Upload Missing Returns without penalty or compounding fees
Unnecessary panic and paranoia has once again gripped the voluntary sector in India thanks to the Public Notice dated 12th May 2017 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. To read the notice please go to: https://fcraonline.nic.in/home/PDF_Doc/fc_Notice_12052017.pdf
According to the aforesaid Notice, MHA is still processing renewal applications, but, finds that a number of organizations which have applied for renewal of their registration have not uploaded their Annual Returns from FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15 and thus renewal of registration of such organizations cannot be granted unless the Annual Returns are uploaded by these organizations.
MHA had made filing of online FCRA returns mandatory only from FY 2015-16. For previous financial years MHA was officially accepting hard copies sent by post, but, lacked the wherewithal to feed the data electronically into their own system. For quite some time, MHA used to hire data entry operators to transfer data received in hard copy. However, this process and system was random and often inaccurate.
Several thousand NGOs who have regularly filed annual returns by post (and not online) between FY 2010-11 and FY 2014-15 have not been granted renewal of their registration mainly because in the MHA’s system, the data from hard copy has simply not been transferred electronically to the system.
Therefore, MHA has now published a list of 18,523 NGOs whose annual returns are not on the FCRA department’s records or to put it more accurately, on MHA’s computer system. In a rather smart move, MHA has now asked these 18,523 NGOs to upload their missing returns online within a grace period of one month (i.e. from 15th May 2017 to 14th June 2017). MHA has “generously” added that no compounding fees will be charged during this period for the default in filing the annual returns. In other words, although these NGOs may have filed their returns in hard copy with proof of posting the same, they must now go online and help MHA to update their system and after that their application for renewal will be processed and hopefully granted for a period of five years.
Click on the following link to see the list of 18,523 NGOs:
We also recommend that even NGOs who have already been granted renewal should check this list just in case their returns are missing for any particular year between FY 2010-11 and FY 2014-15.
How to check?
Open or download the list at: https://fcraonline.nic.in/home/PDF_Doc/fc_list_12052017.pdf
There is no need for you to scan the entire list. MHA has provided a search option. Click Ctrl and F simultaneously on your keyboard and the search box will appear in the right-hand corner. In this box type either your organization’s name or your FCRA registration number and if your organization is unfortunately on this list it will open on that page with your organization’s name highlighted. You may then find that on MHA’s system you have not filed returns for either one or more years out of the five listed financial years between FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15. Your immediate next step should be to log in to your FCRA account and file the missing returns online in Form FC 4.
Another way to do this is to go to https://fcraonline.nic.in and under FCRA Online Forms column (left hand side) Click the tab “Intimation – Annual Returns (FC 4)”. Next, enter user id, password and Access Code. Scroll down and you will find a table with the five financial Block Year and the status under the head “Process” either as “FCRA Annual returns has been submitted for the block year: 2010-2011” or “click here to filing annual returns for the block year :2010-2011”. Click on the latter and the window for filing the return for the particular year will open in Form FC 4.
The user guide for filing annual return in Form FC 4 can be found at: https://fcraonline.nic.in/home/Documents/Instruction/FC4_returns.pdf
For technical assistance one may write to: email@example.com or call 011 23438042.
We, at CAP, would also be pleased to clarify any doubts or concerns that you may have with regard to this issue. Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org