FOUNDATION FOR SMALL CHARITIES INDIA, INC
Introduction by Ramesh Sarva CPA, Founder
I am a Chartered Accountant from India and immigrated to the United States of America in 1971. After two years of college at City University of New York’s Baruch College and two years of Apprenticeship under a practicing CPA in New York City, and finally the CPA examinations, I received my CPA from New York State. I started my CPA practice in 1977.
My practice took me to 17 states throughout America. During the years of 1965 to 1973, 68,000 doctors were invited into the US to fill a shortage in medical services in rural areas. These doctors were required to complete internship and residency programs in US university medical centers to get their reciprocal medical licensing in the US based on their study in their home countries. New York was a major gateway for Indian-origin doctors immigrating to the US. More than 50% join hospitals in New York for their re-certification in the US. During their residency, I met many such professionals and began a relationship by preparing their tax returns. When they moved on after few years, I would get calls from the places they went — places like Kingman, Arizona; Muncie, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; and Midland, Texas. A doctor whose tax returns I prepared in New York would end up a resident of one of those states. He would ask for my continued help with his tax preparation. This often included year-round accounting work for their professional corporation. This is how my CPA practice evolved across 17 States over 42 years. I am 75 now.
Alongside my profession, I have worked to support the Hindu culture in the US for many years. In 1973 during the marriage ceremony of my brother-in-law, I became acquainted with the “First American Citizen Priest of Indian Origin” Mr. Ram Patwardhan, a New York City resident. He retired from Consulate of India, then at age 65 traveled to Pandharpur, India learned for one year from priests how to perform all the religious rites to offer these services free to new immigrants from India into USA. He felt the need to do this to keep the Hindu culture among new immigrants from India.
With him as inspiration and a partner, we created several charitable programs to help Hindus in America and back home in India.
- I formed the Arya Hindu Samaj (a 501(c)(3) exempt charity) at his request. The following 15 years, he traveled everywhere from New York to California, Michigan to Texas, providing religious services.
- With his introduction I founded a charity for Ophthalmic Surgeons of U.S. Navy of the Naval base at Jacksonville, FL (Drs. Bateman & Shantinath), obtained 1,000 free lenses from Bosch & Lomb and free switchers from Technicon Corporation. They performed free cataract surgeries in India’s rural provinces, helping farmers to have good sight. They continued for over 20 years, up until recently.
Other charities that I helped to form, obtain tax exempt status, administer their tax compliance and assisted over the last 35 years to keep their books and submit Form-990ies timely are listed:
- Maharshtra Mandal NY (1970)
- Brihan Maharashtra Mandal of North America (BMM) (1981)
- Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America (1987)
- Maharashtra Foundation (1999)
- Arya Dharma Samaj (2004)
- Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT) (2004)
- Theatrix (2005)
- Foundation for Medical Education & Research (2006)
- Parikrama USA (2007)
- Brooklyn Allergy Society (2009)
- Bala Vijayam (2011)
- Dharma Civilization Foundation (2012)
- Aditya Pratishthan (2017)
- Marathi Vishwa NJ (2018)
- Nebraska Maharashtra Mandal NE (2019)
- Foundation for Lung Transplant Research & Education (2019)
Foundation for Small Charities India (2019)
We offered these services free of charge throughout my career as a CPA in USA.
Need for the Foundation for Small Charities India
After the World Trade Center bombing on September 11, 2001 under the auspices of the United Nations, many countries adopted very stringent regulation for foreign charitable contributions. In India, a locally tax exempt charity with the Indian regulator’s 80-G certification entitles citizens of India to receive a tax deduction for contributions to charity. However, US citizens of Indian Origin cannot give to any charities in India, unless a) such charity in India has received special permission from the Govt. of India under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (“FCRA”), in addition to b) the Indian Govt.’s Tax Exempt 80-G Certification. Obtaining the FCRA costs as much as Rs. 300,000, an amount that small charities might be lucky to raise and invest in total, over many years. The regulatory burden blocks small charities from participating in charitable giving from US citizens of Indian Origin (NRI’s).
As an example, free furniture to the primary school I attended in my hometown of Pune, India — a gift worth perhaps $10,000 — would be impossible without that school first filing this onerous FCRA compliance. If my wife wants to pay for the college tuition of some needy girls from her hometown — a tuition of perhaps $1,000 per year per student — the same problem.
The Foundation for Small Charities India will facilitate these endeavors.
Over 2,000,000 professionals of all stripes have immigrated to the US since 1965. Many of them from my generation are aging persons looking back into their past, tracing their roots and wanting to do some good in the name of their beloved parents, who gave them the educational empowerment to immigrate to the US and then succeed in some good measure during their working life.
The Foundation for Small Charities (FSC) incorporated in India at 42 Lakshmi Park, Pune, 431 001, India (Tel: 020-2453 0097) will establish rigorous record-keeping and compliance with US rules and rules of Govt. of India, and facilitate the smaller end-user disbursements to warranted charitable purposes inside India.
As a clearinghouse for many smaller contributors, it will ease the compliance burden but also centralize substantial record-keeping and accountability. Based in New York and with the oversight of myself and experienced tax, accounting, and charitable program administrators, the Foundation for Small Charities India will be a powerful force for helping those in need.
You will not be charged for anything more than the cost of remittance from USA and distribution to your favorite beneficiary in India, in full compliance of laws in USA & India. This is our promise.