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Aranyashwar Devalaya Trust Versus CIT-1, Pune

2015 (8) TMI 1083 - ITAT PUNE

Grant of approval u/s.80G denied - objects as well as activities are predominantly religious and since the religious expenses in all the 3 years in respect of which statement of accounts have been submitted exceeded 5% of the total income/receipts which is violative of the provisions of sub-section (5B) of section 80G - Held that:- In the instant case the objects of the trust are not entirely religious and since some of the objects are charitable in nature, a finding given by the Ld. CIT himself .....

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the I. T. Act. We accordingly set aside the order of the CIT and direct him to grant approval u/s.80G of the I. T. Act. - Decided in favour of assessee. - ITA No.1489/PN/2013 - Dated:- 17-8-2015 - SHRI R.K. PANDA AND SHRI VIKAS AWASTHY, JJ. For The Appellant : Smt. Deepa Khare and Shri D.Y. Pandit For The Department : Shri A.K. Modi ORDER PER R.K. PANDA, AM : This appeal filed by the assessee is directed against the order dated 10-05-2013 of the CIT-I, Pune rejecting the request for grant of app .....

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for approval u/s.80G prior to making the said application. 3. The Ld. CIT after receiving the application in Form No.10G asked the assessee to explain as to why its request for approval u/s.80G should not be rejected since its objects as well as activities are predominantly religious and since the religious expenses in all the 3 years in respect of which statement of accounts have been submitted exceeded 5% of the total income/receipts which is violative of the provisions of sub-section (5B) of .....

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has a few charitable objects too. However, the main sources of income of the applicant trust are poojas and utsavas and the net income is used for maintenance of the temple building. 5. On being confronted by the Ld. CIT it was submitted that the religious expenses during the year ended 31-03-2010, 31-03-2011 and 31-03-2012 were in excess of the 5% of the total receipts is prima-facie correct, however, the religious expenses would not exceed 5% if the honorarium given to the Brahmins is exclude .....

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rded as a religious activity. 6. However, the Ld. CIT was not satisfied with the arguments advanced by the assessee and rejected the application seeking approval u/s.80G(5) by observing as under : 4. After carefully considered the submissions made by the applicant during the course of the present proceedings, the subject application in Form No.10G is disposed of as under :- 4.1 The applicant has fairly accepted that the religious / Pooja expenses incurred by it during the three years under consi .....

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d partake of the colour of the religious. For the same reason, and as the religious expenses in all three years far exceed 5% of the total receipts of each year, there is clear contravention of the provisions of subsection (5B) of section 80G. As a result, the applicant Trust is not entitled to the benefit of approval u/s.80G of the Income-tax Act, 1961. It may be pertinent to mention here that while in its reply the applicant has taken into consideration only the Pooja expenses, the other expen .....

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d one. In the cited case the assessee had not carried out any religious activity. It also did not have any temple. Its objects were to commemorate the sacred memory of Shri Gurudev Ranade and to spread his spiritual teachings by publishing articles and books, by arranging lectures and seminars etc. Thus, the facts in the cited case were fully different from the facts in the present case. Hence, the cited decision would not apply. 6. For the detailed reasons stated hereinabove, and in particulars .....

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& facts. 3. The applicant may be permitted to amend or alter any of the above grounds of appeal or add a new ground of appeal any time before the hearing of appeal or during the course of hearing of appeal. 8. The Ld. Counsel for the assessee strongly opposed the order of the Ld. CIT. She submitted that the assessee is not a religious trust at all and the assessee does not propagate any particular religion. Referring to the decision of the Hon ble Rajasthan High Court in the case of Umaid Ch .....

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ed in 157 TTJ 83, a copy of which is placed in the paper book at page 8 she submitted that the Tribunal in the said decision has allowed grant of approval u/s.80G(5) to society which was established and run by a minority Christian community where the aim and object of the assessee society was to train professionals in the field of medical and health care in the spirit of Jesus Christ and to provide medical facilities in their hospitals to all persons of any caste, creed, race, religion etc. In h .....

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079 14165 37914 45370 9. Referring to the above chart she submitted that the Honorarium paid to the Brahmins is not the expenditure of the assessee but is the expenditure of the person visiting the temple. It is the administrative facility provided to the visitors. Therefore, if the same is excluded from the pooja expenses, then the expenditure of pooja expenses is less than the 5% of the total receipts. She accordingly submitted that both factually and legally the assessee is entitled to get th .....

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than. Therefore, the expenses of Honorarium to the Brahmins cannot be excluded from the pooja expenses. He accordingly submitted that the order of the CIT being in order should be upheld. 11. We have considered the rival arguments made by both the sides, perused the order of the Ld. CIT and the Paper Book filed on behalf of the assessee. We have also considered the various decisions cited before us. We find the Ld. CIT in the instant case rejected the application for grant of approval u/s.80G on .....

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el for the assessee that the Honorarium paid to the Brahmins is not expenditure of the assessee but is the expenditure of the persons visiting the temple and it is the administrative facility provided to the visitors. Therefore, if the same is excluded from the pooja expenses then the expenditure of pooja expenses is less than 5% of the total receipts. 13. We find some merit in the arguments advanced by the Ld. Counsel for the assessee. Nowhere it has been brought out by the Ld. CIT that the ass .....

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come of the assessee trust is pooja and utsavs and the income is used for maintenance of the temple building, the salary paid to the Brahmins, in our opinion, should not be considered as part of pooja expenses under the facts and circumstances of the case. Therefore, if the same is excluded from the pooja expenses, the total expenditure on pooja/religious activities will not exceed 5% of the total receipts of the assessee trust as per the chart at para 8 of this order. Further, it is also to be .....

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vities can be established. Unless the objective of the charitable trust in question itself is to spend its income for a particular religion and it is so found in the trust deed, the Income-tax Department cannot reject the renewal of the trust as charitable trust under section 80G of the Incometax Act, 1961, merely because one particular expenditure is for an activity which may be termed as spending for a particular religion. A certificate was granted approving the petitioner-trust under section .....

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ncome of the petitioner-trust was to k applied wholly or substantially for any particular religion. Nothing had been pointed out in the order of the Commissioner that the petitionertrust had been constantly spending money for a particular religion. A single contribution by the charitable trust to another trust which carried out repair and renovation of Lord Vishnu's temple did not disentitle the petitioner-trust from renewal of its exemption certificate under section 80G. The repair and reno .....

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