Trusts can be public or private. Public trusts are generally formed for charitable or religious purposes and not for commercial activities. A public charitable trust is one that benefits the public at large, while income from a private trust is available only to specified beneficiaries.
Public and private trusts differ in the process of their creation. In creating a charitable or religious trust, a formal deed or any writing is not necessary, while private trusts are created and governed by the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. In the case of a private trust declared by a will, registration is not necessary, whether it involves movable or immovable property.
In all other cases, registration of a private trust is necessary under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. For public trusts, registration is optional but desirable.
Trusts (public and private) are subject to taxation under the Income Tax Act, 1961. However, charitable and religious trusts enjoy several tax exemptions and benefits.