Baba Ramdev’s appeal before the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has been accepted and, therefore, it has acquired a tax-exempt status. I’ts a big feat, indeed. Tax-exempt status is usually given to charitable organisations and it is in order that this status is also given to Patanjali Vidyapeeth.
Usually commercial organisations are not given this status but as ITAT (Delhi bench ) held that yoga entails providing medical relief and and camps also providing education can be exempt under sections 11 and 12 of the Income Tax Act. It is good that Baba Ramdev’s efforts at seeking this exemption have borne fruits.
Even as the litigation settled by the ITAT, relates to the 2008-09, the ITAT has also referred to the subsequent amendment in the I-T Act, which came into effect on April 1, 2016. This amendment specifically inserted `yoga’ within the definition of `charitable purpose’. If the exempt status not been upheld by the ITAT, Patanjali Yogpeeth would have been liable to pay income tax. The total income of this trust is not brought out in the ITAT order.
The ITAT also held that corpus donations aggregating to Rs 43.98 crore received by Patanjali Yogpeeth, predominantly for the construction of cottages under its Vanprasth Ashram Scheme (which provides accommodation to those attending residential yoga courses), were capital receipts not liable to I-T.
EVen the donations were huge–these include land donated, whose market value was pegged by I-T authorities at Rs 65 lakh. In its order, the ITAT pointed out that, “Corpus donations are not taxable,
even in circumstances where the trust is not eligible for I-T exemption”.
So Baba Ramdev should be encouraged to better work on yoga propagation.