Section 10(22B) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, exempts the income of a specified news agency from tax. To be eligible for this exemption, the news agency must be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.
The income of a specified news agency includes income from all sources, such as:
- Subscription fees
- Advertising revenue
- News syndication fees
- Grants from the government or other organizations
- Income from investments
The exemption under Section 10(22B) is available only if the income of the news agency is used for news gathering and dissemination purposes. If the income is used for any other purpose, it will be taxable.
Here are some examples of news agencies that may be eligible for the exemption under Section 10(22B):
- Press Trust of India (PTI)
- United News of India (UNI)
- Asian News International (ANI)
- Associated Press (AP)
Conditions for Exemption:
In order to avail the exemption under Section 10(22B), a specified news agency must fulfill certain conditions. These conditions include:
- The agency must be registered as a company under the Companies Act, 1956.
- The main object of the agency must be the collection and distribution of news.
- The agency must not be engaged in any other business.
- The agency must apply its income and profits solely for the purpose of collection and distribution of news.
- The agency must not distribute any income or profits to its members, shareholders, or contributors.
Examples of Incomes:
Examples of income that is exempt from income tax under Section 10(22B) include:
- Subscription fees received from newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets for the news agency’s services.
- Advertising revenue received for displaying advertisements on the news agency’s website or other platforms.
- Income from investments made by the news agency.
- Income from grants and donations received from the Central Government, State Government, or other institutions for the purpose of collection and distribution of news.
Specified news agencies are required to comply with certain reporting and compliance requirements in order to avail the exemption under Section 10(22B). These requirements include maintaining proper books of accounts, getting the accounts audited by a chartered accountant, and filing the income tax return within the specified due date.
The exemption of income under Section 10(22B) has a positive impact on independent journalism in the country. It provides financial relief to news agencies, enabling them to invest in quality journalism and investigative reporting.
Independent news agencies play a crucial role in a democratic society. They provide unbiased and objective news coverage, holding those in power accountable. By exempting their income, the government recognizes the importance of their work and supports their contribution to the society.
Section 10(22B) of the Income Tax Act is a beneficial provision for specified news agencies. It exempts their income from tax, allowing them to focus on their core activities and contribute to independent journalism. This provision promotes a free and independent press, ensuring the availability of unbiased news coverage in the country.