The Central Government has established the Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF). The IEPF promotes investor awareness and protects the interests of the investors. Under Section 124(5) of the Act, the amount transferred to the unpaid dividend account of a company that remains unpaid or unclaimed by a shareholder for seven years will be transferred along with interest accrued to the IEPF. Section 124(6) of the Companies Act, 2013 provides that all shares for which the dividend is unclaimed or unpaid for seven consecutive years shall be transferred to the IEFP by the company. Section 125(3)(a) of the Act provides that the shareholders of the unpaid dividend or matured deposits, or matured debentures can claim a refund of the unpaid amount transferred to the IEPF.
IEPF-5 is the application made to the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority for claiming unpaid dividends and shares out of the IEPF. Under Section 125(2)(c) of the Companies Act, 2013 (‘Act’), the company should transfer the amounts in its unpaid dividend account to the IEPF.
Under Section 125(3)(a) of the Act and Rule 7(1) of the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (Accounting, Audit, Transfer and Refund) Rules, 2016, the shareholder of the company needs to file form IEPF-5 along with other requisite documents, as may be specified from time to time, to claim their unpaid dividend amount transferred to the IEPF to the Nodal officer of the concerned company at its registered office for verification of the claim.
Every company which is required to credit amounts or shares to the fund or has deposited the amount or transferred the shares to the fund shall nominate a Nodal Officer, who shall be a Director or Chief Financial Officer or Company Secretary of the company to verify the claims and coordination with the IEPF Authority. If the company fails to appoint any Nodal Officer, every Director of such company shall be deemed to act as a Nodal Officer and shall also be liable for any failure to comply with requirement of these rules.
Form IEPF-5 Application Procedure:
The process for applying Form IEPF-5 online is as follows:
1. Visit the IEPF website and click on the ‘Web Form IEPF-5’ to fill the form on the MCA portal.
2. After filing the form online by logging into the MCA portal, save it on your computer.
3. Upload the form by going to the IEPF website and clicking on the ‘Upload eForms’ option under the ‘Forms’ tab.
4. On successful uploading, an acknowledgement is generated having the Service Request Number (SRN).
5. Take a printout of the filled Form IEPF-5 and the acknowledgement generated after uploading the form.
6. Submit the required documents to the Nodal Officer (IEPF) of the company at its registered office in an envelope marked ‘Claim for a refund from IEPF Authority’.
7. The concerned company will verify the form IEPF-5 and send its report to the IEPF.
8. The IEPF Authority will examine the completeness of documents and credit transfers from the company into the IEPF Authority.
9. The IEPF Authority will release the refund in favour of claimants’ Aadhaar linked bank account through electronic transfer.
Documents required while filing IEPF Form 5:
After receiving the form IEPF-5 along with all the necessary documents from the shareholder the company needs to verify the documents and the details of the shareholder and within thirty days from the date of receipt of claim, send an online verification report to the authority after verification of details in Form No. IEPF-5.
In case of non-receipt of verification report along with the documents by the Authority after the expiry of thirty days, the company shall be liable to pay additional fees of Fifty rupees for every day subject to maximum of two thousand and five hundred rupees, and if the verification report is not received within a period of sixty days from the date of filling of Form No. IEPF-5, the authority may reject Form No. IEPF-5 after sending a communication to the claimant and the concerned company.
Documents to be submitted to Nodal Officer of the Company after filing IEPF Form 5: