Updated: May 9, 2020 8:43:56 am
Donors contributing to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, set up on February 5 this year, to build a temple in Ayodhya, will be granted tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income-tax Act from financial year 2020-21.
In a notification on Friday, the Central Board of Direct Taxes notified the Shri Ram Janambhoomi Tirath Kshetra as “a place of historic importance and a place of public worship of renown” under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of Section 80G of the Income-Tax Act and granted deduction to the extent of 50% to those who make donations to the Trust.
The income of the Trust would already be exempt under Sections 11 and 12 of the Income-Tax Act like other notified religious trusts.
The exemption under Section 80G is not available to all religious trusts. A charitable or religious trust has to first apply for registration for income tax exemption under section 11 and 12, following which the exemption under Section 80G is granted to the donors.
Before this, the Central government had in 2017 notified Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar Thirukoil in Mylapore, Chennai, Ariyakudi Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Kottivakkam, Chennai and Shri Ram and Ramdas Swami Samadhi Temple (Mandir) and Ramdas Swami Math in Sajjangad, Maharashtra as places of historic importance and places of public worship and allowed for deductions under Section 80G. Donations to other religious places such as Gurdwara Sri Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar are also exempt under section 80G of the Income Tax Act.
Section 80G of the Income-tax Act allows donations made to specified relief funds and charitable institutions as a deduction from gross total income before arriving at taxable income. Clause (b) of sub-section (2) of Section 80G of Income-tax Act provides for tax exemption for “any sums paid by the assessee in the previous year as donations for the renovation or repair of any such temple, mosque, gurdwara, church or other place as is notified by the Central government in the official gazette to be of historic, archaeological or artistic importance or to be a place of public worship of renown throughout any state or states”.
On November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court had allowed the construction of a Ram temple at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, and ordered handing over another 5-acre plot to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board for the mosque.
Less than three months later, the government had cleared the formation of a trust for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The Trust, called the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, set up on February 5, has 15 members.
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