Govt clarifies on company’s contributions to PM CARES Fund above CSR limit

The ministry of corporate affairs has clarified that company’s contributions to the PM CARES Fund over and above the minimum prescribed corporate social responsibility (CSR) spends can be offset against their CSR obligations of subsequent years.

“Even if you have contributed the prescribed amount towards CSR, I would like to urge you to contribute over and above the minimum prescribed amount, which can later be offset against the CSR obligation arising in subsequent years, if you so desire,” said corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas in an online appeal to company chiefs.

Firms with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or revenue of Rs 1,000 crore or a net profit of Rs 5 crore should spend at least 2% of profit on CSR as per the Companies Act, 2013

Further, any contribution made to the PM CARES Fund before March 31 would qualify for 80G exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961 (I-T Act), the ministry said.

Section 80G of the I-T Act allows donations made to specified relief funds and charitable institutions as a deduction from gross total income before arriving at taxable income.

The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES) was created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 28 to enable citizens to contribute to government’s containment and relief efforts against the Covid-19 outbreak.

The next day, the corporate affairs ministry issued a statement that companies could contribute to the fund and these will be counted towards their CSR obligations.

For contributions made from April 1 onward, only those companies that have chosen to stay within the old tax structure would be eligible for this benefit, the note said.

Last year, while announcing the corporate tax cut amounting to Rs 1.76 lakh crore, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that companies can either choose to forgo their various exemptions and move to the lower and simplified tax structure or stay within the old framework.

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