their Bank details immediately by filling online form FC-6.

Watch Tutorial Video – How to update Bank Details in Form  FC6

 

For any further query, write in the below comment box.

 

Accounting of Grants for NGOs

Do you know how Grant is presented in your NGOs Financial Statements? As REVENUE or as LIABILITY ? This is one of the crucial question regarding accounting of Grants for NGOs. Generally, we depend on the Chartered Accountants on how our Financial Statements are prepared and presented. Sometimes presentation of Financial Statements become misleading and serve no purpose.

Today we learn how to do accounting of grants for NGOs which is more appropriate in present days.

Introduction – Accounting of Grants for NGOs

There is no clarity Inida regarding how grants should be presented. We have Indian Accounting Standard 20 which mainly dealt with  accounting of Government Grants and not grants for specific projects from Funding Agencies. However, considering Indian Accounting Standards #20 and US Statement of Financial Accounting Standard #117, we can derive following three methods of presenting Grants in the Financial Statements.

Option A – Grants treated as Revenue

Here, we consider Grants Received as Revenue of the current year whether it is related to current year or for next years. Thus, when two years project is sanctioned and total grant received in the first year only, we treat full grant as income of first year. See below image to understand presentation in Financial Statements.

 

In this method, you can see above that unspent grant of Rs 40 clubbed in Income and Expenditure Account as “Excess of Income over Expenses” . Due to this, it becomes difficult to know what funds lying in the I/E Account. Check out the Balance Sheet where I/E Account show Rs. 50 which comprise of Unspent Grants and Other Income.

Option B – Grant treated as Liability

Here, it assumes that, grants and funds received for specific project, is the liability of organization and not Income. Thus whatever grant received, whether for current year or next years taken to Balance Sheet and considered as Liability. Expense from such grant then deducted from the liability and net amount shown in the Balance Sheet. Checkout below how Financial Statements look if we treat Grant as Liability.

In this method, Balance Sheet present correct financial position. However, Income and Expenditure does not show much revenue except income earned by NGOs like Non Specific Donations and Interest Income.

Option C – Best of the above Two

Due to limitations of both the above method, we should presented financial statements as per this hybrid method using best of both the above methods. In this method, we consider that much revenue for current year which actually spent during the year and remaining balance transfer to next year as “Unspent or Unutilized Grant”. Lets have a look, how the financial Statements presented under this method.

In this method, Income Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet showing correct information and in self explanatory manner.

Conclusion

In India, there is no such proforma available in any Act regarding presentation of Financial Statements of NGOs. Thus as per my opinion it is advisable to follow accounting of grants for ngos as per option C – Hybrid method, which is self explanatory and showing correct information.

Note – In all the above three methods, presentation of Receipts and Payment Accounts would not change.

For any questions or query hit the below comment section.

Late Filling of old FCRA Return

Have you not filled your organization’s FCRA return or you have filled it in paper format since it is compulsory to file annual return online.

You can file late Return of FCRA by paying penalties.

Penalty for Late filling of FCRA return

As per notification S.O 2133(E) dated 16/06/2016, penalty for late filling of fcra return is as under in the simple manner. (For original notification click here)

Up to 3 from 31/12

2% of FC Amount Received or Rs. 10,000 whichever is less

3 Months to 6 Months from 31/12

3% of FC Amount Received or Rs. 50,000 whichever is less

6 Months to 12 Months from 31/12

4% of FC Amount Received or Rs. 2,00,000 whichever is less

12 Months to 24 Months from 31/12

5% of FC Amount Received or Rs. 5,00,000 whichever is less

24 Months to 36 Months from 31/12

10% of FC Amount Received or Rs. 10,00,000 whichever is less

Procedure for Filling Late FCRA Return

For late filling of FCRA return, you need to write an email to dirfcra-mha@gov.in from registered address of organization. You will most probably get the link to file late return of fcra and need to pay the above penalty.

Cashbook of NGO

After, note ban, cash book is getting more importance. Some of the entities also getting notice from Income Tax Department to submit cash book. So, let us today discussed, some of the points related to cash book.

1. Manual V/s Computerized Cash Book of NGO

Now a days, all the books of accounts are maintained on computer who are monitored using cheap 4k monitors for more quality, so it is difficult to find manual cash book of ngo. However, for better management and internal control purpose, it is required to have a Manual Cash Book along with the computerized cash book of NGO. There are many benefits to have manual cash book, like, daily cash checking and authorization, no cancellation or deletion, no rectification of amounts etc…

Thus if you maintained manual cash book along with the computerized cash book, that definitely increased the credibility of your accounting and control system.

2. Negative Cash Balance

For any reason, it is not accepted to go cash in a negative balance. Check the cash balance and see whether at any point of time it goes negative or not. To check negative cash balance in Tally go to cash book – F6 Daily breakup

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3. Unnecessary Withdrawals

Many a times major chunk of cash is withdrawn from bank for some event and event is cancelled later on.  At that time it is advisable to deposit the same amount to the bank. Many a times while checking cash book, it found that cash is withdrawn even though there was a enough cash balance on the books. This situation creates doubts about the genuine transactions of cash.

4. High and Law Cash balance

What should be  the average cash balance in the NGO. As such there is no such norms on the amount. However, it is advisable to keep low cash balance in the NGO. To check high and low cash balance in Tally,  go to Cash Book -> F6 Daily Breakup -> F12 Configure -> Show High Low Details – YES

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Hope this post on Cash book of NGO will give you some information on how your cash book should look. Check out your cash book and above points before its too late. Please give your comments and suggestion in the given below comment section.

Second Chance for FCRA Renewal, if you didn’t get.

Many of the organizations have already received Renewal from FCRA. However, some of the organizations have not apply for renewal or not applied in online format or not paid online fees, may not received FCRA Renewal.

Last date for filling FCRA renewal was 30.06.2016 by online. If your organization fail to do so, your FCRA registration certificate is deemed to have ceased w.e.f. 01.11.2016.

Yesterday, FCRA department has issued a list of total 11319 organizations whose registration certificate is deemed to have ceased w.e.f. 01.11.2016.

Check the list here.

Next Course of Action

These organizations have to apply for renewal –

  1. Login to your account in FCRA website
  2. File Complete FC3 form online
  3. Upload the required documents like Trust Deed and Registration Certificate
  4. Upload a Letter stating reason for not filling renewal earlier
  5. Pay fees online.

No renewal if not filled Annual Returns

It is also mentioned in the notice that renewal shall not be granted if earlier annual returns have not been filled by the organization.

Last date

Last date to file such renewal is 28.02.2017

How to file FC3 Renewal form online ?

Check out this video.

 

Demonetization and NGO – Dos and Don’ts

We know the current scenario of demonetization of old currency notes of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500. As every day new news coming in, it is difficult for us to decided what should be the correct step to deposit old notes.

Earlier, Trust and NGOs were already under the radar of the Government before demonetization,  now we can predict that more strict control coming in near future.

Let us discuss today about dos and don’ts by NGOs in a Question Answer Round.

Q – Can old notes be deposited in NGOs Bank Account and what is the time limit?

A – Yes, old notes can be deposited in NGOs Bank Account till December 30.

Q – How much cash can be deposited?

A – As such no limits, but not more than the CASH ON HAND AS ON 8th NOV.

Q – Can we take cash donation in Old notes now?

A – No. After 8th Nov, old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes are not valid tender.

Q – Can we take donation in cash in back dated and thus create more cash balance as on 8th Nov ?

A – I suggest NO. Just two days back, not confirmed but, IT (Exemption) of Mangalore has issued notices to NGOs to submit authorized copy of cash books as on 8th Nov with denomination.

Q – Can we deposit cash in FC in old notes ?

A – Yes you can deposit old notes in FC account but not more than cash balance of FC books as on 8th Nov. I suggest if the cash balance is not much amount  get it exchange with new notes.

Q – What about staff advance already given before 8th Nov in old notes?

A – Do not take bake the advance and deposit in the Bank. It is advisable to ask staff members to exchange it.

Q – What about Donation boxes lying outside the offices like at airports, malls etc..?

A – Immediately get all the donation boxes back and record its cash on books as donation and keep photographs before and after opening of boxes or record a video at the time of opening of boxes with the current date newspaper. So that later, NGO can prove that the donation boxes open after 8th Nov and there were old notes which were deposited in the bank.

Q – What is advisable regarding taking donations between 8th Nov to 30th Dec..?

A – As a genuine NGO, one should not accept any donation in CASH during this period. If you received donation in new notes, kindly take the proof of the donors and keep the bank deposit slips.

All the above answers are purely my opinion. If you have any further questions, kindly ask in the comment section below this blog.

 

Income Tax Return of NGO

All you need to know about Income Tax Return of NGO – ITR7

As last date of filling Income Tax Return of NGO is approaching, it is necessary that we should keep in mind some of the points related to Income Tax Return of NGO. Generally, NGOs are exempt from Income Tax and thus any TDS deducted will be given as Refund.

Read this blog – How to get Income Tax Refund of NGO quickly

Form No

Form No is ITR 7

Download Link

You can download ITR7 for Income Tax Return of NGO from here.

Last Date

Last date for filling return is 30th September

Hard Copy or Online

It is now mandatory to file ITR7 only online. NGO need to login to income tax website and fill the form to upload, you can get help form the seis tax relief service.

Signature

This online form is to be digitally signed by the Authorized person. So mostly DSC of managing trustee can work.

Details – Income

In the Income Tax Return of NGO, it is necessary to give information regarding the details of Income of NGO – mostly they are –

  • Voluntary Contribution – Corpus
  • Voluntary Contribution – General
  • Grants – (FC grant separately)
  • Government Grants
  • Other Income like Bank Interest, FC Interest and any other income
  • Business Income if any should shown separately

Details – Application of Funds

Also need to fill details regarding how the above income is used – application of funds

  • Expenditure shown in the Income and Expenditure Accounts
  • Amount set apart or carried forward
  • Depreciation etc..

Details – Others

Many other information are needed to be filled in the Income Tax Return of NGO like

  • All the Registration details, 12A, 80G, 35AC, FC Details
  • PAN and Address of all the Trustees
  • TDS information
  • Investments of NGOs etc..

Conclusion

Mostly, Income Tax Return of NGO filled by their Auditor or CA. However it is necessary for NGO accountant and top management to at least go through all the details of draft ITR7 and only ask CA to upload finally.