EPFO has taken a revolutionary step in year 2012 by launching its EMPLOYER E- SEVA portal which benefited the employer by way in reducing the hassles of submitting the paper return to EPFO office. The EPFO announced an online withdrawal and transfer provision for employee’s provident fund (EPF) from 1 July 2013, with the aim to settle claims faster.
A) Submission of monthly returns;
B) Requirement of submitting other forms like form 5 (applying for PF no.)/10(details of left employees) /12A, 3A and 6A is no more;
C) Facilitated online submission of transfer claim (OTCP);
D) Employees can know there claim status and their EPF balances.
1.2. Online submission of monthly return by employer – From July 2012 onwards ECR (electronic challan cum return) are submitted online which solve the purpose of both the challan as well as the return. Submission of hard copy of return to EPF department is no more required. Last date of uploading the ECR files is 15th (plus 5 days of grace period i.e. 20th) from the closer of the month.
“Closer of month“ – “Clause 38 of the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952, fixes the time limit for making payment in respect of contribution to the provident fund to be 15 days from the close of the month concerned. The issue is whether “month” should be considered to be the month to which wages/ salary relates or the month in which actual disbursement?
Yes , the relevant month considered is month of payment of wages that is supported in case of Kanoi Paper & Industries Ltd,. Calcutta Vs. ACIT, Co. Circle 7(2), Calcutta. In General relevant month is considered to be the month to which wages relates.
Example wages for the month of January are paid in February then due date will be 15th of march (including grace period of 5 days i.e. 20th march) If it is violated then penalty is levied from the due date i.e. 15th not 20th.
An E- return tool has been provided by the EPF department for assisting employer in submitting/uploading return online.
1.3 Now the requirement of Submitting form 5, form 10 etc. for informing the department regarding new joiner and employees who has left is not required these information are now indulged in ECR (electronic challan cum return) file. This has made the online process more simple and transparent.
Note – The basic salary and DA on which PF is calculated is proposed to be increased from 6500 to Rs 15000 however it has received assent from finance minister but official notification is what we are waiting for.
1.4. Transfer of Pf account from one employer to another is no more a tedious task now , employee just has to login at epf website (http://memberclaims.epfoservices.in/) and lodge his request for transfer of account to other employer .
The respective employer will accordingly correct/ modify the request lodged by the employee.
Employee can also track there PF account balance by entering PF account no, EPFO office where your account is maintained, name and mobile no. at epf website (http://www.epfindia.com/MembBal.html).
Article by –
Anubhav Jain (CA Final),