August 1, 2023
Shaik Musrath

Income from Property held for Charitable Purposes

In a society where giving back and supporting noble causes are highly valued, the Indian government has laid down provisions to incentivize charitable and religious activities. Section 11 of the Income Tax Act plays a crucial role in exempting income derived from property held for charitable or religious purposes from taxation. In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of Section 11 and explore how it encourages and facilitates philanthropic endeavors in India.

Understanding Section 11

Section 11 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, is a significant provision that grants tax exemption to religious and charitable institutions and trusts. According to this section, income derived from a property held under trust or other legal obligation wholly for charitable or religious purposes is not subject to income tax. To qualify for this exemption, the property must be utilized for activities that are deemed charitable or religious in nature under the Income Tax Act.

Key Features of Section 11:


The section applies to any trust or institution that holds property for charitable or religious purposes. Charitable purposes may include promoting education, medical relief, relief of the poor, advancement of any other object of general public utility, and more. Religious purposes refer to activities performed as part of any religion or religious trust.


To avail of the tax exemption under Section 11, the trust or institution must be registered under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act. Registration is a crucial step as it establishes the credibility of the organization and ensures compliance with the necessary regulations.

Accumulation and Application of Income: 

Section 11 allows a charitable or religious institution to accumulate income to be used in future years for the specified purposes. However, there are limitations on the percentage of income that can be accumulated, and failure to comply with these provisions may lead to taxation.

Specific Exemptions: 

Apart from income from property, Section 11 also grants exemptions on income from voluntary contributions, income from investments, and income from any business that is incidental to the main charitable or religious activities.

Set-off and Carry Forward: 

If the total income of the trust or institution is negative due to certain allowable deductions, the deficit can be set off or carried forward for up to five years.

Benefits and Impact

The provisions outlined in Section 11 serve multiple purposes and have a positive impact on charitable and religious institutions:

Encouraging Philanthropy: 

By providing tax exemptions, Section 11 incentivizes individuals and organizations to contribute to charitable and religious causes, fostering a culture of giving back to society.

Promoting Social Welfare: 

Tax-exempt institutions can utilize their resources more efficiently, focusing on their core objectives, such as education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and community development.

Ease of Fund Management: 

The ability to accumulate income allows institutions to plan for long-term projects and secure their financial stability without facing immediate tax burdens.

Facilitating Spiritual Growth: 

Religious institutions can utilize their funds to maintain places of worship, conduct religious ceremonies, and engage in various spiritual activities, thus supporting the religious needs of the community.


Section 11 of the Income Tax Act acts as a powerful catalyst for promoting charitable and religious activities in India. By providing tax exemptions to institutions that hold property for philanthropic purposes, the government acknowledges the vital role these organizations play in shaping a more compassionate and equitable society. It is crucial for charitable and religious institutions to comply with the necessary regulations and maintain transparency in their financial activities to continue enjoying the benefits of this provision. As citizens, we should also support and contribute to such institutions, recognizing the significant impact they have on our communities and the nation as a whole.


Availment of ITC and Utilisation thereof under GST Law

Reversal of Input Tax Credit in GSTR 2 : All You Need to Know

Explained: How is GSTR-2A different from GSTR-2?