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NGO Annual Compliance

A Trust is defined in Section 3 of the Trust Act, 1882, it’s a legally formed organisation where the owner is the Trustor & Beneficiary is the Trustee. The main objective of establishing a Trust is to ensure an effortless transfer of the property owner of the Trust in the Trustees’ name as per the provisions mentioned under the Trust Deed. In India, all the registered Trusts are governed & managed by the Indian Trust Act, 1882. The registered Trusts in India must follow the legal provisions of the said Act. Apart from the provisions and Trust Registration, there are some Trust Annual Compliances that should be complied time to time and avoid unnecessary penalties.

Different Types of Trust in India

There are two different types of Trust:

  1. Public Trust: It is created for a large group (the public in large). For example, Non-Profit NGO’s Charitable Institutions for the general public.
  2. Private Trusts: A Private Trust is for a closed group. In simple terms, the beneficiaries can be identified. For example, Trust is created for the friends & relatives of the author.

Who can establish Trust in India?

A Trust can be created by:

  • Any individual who is competent to contracts, this includes an individual, AOP. HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), Company, etc.;
  • If a Trust is to be set up on behalf of a minor, then the permission of a Principal Civil Court (PCC) of original jurisdiction is required.

Moreover, it also depends on the law in force that is prevailing at that particular point of time & the extent to which the Trust author may intend to dispose of his property.

Registration of a Private Trust in India

To register as a Private Trust, the following are the important steps that should be followed:

  1. A Trust Deed should be prepared on stamp paper of the requisite value. The Trust Deed must include the Trust Name, address, the object of the Trust (whether charitable/religious), the Settlor, 2 Trustees, as well as the property in question, i.e., either immovable or movable property.
  2. Under the Act, Private Trusts who wish to be registered are required to submit the following documents with the Local Registrar:
  • Trust Deed on stamp paper of requisite value;
  • One passport-size photo and copy of the identity proof of the Settlor, each of the 2 Trustees & each of the 2 witnesses individually;
  • Settlor’s signature on all the pages of the Trust Deed;
  • Two individuals must be called in as witnesses to sign the Trust Deed;
  • Trust Deed should be submitted to the respective Registrar along with one photocopy for Registration of Trust. The photocopy should also include the signature of the Settlor on all the pages. During the Actual Registration, the Settlor & the two witnesses are required to be personally present, along with their original identity proof;
  • The Registrar will retain the photocopy and return the original registered copy of the Trust Deed to the concerned parties.

What are the Trust Annual Compliances?

Private Trusts in India need to comply with the provisions under the Act, IT Act, its Rules & Regulations and other relevant legislation. As far as Trust Annual Compliances go, the general Trust Annual Compliances are as follows:

  1. Auditing of Accounts: When the overall income of a Trust exceeds the threshold limits that have been prescribed under the Income Tax Act, 1961 for non-taxable income, then the Trust must be audited compulsorily by a CA (Chartered Accountant).
  2. Filing the Annual Returns: After the Trust accounts are audited by a Chartered Accountant, the audit report must be made. The report of Audit of Account must be in Form No. 10B. The report should be filed along with the Annual Return of Income under Form ITR-7.
  3. Foreign Contributions Report: Every Trust in India needs to submit a Foreign Contributions Report. There are 2 types of Trusts, one that receives Foreign Contributions and one which doesn’t. When a Trust receives Foreign Contributions, it needs to submit a report to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI), New Delhi. The report should be duly certified by a Chartered Accountant and accompanied by the Income & Expenditure Statement, the Receipts & Payments Account and the Balance Sheet within 9 months of the closure of the Financial Year (F.Y). If no such contribution is received during the last F.Y; then a “Nil” report needs to be submitted.
  4. Publication of Accounts: Publication of Accounts in the newspaper if the annual income/the receipts of the Trust which have been created from the Trust property exceed Rs. 1 crore.
  5. Filing of GST Returns: If the Trust has GSTIN, then it is required to provide GST Returns monthly or quarterly (as may be applicable).
  6. Filing of TDS Return & Issuance of TDS Certificates: If any Private Trust in India is deducting tax at source for salaries paid to the staff/employees. It needs to provide Certificates of TDS to the persons on whose behalf TDS was being collected. It should be done within one month from the closure date of the Financial Year. Apart from this, quarterly TDS Returns are also required to be filed.

Vital Documents Required for Filing Trust Annual Compliance

Following are some essential documents required for filing Trust Annual Compliance in India:

  1. Name and Address of the Trust;
  2. Name & Address and Aadhar Card of the Trustees;
  3. PAN Card of the Trust;
  4. Audit Report prepared by CA (including Audit Report, Income & Expenditure Statement, Contribution Calculation, Balance Sheet, etc.);
  5. Membership Certificate of the CA issued by ICAI;
  6. Affidavit of the Trustees;
  7. Other documents, if required.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Private Limited Company

    By virtue of section 2(68) of the Companies Act, 2013, Private Limited Company is a type of company which offers limited liability with certain restrictions defined in regulations:

    • restricts the right to transfer shares
    • Limits the numbers of its members to 200
    • Prohibits any invitation to the public to subscribe for any shares in, are debentures of the company(No Public Trading of Shares)
    • Prohibits any invitation or acceptance of deposits from persons other than its member
    • The word ‘Private Limited’ must be added at the end of its name
  2. One Person Company

    One Person Company popularly known as OPC introduced in India under the Companies Act, 2013. The concept of OPC is a fusion of sole proprietorship and private company which intends to permit single economic entrepreneurship to take the advantages of a corporate form of organisation.

  3. Limited Liability Partnership

    Limited Liability Partnership is a corporate entity registered under Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008. It is a form of partnership firm that enjoys limited liability. It is a hybrid form of a partnership that includes the features of a company. Compliances for a company are applicable to LLP.

No, the whole incorporation process is online. You can send the scanned copy of all the required incorporation documents via e-mail. All the forms and documents are filed electronically and even signed digitally.

The company name should be selected with utmost care. The rules for selecting a company are:

  • The name should be ended with the words “Private Limited” in case of private company, “OPC” in case of one person company and “LLP” in case of limited liability partnership which is mandated by law.
  • The name must be unique.
  • Follow the naming guidelines for better chances of approval.
  • The name should be suggestive of the main objectives to be taken by the business entity.
  1. Private Limited Company
    • Appointment of auditor
    • Statutory audit of accounts
    • Filing of annual return
    • Filing of financial statements
    • Holding Annual General Meeting (AGM)
    • Prepare directors’ report
    • Filing of income tax return
  2. One Person Company
    • Appointment of statutory auditor
    • Holding Board Meetings (BM)
    • Filing of financial statements
    • Filing of annual return
  3. Limited Liability Partnership
    • Filing of financial statements
    • Filing of annual return
    • Filing of income tax return
    • Appointment of auditor
    • Filing of LLP annual return

You don’t need a proper office to incorporate a business entity. You can register your residential address as a registered place of your business with MCA for which some address proof along with the NOC (No Objection Certificate) has to be filed with the prescribed form.

NRIs only allowed to incorporate limited business entities in India including private limited company and limited liability partnership. Also, there is no requirement to obtain the prior approval from the government or RBI. But, in order to register a private company or an LLP at least one director/partner must be a resident of India. However, the private limited company is ideal for NRIs.

In order to execute the idea into a long-term business, choosing the right form of business is important. For start-ups, Private Limited Company is the best option for the following reasons:

  • Limited legal compliances
  • No minimum capital contribution
  • Need only 2 directors and shareholders (both can be the same person)
  • Funding can be raised
  • Limited liability of the members

As per the relevant Act, there is no minimum requirement for Paid-up Share capital or contribution to incorporate a private company, one person company or limited liability partnership. However, each shareholder/partner should subscribe to a minimum one share of Rs.10 face value.

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