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Empower Your NGO: A Roadmap to Obtaining 80G and 12A Certificates


Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Reema

Obtaining 80G and 12A Certificates

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are the driving force behind positive social change in India. They tirelessly champion causes that address critical issues, relying on the goodwill and generosity of donors and institutions to fund their vital work. To facilitate this support, NGOs often seek two essential certificates: the 80G and 12A certificates.

The 80G certificate, issued under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961, is a testament to an NGO’s credibility and allows donors to claim tax deductions, thus encouraging philanthropic contributions. Meanwhile, the 12A certificate, granted under Section 12A of the same act, exempts NGOs from paying income tax on their surplus income, enhancing their financial sustainability.

This article is a comprehensive guide offering a step-by-step roadmap for NGOs aspiring to obtain these critical certifications. It explores the significance of 80G and 12A certificates, their benefits, and the necessary procedures to successfully navigate India’s regulatory landscape. Empower Your NGO: A Roadmap to Obtaining 80G and 12A Certificates is your key to securing the resources needed to drive meaningful change and create a better future for all.

Understanding 80G and 12A Certificates

  • What is an 80G Certificate?

An 80G certificate, issued under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961, allows donors to claim a deduction for the amount donated to a registered NGO. This certificate incentivizes individuals and organizations to contribute to NGOs by providing them with tax benefits.

  • What is a 12A Certificate?

A 12A certificate, on the other hand, is issued under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act 1961. It grants an NGO exemption from paying income tax on its surplus income, ensuring that more funds are available for the organization’s core activities. This certificate is essential for NGOs to maintain their financial sustainability.

  • Why are These Certificates Important?

Obtaining 80G and 12A certificates is paramount for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in India due to their significant advantages and benefits. Here’s why these certificates are crucial:

  1. Tax Benefits for Donors: The 80G certificate, issued under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, provides a substantial incentive for individuals and organizations to donate to an NGO. Donors contributing to an NGO with an 80G certificate are eligible for tax deductions. This encourages more extensive and generous contributions, as donors can reduce their taxable income by a portion of the amount donated. Without this certificate, NGOs may struggle to attract donors, as potential supporters would miss out on these tax benefits.
  2. Financial Sustainability: The 12A certificate, granted under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act, exempts an NGO from paying income tax on its surplus income. This exemption ensures the organization can allocate more resources to its core activities and initiatives rather than diverting funds towards tax liabilities. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing the financial sustainability of an NGO, allowing it to allocate more resources to its mission.
  3. Credibility and Trust: Both 80G and 12A certificates are issued by the Income Tax Department of India after a thorough review of an NGO’s financial records, activities, and compliance with legal regulations. These certificates, therefore, serve as a seal of approval from a government authority, bolstering the NGO’s credibility and trustworthiness. Potential donors are more likely to contribute to an organization that has obtained these certificates, as they are assured that their funds will be used transparently and effectively.
  4. Access to Grants and Funding: Many government agencies, corporate entities, and philanthropic foundations require NGOs to possess 12A and 80G certificates to be eligible for grants and financial support. These certificates open doors to various funding opportunities and partnerships, significantly expanding an NGO’s capacity to carry out its projects and programs.
  5. Legal Compliance: Obtaining these certificates also ensures that the NGO complies with the Income Tax Act and other relevant laws. Non-compliance can lead to legal issues, fines, or the revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.

The Roadmap to Obtaining 80G and 12A Certificates

Step 1: Register Your NGO

Before applying for 12A and 80G certificates, your NGO must be registered under the appropriate legal structure. Most NGOs in India register as a Trust, Society, or Section 8 Company. Ensure that your organization complies with all the legal requirements for registration.

Step 2: Maintain Accurate Financial Records

The Income Tax Department will scrutinize your NGO’s financial records during the application process. Maintaining accurate and transparent financial records, including income statements, balance sheets, and receipts, is crucial to establish your organization’s credibility.

Step 3: Apply for a 12A Certificate

To apply for a 12A certificate, you must submit Form 10A to the Income Tax Department. Here’s a summary of the steps involved:

  1. Download Form 10A: Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department and download Form 10A.
  2. Fill the Form: Complete the form with accurate details about your NGO, including its objectives, financial records, and sources of income.
  3. Attach Required Documents: Attach all necessary documents, such as the trust deed, memorandum of association, articles of association, and audited financial statements.
  4. Submit the Application: Submit the completed Form 10A and the supporting documents to the jurisdictional Income Tax Officer.
  5. Verification and Inspection: The Income Tax Department may conduct a field inspection to verify the information provided in the application.
  6. Issuance of 12A Certificate: If satisfied, the Income Tax Department will issue the 12A certificate, granting your NGO income tax exemption.

Step 4: Apply for an 80G Certificate

Once you have obtained the 12A certificate, you can apply for the 80G certificate. This certificate allows your NGO’s donors to claim deductions on their donations. Here’s how to obtain it:

  1. Download Form 10G: Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department and download Form 10G.
  2. Fill out the Form: Complete Form 10G with accurate details about your NGO, its objectives, and financial records.
  3. Attach Required Documents: Attach the 12A certificate, audited financial statements, a copy of the trust deed, and other supporting documents.
  4. Submit the Application: Submit the completed Form 10G and supporting documents to the jurisdictional Income Tax Officer.
  5. Scrutiny and Verification: The Income Tax Department will scrutinize your application and may conduct a field inspection to verify the information.
  6. Issuance of 80G Certificate: Upon approval, the Income Tax Department will issue the 80G certificate, allowing your NGO’s donors to claim tax deductions.

Tips for a Smooth Application Process

Hire a Chartered Accountant: Engaging a chartered accountant or legal expert with experience in NGO registrations and certifications is advisable. They can guide you through the application process, ensuring accuracy and compliance with all legal requirements.

  1. Maintain Transparency: Transparency in your organization’s financial transactions is crucial. Keep detailed records of all donations and expenditures, which will be thoroughly reviewed during the application process.
  2. Follow Timelines: Be aware of the timelines for submission and follow-up. Delays in submitting your application or responding to queries from the Income Tax Department can prolong the certification process.
  3. Stay Updated: Keep yourself updated with any changes in the tax laws or regulations related to NGOs. Compliance with the latest rules is essential for a successful application.
  4. Seek Professional Advice: If you encounter any challenges or doubts during the application process, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. Legal and financial experts can provide valuable insights and solutions.


In non-governmental organizations, the journey to impact often begins with obtaining the 80G and 12A certificates. These seemingly modest pieces of paper hold the power to transform your NGO’s prospects, opening doors to a world of financial support and credibility. As we conclude our exploration of this roadmap to empowerment, it’s essential to reflect on the profound implications these certificates can have.

The 80G certificate, with its promise of tax deductions for donors, can turn sympathetic observers into dedicated supporters. The financial incentive encourages individuals and organizations to invest in your mission, enabling you to expand your reach and deepen your impact.

On the other hand, the 12A certificate secures your financial sustainability by exempting your NGO from income tax on surplus income. It ensures that resources are channelled where they matter most: towards the causes and communities you serve.

In this journey, you’ve learned about legal structures, meticulous record-keeping, and the importance of transparency. You’ve navigated the bureaucratic intricacies and sought professional guidance. With these certificates in hand, your NGO is now poised to thrive.

But remember, the road doesn’t end here. Empowerment is an ongoing process. Your organization’s growth and impact will continue to rely on your dedication, innovation, and the support of those who believe in your cause. As you move forward, may these certificates serve as a testament to your commitment and a catalyst for the transformative change you seek to bring to society.

Selecting Kanakkupillai for Empowering Your NGO and Obtaining 80G and 12A Certificates

Kanakkupillai is your trusted partner on the path to empowering your NGO and securing the coveted 80G and 12A certificates. With a proven track record of expertise in NGO compliance and certifications, Kanakkupillai offers several compelling reasons to choose their services.

  • Experience and Expertise: Kanakkupillai boasts a team of seasoned professionals well-versed in the legal nuances and regulatory requirements of NGO certification. Their experience ensures a smooth and hassle-free process.
  • Customized Solutions: Recognizing that every NGO is unique, Kanakkupillai tailors its services to meet your needs. They provide personalized guidance, ensuring your organization’s goals and objectives are central to the certification process.
  • Comprehensive Support: From documentation preparation to liaising with authorities, Kanakkupillai provides end-to-end support. They handle the complexities, allowing you to focus on your mission.
  • Timely Results: Kanakkupillai understands the importance of timelines. Their efficient approach expedites the certification process, allowing your NGO to enjoy the benefits sooner.
  • Transparent Pricing: With transparent and competitive pricing, Kanakkupillai ensures that your investment in their services is justified by the value you receive.

By choosing Kanakkupillai, you’re not just obtaining certificates; you’re securing a reliable partner dedicated to empowering your NGO and helping you significantly impact society.


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