What is Section 80G of the Income Tax Act?

When it comes to saving on taxes, every taxpayer is on the lookout for legitimate deductions and exemptions. One such beneficial provision in the Indian Income Tax Act is Section 80G, which incentivizes charitable donations by offering tax deductions.

Think of Section 80G as a bridge between your tax rupees and social impact. It allows you to claim deductions for donations made to specific charitable institutions and funds. In simpler terms, the more you donate to eligible NGOs, the less tax you pay! This benefits you financially and empowers NGOs to make a bigger difference in society.

In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of Section 80G, explaining its purpose, eligibility criteria, and the process of claiming deductions. Understanding Section 80G can help you contribute to social causes while enjoying tax benefits, whether you’re an individual taxpayer or a corporate entity.

What is Section 80G?

Section 80G of the Income Tax Act provides deductions for donations made to certain funds, charitable institutions, and other approved organizations. The primary objective of this section is to encourage philanthropy and support various social welfare activities.

Purpose of Section 80G

The government introduced Section 80G to:

  1. Encourage Charitable Donations: Section 80G incentivizes individuals and businesses to donate more to worthy causes by offering tax breaks for donations to qualified charitable organizations. This increased funding allows NGOs to expand their reach and impact.
  2. Promote Social Welfare Activities: The donations made under Section 80G empower NGOs to carry out a wide range of social welfare activities. These activities can address critical issues like poverty, education, healthcare, environmental protection, and disaster relief. By supporting these NGOs, Section 80G plays a vital role in strengthening the social fabric of India. 

Eligibility Criteria for Deductions under Section 80G

To claim a deduction under Section 80G, there are specific criteria you need to meet:

  • Eligible Donations: Not all donations qualify. Section 80G applies to contributions made to registered charitable institutions and funds. These institutions must have a valid registration certificate issued by the Income Tax Department under Section 80G.
  • Donating to the Right Entity: It’s crucial to ensure you donate to a qualified organization. You can verify their registration status on the Income Tax Department’s website.
  • Donor Requirements: The deduction is available to various taxpayers, including individuals, companies, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and even Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
  • Mode of Payment: Cash donations exceeding Rs. 2,000 are not eligible for deductions under Section 80G. Donations must be made via traceable methods like cheque, demand draft, or electronic transfer.
  • Understanding Restrictions: There might be specific restrictions on certain types of donations under Section 80G. For example, donations for political purposes wouldn’t qualify. It’s always best to consult the Income Tax Act or a tax professional for the latest information.

Quantum of Deduction

Section 80G offers deductions for donations to qualified institutions, but the percentage and limitations vary depending on the type of donation. Here’s a breakdown of the categories:

  1. 100% Deduction without Qualifying Limit:
  • Donations to specific relief funds like the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) or the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) fall under this category. The entire donation amount is deductible without any cap.
  1. 50% Deduction without Qualifying Limit:
  • Donations made to certain charitable institutions, including universities, colleges, and some scientific research institutions, qualify for a 50% deduction without any limit on the amount donated.
  1. 100% Deduction Subject to Qualifying Limit:
  • This category includes contributions to most NGOs and charitable trusts. You can claim a 100% deduction for donations made to these organizations, but it’s subject to a qualifying limit of 10% of your Adjusted Gross Total Income (AGTI).
  1. 50% Deduction Subject to Qualifying Limit:
  • Donations for certain specific purposes, like rural development programs or memorials for eminent persons, fall under this category. Here, you can claim a 50% deduction, but it’s also capped at 10% of your AGTI.

Let’s look at an example:

Imagine your AGTI is Rs. 5,00,000. You donate Rs. 1,00,000 to a registered NGO like Daan Patra . Since Daan Patra falls under category 3 (100% deduction with qualifying limit), you can claim a maximum deduction of Rs. 50,000 (10% of your AGTI). Even though your donation amount is higher, the deduction is capped at this limit.

Understanding the Qualifying Limit in Section 80G Deductions

The “qualifying limit” concept in Section 80G might seem complex, but it’s quite straightforward. Let’s break it down:

  •         Adjusted Gross Total Income (AGTI): This represents your total income before certain deductions are applied. It essentially reflects your overall earning potential. You can find your AGTI on your income tax return form or by consulting a tax professional.
  •         Qualifying Limit: For most donations made to NGOs under Section 80G (category 3: 100% deduction subject to qualifying limit), the deduction amount is capped at a specific percentage of your AGTI. This percentage is 10%.

Here’s how it works in practice

Imagine your AGTI is Rs. 7,00,000. You donate Rs. 80,000 to a registered NGO that supports environmental conservation.

  • Maximum Deduction: As per the qualifying limit, the maximum deduction you can claim is 10% of your AGTI, which translates to Rs. 70,000 (10% of Rs. 7,00,000).

Important Points:

  • Even if your donation amount exceeds the qualifying limit (like in the example), you can only claim the maximum allowed deduction (capped at 10% of your AGTI).
  • The qualifying limit applies only to donations made under category 3 (100% deduction subject to qualifying limit). Other categories might have different deduction percentages or no limit at all.

Institutions and Funds Qualifying for 80G

Section 80G encourages charitable giving by offering tax breaks for donations to qualified institutions. Let’s explore the types of institutions and funds that fall under this beneficial provision:

  • Government Funds

National Funds: Donations to the National Defence Fund (NDF) and Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) qualify for a 100% deduction without any qualifying limit.

  • Approved Charitable Institutions

A wide range of registered charitable institutions are eligible under Section 80G. These include NGOs working on various social causes like education, healthcare, environmental protection, disaster relief, and women’s empowerment. Most NGOs will have a valid 80G registration certificate displayed on their website or donation page. Always verify the registration status before donating to claim deductions.

  • Scientific Research and Rural Development Institutions

Donations to certain government-approved scientific research institutions and rural development institutions qualify for deductions under Section 80G. The specific deduction percentage and qualifying limit might vary depending on the institution.

Process of Claiming Deduction

To claim your deduction, you’ll need to have the following documents readily available:

  • Donation Receipt: This is the official document issued by the NGO (like Daan Patra) acknowledging your contribution. Ensure the receipt contains the following details:
    • Name, Address, and PAN of the Donee Organization: This confirms you donated to the correct registered NGO.
    • Amount Donated: The exact amount you contributed.
    • Registration Number of the Donee under Section 80G: This verifies the NGO’s eligibility for tax deductions.

Some Important Points:

  • Cash Donations: Remember, cash donations exceeding Rs. 2,000 are not eligible for deductions under Section 80G. Ensure your donation was made through a traceable method like cheque, draft, or electronic transfer.
  • 80G Certificate (Optional): While not mandatory for claiming deductions, some tax authorities might request a copy of the NGO’s 80G certificate for verification purposes. It’s always a good practice to request this certificate from the NGO for your records.

Claiming the Deduction

During the income tax filing process, you’ll need to mention the details of your donation, including the amount, recipient NGO, and their registration number under Section 80G. The specific form and schedule where you enter this information will depend on the type of Income Tax Return (ITR) you are filing. Consult a tax professional or refer to the Income Tax Department’s guidelines for detailed instructions.

Amendments and Updates

Section 80G has undergone various amendments to enhance its scope and utility. Keeping abreast of recent changes ensures compliance and maximizes tax benefits. Here’s a look at some recent changes and their impact:

Changes and their Impact

  1.       Registration Renewal for NGOs (introduced in March 2022): Previously, Section 80G registration for NGOs was permanent. Now, they need to apply for renewal every five years. This aims to ensure continued compliance and transparency within the charitable sector.
  • Impact on Taxpayers: Minimal impact. Taxpayers should continue verifying the validity of the NGO’s 80G registration before donating to ensure eligibility for deductions.
  • Impact on NGOs: Adds a new administrative requirement, but promotes good governance practices within NGOs.
  1. TDS-like Certificate for Donations (introduced in Budget 2023): A new requirement mandates NGOs to issue a TDS-like certificate to donors for contributions exceeding a certain amount (specific limit not yet finalized). This certificate will be used by taxpayers while filing their income tax returns.
    • Impact on Taxpayers: Simplifies record-keeping and filing process for taxpayers.
    • Impact on NGOs: Adds a new compliance burden for NGOs, requiring them to generate and issue these certificates.

Benefits to Donors

Donating under Section 80G offers multiple advantages:

  1.     Tax Savings: The primary benefit is the ability to claim deductions on your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. The specific deduction amount and percentage vary depending on the type of donation (refer back to the “Quantum of Deduction” section for details).
  2.     Contributing to Social Causes: By directing your donations towards registered NGOs, you directly contribute to positive social change. You can support causes you care about, whether it’s education for underprivileged children, environmental protection, healthcare initiatives, or women’s empowerment. Your contribution helps NGOs make a tangible difference in society.
  3.     Enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Businesses: Businesses can utilize Section 80G to fulfill their CSR obligations. Donating to qualified NGOs allows companies to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility while reaping tax benefits.

Challenges and Criticisms

Despite its benefits, Section 80G faces certain challenges:

  1.     Complexity of Rules and Compliance: The various categories of deductions, qualifying limits, and documentation requirements can seem intricate for some taxpayers.
  2.     Verification and Approval Process for Institutions: While the recent requirement for NGO registration renewal enhances transparency, the verification and approval process itself can be time-consuming for some organizations.
  3.     Potential for Misuse: There’s always a risk of some entities misusing the benefits of Section 80G. However, the recent amendments aim to address this concern by promoting stricter compliance measures.


Section 80G of the Income Tax Act is a powerful tool that not only provides tax relief but also fosters a culture of giving. By understanding its nuances, taxpayers can make informed decisions, contributing to societal welfare while optimizing their tax liabilities. As we move forward, let’s leverage such provisions to build a more philanthropic and socially responsible community.

If you’re looking for a meaningful way to utilize Section 80G, consider donating to Daan Patra, an NGO dedicated to helping senior citizens. Daan Patra provides essential care and support to elderly individuals, ensuring they live with dignity and comfort. By donating to Daan Patra, you get the satisfaction of contributing to a noble cause and benefit from tax deductions under Section 80G. Join us in making a difference in the lives of senior citizens—your support can bring hope and happiness to many. 


  • Can I claim a deduction for cash donations?

 No. Cash donations exceeding Rs. 2,000 are not eligible for deductions under Section 80G. Donate via cheque, draft, or electronic transfer for tax benefits.

  • Where can I find a list of qualified NGOs?

The Income Tax Department maintains a registry of qualified institutions. You can access this online or through their authorized offices.

  • What if I have a question specific to my situation?

For personalized advice, consult a qualified tax professional. They can guide you based on your income, tax situation, and specific donation plans.

  • How can I support Daan Patra and benefit from Section 80G?

You can support Daan Patra, an NGO focused on helping senior citizens, by making a monetary donation. Ensure that your donation is made via an eligible mode and collect the required receipt and 80G certificate from Daan Patra to claim your tax deduction. Your contribution will not only bring joy and care to the elderly but also offer you tax benefits.

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