The rules and regulations governing Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in India vary based on the legal structure under which the NGO is registered. The primary legal structures for NGOs in India are Trust, Society, and Section 8 Company. Here’s an overview of the general rules and regulations applicable to NGOs in India:

1. Trust:

  • Indian Trusts Act, 1882:
    • The Indian Trusts Act governs the creation and administration of trusts. Trustees have fiduciary responsibilities.

2. Society:

  • Societies Registration Act, 1860:
    • The Societies Registration Act regulates the registration of societies. Societies are governed by a managing committee.

3. Section 8 Company:

  • Companies Act, 2013:
    • NGOs registered as Section 8 Companies are governed by the Companies Act, 2013. They are formed for promoting commerce, art, science, sports, education, research, social welfare, etc.

4. Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA):

  • NGOs receiving foreign contributions must comply with FCRA regulations. Registration under FCRA is required for receiving foreign funds.

5. Income Tax Act, 1961:

  • Section 12A and 80G:
    • NGOs can seek tax exemptions under Section 12A for income tax and apply for 80G certification to provide tax benefits to donors.

6. Goods and Services Tax (GST):

  • NGOs may be required to register for GST if their annual turnover exceeds the prescribed limit.

7. Labour Laws:

  • NGOs employing staff must comply with labor laws, including Provident Fund (PF) and Employees’ State Insurance (ESI), if applicable.

8. Right to Information Act, 2005:

  • NGOs receiving government funds may be subject to transparency obligations under the Right to Information Act.

9. NGO’s Act (Specific to State):

  • Certain states have specific laws regulating NGOs. NGOs must comply with the relevant state-specific laws.

10. National Building Code (NBC):

  • NGOs constructing buildings must adhere to the National Building Code for safety and construction standards.

11. Environmental Laws:

  • NGOs engaged in activities impacting the environment must comply with applicable environmental laws.

12. FCRA Rules:

  • FCRA Rules, 2011:
    • The FCRA Rules outline detailed procedures and requirements for the registration and utilization of foreign contributions.

13. NGO Website and Reporting:

  • NGOs must maintain an updated website with relevant information about their activities, financials, and impact.

14. NGO Compliance Certificate (Form 10BD):

  • NGOs are required to obtain and submit Form 10BD, a certificate from a qualified accountant, confirming compliance with the conditions of tax exemption.

15. FCRA Reporting:

  • NGOs receiving foreign contributions must file annual returns and reports as per FCRA requirements.

16. NGO Panorama:

  • NGO Darpan Portal:
    • NGOs can voluntarily register and provide details on the NGO Darpan portal for increased visibility and transparency.

17. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT):

  • NGOs must comply with AML and CFT regulations to prevent misuse of funds for illegal activities.

NGOs should seek legal and financial advice to ensure compliance with these rules and regulations. The regulatory landscape may change, so staying informed is crucial for NGOs to operate effectively and transparently.