What is 12a and 80g?
12a and 80g

What is 12a and 80g?

Jun 19, 2023


In the realm of nonprofit organizations and charitable institutions in India, certain provisions under the Income Tax Act, of 1961, play a vital role. Two such provisions are 12A and 80G, which provide significant benefits and incentives to organizations engaged in philanthropic activities. This article aims to shed light on the meaning, eligibility, and advantages associated with 12A and 80G registrations.

Understanding 12A Registration

The 12A registration, also known as Section 12A registration, is a provision under the Income Tax Act that grants tax exemptions to nonprofit organizations. It allows them to receive donations and carry out charitable activities without being subjected to income tax. The registration is issued by the Income Tax Department and is a prerequisite for availing various tax benefits.

Eligibility Criteria for 12A Registration

To qualify for 12A registration, an organization must meet the following criteria:

      • It must be established for charitable or religious purposes.

      • Its activities should solely focus on promoting public welfare and not generate any profit for personal gain.

      • It should maintain proper books of accounts, financial statements, and records.

    Benefits of 12A Registration

    Obtaining 12A registration offers several advantages to nonprofit organizations, such as:

        • Exemption from paying income tax on the surplus income generated from charitable activities.

        • Eligibility to receive tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations.

        • Enhanced credibility and trust among donors and stakeholders.

        • Access to various government grants and funding opportunities.

      Exploring 80G Registration

      Similar to 12A registration, 80G registration is another provision under the Income Tax Act that focuses on tax benefits for donors. It allows individuals and corporations to claim deductions on donations made to eligible charitable institutions.

      Eligibility Criteria for 80G Registration

      To be eligible for 80G registration, a charitable institution must fulfill the following conditions:

          • It should hold a valid 12A registration.

          • The activities of the organization should fall under the purview of the specified charitable purposes outlined in the Income Tax Act.

          • It must maintain proper records of donations received.

        Benefits of 80G Registration

        The benefits associated with 80G registration are as follows:

            • Donors can claim deductions on the donations made to registered institutions.

            • Encourages individuals and corporations to contribute towards charitable causes.

            • Enhances transparency and accountability in the nonprofit sector.

            • Increases the reach and impact of philanthropic activities.

          Differences Between 12A and 80G Registrations

          While both 12A and 80G registrations are geared towards supporting nonprofit organizations, there are a few key distinctions between them.

          Scope of Activities

              • 12A registration focuses on granting exemptions to the organization itself, enabling it to carry out charitable activities without paying income tax.

              • 80G registration, on the other hand, benefits donors by allowing them to claim deductions on their taxable income.

            Tax Benefits to Donors

                • Under 12A registration, donors do not receive any tax benefits directly. However, their contributions support organizations that are exempted from income tax.

                • With 80G registration, donors can claim deductions on their taxable income for the donations made to eligible institutions. This provides an incentive for individuals and corporations to contribute more toward charitable causes.


              In summary, 12A and 80G registrations hold significant importance in the Indian nonprofit sector. While 12A registration exempts the organization from paying income tax, 80G registration encourages individuals and corporations to make donations by providing them with tax benefits. These provisions foster a conducive environment for philanthropy and contribute to the overall betterment of society.


              Q1: How can an organization apply for 12A registration?

              A1: To apply for 12A registration, the organization needs to submit Form 10A to the Income Tax Department along with relevant documents and details of its activities.

              Q2: Can foreign donations be claimed under 80G?

              A2: No, donations made by foreign entities or individuals are not eligible for tax deductions under 80G registration.

              Q3: Do all nonprofits automatically qualify for 80G registration after obtaining 12A registration?

              A3: No, nonprofits must fulfill additional criteria and seek separate approval for 80G registration, even after obtaining 12A registration.

              Q4: Are there any restrictions on the utilization of funds for organizations with 12A and 80G registrations?

              A4: Yes, organizations with 12A and 80G registrations must utilize their funds solely for charitable purposes and maintain proper records to ensure compliance with the regulations.

              Q5: Can religious institutions apply for 12A and 80G registrations?

              A5: Yes, religious institutions engaged in charitable activities can apply for both 12A and 80G registrations, provided they meet the eligibility criteria specified by the Income Tax Department.

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