No specific tax exemption for companies' CSR expenses: Govt

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New Delhi, Dec 5: The government today said there is no specific tax exemption on expenses incurred by companies under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

The new companies law, which came into force from April 1, requires certain class of profitable corporates to shell out at least 2 per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR works. "...no specific tax exemption has been extended to expenditure incurred on CSR," Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha today.

No specific tax exemption for companies' CSR expenses: Govt

However, he said that several activities that are part of Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, already enjoy exemptions under the Income Tax Act, 1961. These activities include contribution to Prime Minister's Relief Fund, scientific research, rural development and skill development projects.

Schedule VII of the Act pertains to CSR. "As regards contribution made by companies under CSR towards Swachh Bharat and Clean Ganga, no specific tax exemption has so far been made," Jaitley said in a written reply. Responding to a query on whether the government has taken note of private sector companies trying to evade CSR on one pretext or the other, the minister said that information with regard to compliance would be available only after September 2015.

"This is the first year of implementation of CSR by companies under the Act. Information on compliance by companies in this regard will be available only after statutory annual returns on CSR are filed by companies, including private sector companies, which are due after September 2015," he said. 

PTI

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