Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Comprehensive Guide to Charitable Donations and Tax Benefits in India


Engaging in charitable donations not only fosters societal well-being but also comes with financial advantages through tax benefits. In India, Sections 80G and 80GGA of the Income Tax Act serve as the cornerstone for incentivizing philanthropy. This guide delves into the nuances of charitable contributions, shedding light on the tax implications and recent updates.

Types of Donations

  1. Voluntary Contributions (Without Specific Direction)

    Voluntary donations, when given without specific instructions, fall under the category of income derived from property held under trust. Charitable trusts are mandated to allocate a minimum of 85% of these funds during the financial year.

  2. Corpus Donations (With Specific Direction)

    Contributions directed explicitly to form part of the corpus are earmarked for a specified purpose. Such donations enjoy full exemption under Section 11(1)(d) when invested or deposited as per regulations.

Taxability of Donations

For the Donee (Charitable or Religious Institutions):

  • Monetary Donations:

    • Voluntary Donations: Mandated minimum application of 85% during the financial year.
    • Corpus Donations: Full exemption if invested or deposited as per regulations.
  • In-Kind Donations:

    • Not excluded from sections 11 and 12.
    • Contributions in kind must be used for charitable purposes, supported by documented evidence.

For the Donor:

  • Monetary Donations (in Cash):

    • Eligible for deduction under Section 80G for registered institutions.
    • Cash donations exceeding Rs. 2,000 discouraged.
  • In-Kind Donations:

    • Not eligible for Section 80G deduction.
    • Reporting requirement in Form 10BD for future considerations.

Modes of Donation

Contributions to charitable institutions can manifest in monetary terms or in kind. Proper valuation of in-kind donations is imperative for accurate accounting and compliance.

Section 80G - Detailed Overview

Eligibility to Claim Deduction under Section 80G:

  • Open to individuals, companies, firms, HUF, NRIs, and other entities.
  • Donations must be made to prescribed funds for qualification.

How to Claim Deduction under Section 80G:

  • Detailed submission of donee information, PAN, address, contribution amount, and eligible deduction in the income tax return.


  • Budget 2023 excluded donations to specific funds from Section 80G deductions.
  • Differentiated deductions based on qualifying limits for various funds.

Section 80GGA - Scientific Research or Rural Development

Mode of Payment for Claiming Deduction under Section 80GGA:

  • Donations through cheque, draft, or cash (up to Rs. 2,000).


  • 100% deduction allowed for donations to notified funds for afforestation, national poverty eradication, and rural development.

Section 115BBC - Taxation of Anonymous Donations

Section 115BBC of the Income Tax Act addresses the taxability of income related to anonymous donations received by charitable trusts. Anonymous donations, lacking records of donor identity, can lead to adverse tax consequences.

Taxability of Anonymous Donations:

  1. Anonymous Donations exceeding Rs. 1 Lakh or 5% of Total Donations:

    • Taxable at a flat rate of 30% for wholly charitable trusts or institutions.
    • Exempt for wholly religious institutions.
  2. Partly Religious and Partly Charitable Institutions:

    • Taxable only if directed towards medical or educational institutions, exceeding 5% of total donations or Rs. 1 Lakh.
    • Other donations remain exempt from taxation.
  3. Wholly Charitable Institutions:

    • Taxable only if anonymous donations exceed 5% of total donations or Rs. 1 Lakh.
    • No deduction/exemption available, even if fully applied towards charitable objectives.

Non-Applicability of Section 115BBC:

  • Wholly religious institutions remain exempt.
  • Mixed-purpose trusts or institutions taxed only if donations are for specific purposes like university, educational institution, hospital, or medical institution.
  • Exclusion for universities wholly or substantially financed by the Government.
  • Exclusion for hospitals or institutions wholly or substantially financed by the Government.

Documentation and Compliance:

  • Donor details must be available at the time of donation acceptance.
  • Organizations receiving anonymous donations should track limits under the Income Tax Act.

Navigating Updates for Optimal Benefit

Remaining informed about recent updates is crucial for donors seeking to maximize both social impact and tax benefits. Key considerations include:

  1. Qualification of Cash Donations for Deduction:

    • Cash donations over Rs. 2,000 won't qualify for a deduction.
  2. Eligibility for Partnership Firms:

    • Yes, individuals, firms, and companies can claim a deduction under Section 80G.
  3. Non-Resident Donation Eligibility:

    • Both residents and non-residents can claim a deduction under Section 80G.
  4. Understanding Section 80G:

    • Deductions allowed for specific funds; not available in the new tax regime.
  5. Incentives for Scientific Research and Rural Development:

    • 100% deduction for contributions to approved funds in these categories.

Navigating the intricacies of voluntary contributions, corpus donations, and tax implications is pivotal for individuals and organizations engaging in philanthropy. Adherence to reporting requirements, meticulous documentation, and compliance with tax regulations ensure transparency and alignment with the rules governing charitable donations. Stay informed about updates to optimize both social impact and tax benefits