Donors will now be able to claim rebate in their income tax returns as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has been awarded recognition for income tax exemption under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act.
SGPC chief secretary Harjinder Singh Dhami, who is an also an advocate, said the SGPC had been struggling to get this recognition since 1984. "It was a long-pending demand that has been fulfilled after several hiccups. Pilgrims who offer a 10th part of their income for the services of the SGPC will now be benefitted for tax rebate under the Income Tax Act”, he said.
The SGPC had filed an application for registration under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act to the Commissioner of Income Tax, Amritsar, but it was rejected in 2009 on the ground that the SGPC is a religious body working for a particular religion only.
The SGPC challenged the order and filed an appeal before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Amritsar. The case was heard and Judicial Member Laliet Kumar and Accountant Member ML Meena of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Amritsar, granted exemption under Section 80G in favour of the SGPC.
The jury was convinced that the SGPC was never created for the benefit of the Sikh community only, but for the public at large.