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Levy of GST on Service of Display / Placing of Name Plates of Donor

Ministry of Finance Department of Revenue Circular No. 116/35/2019-GST dated the 11th October 2019.—

"Levy of GST on the service of display of name or placing of name plates of the donor in the premises of charitable organisations receiving donation or gifts from individual donors"

Representations have been received seeking clarification whether GST is applicable on donations or gifts received from individual donors by charitable organisations involved in advancement of religion, spirituality or yoga which is acknowledged by them by placing name plates in the name of the individual donor.

2. The issue has been examined. Individual donors provide financial help or any other support in the form of donation or gift to institutions such as religious institutions, charitable organisations, schools, hospitals, orphanages, old age homes etc. The recipient institutions place a name plate or similar such acknowledgement in their premises to express the gratitude. When the name of the donor is displayed in recipient institution premises, in such a manner, which can be said to be an expression of gratitude and public recognition of donor’s act of philanthropy and is not aimed at giving publicity to the donor in such manner that it would be an advertising or promotion of his business, then it can be said that there is no supply of service for a consideration (in the form of donation). There is no obligation (quid pro quo) on part of recipient of the donation or gift to do anything (supply a service). Therefore, there is no GST liability on such consideration.

2.1 Some examples of cases where there would be no taxable supply are as follows:-
 (a) “Good wishes from Mr. Rajesh” printed underneath a digital blackboard donated by Mr. Rajesh to a charitable Yoga institution.
 (b) “Donated by Smt. Malati Devi in the memory of her father” written on the door or floor of a room or any part of a temple complex which was constructed from such donation.

2.2. In each of these examples, it may be noticed that there is no reference or mention of any business activity of the donor which otherwise would have got advertised. Thus where all the three conditions are satisfied namely the gift or donation is made to a charitable organization, the payment has the character of gift or donation and the purpose is philanthropic (i.e. it leads to no commercial gain) and not advertisement, GST is not leviable.

3. Difficulty if any, in the implementation of this circular may be brought to the notice of the Board.

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