To encourage more contributions towards political parties, there is a provision of exemption from taxation under Sec 80 GGB. This section of the Income Tax Act 1961 mainly deals with donations and contributions made by Indian Companies towards political parties or electoral trusts.
1. Tax Deductions under Section 80 GGB
As per Section 80 GGB of the Income Tax Act 1961, any Indian company or enterprise that donates to a political party or an electoral trust registered in India can claim a deduction for the amount contributed by it.
The political party receiving the donation must be registered under the Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. An electoral trust is a non-profit company created under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. An electoral trust can receive voluntary contributions from other companies and then reallocate it to the duly registered political parties.
2. Rules and Conditions to Claim Section 80GGB Deductions
Section 80GGB specifies the rules and conditions related to donations being made to political parties in India. Following are the essential points that you must remember:
(i) Cash contributions are not allowed under Section 80 GGB. Therefore, the respective contributions to political parties must be made through other modes of payments such as Cheque, Demand Draft or Electronic Transfer.
(ii) There is no maximum applicable limit on the contributions made to political parties, under Section 80 GGB of the Income Tax Act. But as per the Companies Act 2013, companies can contribute up to 7.5% of their annual net profit (three years average). It is necessary that the respective company discloses the amount contributed and the name of the political party in its Profit and Loss account for the said financial year.
(iii) If the amount has been contributed via electoral bonds, then there is no requirement for mentioning the name of the party in the Profit and Loss Account of the company. Only the amount paid has to be mentioned.
(iv) As per the latest guidelines, any advertisement from a company on a platform owned by a Political Party would be considered as a contribution under Section 80 GGB. It is therefore eligible for income tax deduction. This includes social media, magazines, newspapers, etc.
(v) There is no limit on the amount being contributed to a political party, but it is necessary for a company to pay the amount via an acceptable route and keep a documentary record of the same.
(vi) There are certain exceptions to the contributions made under Section 80 GGB:
- A Public Sector Enterprise
- A company that has an age of three years or less.
3. Key Points Related to Contributions Made to Political Parties in India
If your company is contemplating contributing to a political party in India, it is essential for you to understand a few points. Here are the key aspects that you must remember as specified in the Income Tax Act 1961: –
(i) Any company or enterprise that is registered in India is allowed to make contributions to any political party they wish to.
(ii) A company is allowed to make contributions to any number of political parties that it wishes to support. All contributions made under Sec 80GGB will be combined for the income tax deduction.
(iii) The political party that is receiving the donation must be duly registered under Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
(iv) The electoral trust receiving the donation amount must be duly registered and recognized by the competent authorities.
(v) Under no circumstances are cash payments allowed under Section 80GGB. The only acceptable modes of payment include cheques, demand draft, electronic transfer, or a pay order towards the bank account of the political party. This is to ensure transparency in political funding and to keep track of the money received and spent.
(vi) The Company can claim 100% deduction against the amount donated to a political party under section 80GGB.
Therefore, you are free to make donations to political parties as per your preference and claim deductions in your income tax for the same. It is essential that you keep a proper record of the amount being paid and comply with all the regulations specified in the Income Tax Act 1961. If you do not follow the set procedure, your claim for deduction might be rejected by the competent authorities.