Q.1 Is online submission of annual returns mandatory?
Ans. Yes. Annual returns are to be filed online at fcraonline.nic.in. No hard copy of the returns shall be accepted in FCRA Wing of Ministry of Home Affairs.
Q.2 What is the deadline for online filing of returns?
Ans. The return is to be filed online for every financial year (1st April to 31st March) within a period of nine months from the closure of the year i.e. by 31st December each year.
Q.3 What is the procedure for filing Annual Returns?
Ans. An association permitted to accept foreign contribution is required under law to maintain separate set of accounts and records exclusively for the foreign contribution received and submit an annual return, duly certified by a Chartered Accountant, giving details of the receipt and purpose-wise utilisation of the foreign contribution.
The return is to be filed for every financial year (1st April to 31st March) within a period of nine months from the closure of the year i.e. by 31st December each year.
Submission of a ‘NIL’ return, even if there is no receipt/utilization of foreign contribution during the year, is mandatory. The return is to be submitted, in prescribed Form FC – 6, duly accompanied with the balance sheet and statement of receipt and payment, which is certified by a Chartered Accountant.
The form is available on MHA’s web-site – http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-6.pdf
For further details, please refer to Sections 17, 18 and 19 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 17 of FCRR, 2011.
Note: It may be noted that the annual return for the financial year 2010 – 2011 was to be filed by the 31st December, 2011 in Form FC-3, i.e., as per FCRA, 1976.
Q.4 For how many years an association which has been granted prior permission to receive foreign contribution should file the mandatory annual return?
Ans. The association should submit the mandatory return in FC-6 form for receipt and utilisation of the foreign contribution on a yearly basis, till the amount of foreign contribution is fully utilised. Even if no transaction takes place during a year, a NIL return should be submitted. ‘Prior permission’ is granted to an association to receive a specific amount of foreign contribution from a specific donor for a specific purpose.
Once the PP has been granted and foreign contribution received for specific purpose has been fully/partially utilized and organisation has submitted annual FC-6 returns and accounts in prescribed format pertaining to the PP (http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-6.pdf) it becomes eligible for consideration of registration under FCRA.
Registration would be granted under FCRA, if all other parameters are also fulfilled by the association.
Q.5 What are the consequences of not filling the annual returns on time?
Ans. An association not filing annual return on time may face the following consequences:
- (1) Payment of penalty for compounding the offence of late submission.
- (2) Cancellation of registration
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