I-T Dept cancels its 80G benefits to Popular Front of India, cites violation of rules

In a big crackdown against the Popular Front of India (PFI), the Income Tax Department on Tuesday cancelled its 80G registration citing violation of IT rules benefiting to a particular society citing violation of Income Tax rules, an order dated 22nd of March, 2021, says. The order says that PFI violated section 13(1)(b) of the IT Act, and thereby, attracted section 12AA(4)(a) of the said Act.

The IT Dept noted that the political outfit was engaged in “destroying” goodwill and IT Act brotherhood among different communities. It added that the PFI has filed Income Tax returns regularly from 2013-14 till 2020-21 and has been enjoying the benefits of 80G. The Memorandum of Association of the assessee society has been found deviated from its main objects leading to the cancellation of registration u/s 12AA(3) of the IT Act with effect from 2016-17. The former section says that exemptions to charitable institutions shall not apply “in the case of a trust for charitable purposes or a charitable institution created or established after the commencement of this Act, any income thereof if the trust or institution is created or established for the benefit of any particular religious community or caste.” Section 80G of the Income Tax Act provides incentive for people to participate in philanthropic activities. Individuals can claim tax deduction upon donation to certain trust or charities.

It should be noted that a large haul of explosives, including two gelatin sticks, four detonators, battery, wires, gums, were seized from a forest area at Padam in Pathanapuram in Kollam district in Kerala on June 14. The explosives were seized from a cashew plantation coming under the Kerala Forest Development Corporation. There were intelligence reports that the PFI was engaged in providing physical training to its cadres in the forest area to carry out terrorist attacks at various places in the country.