EPF Return: Make Provident Fund payment online

Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) is a scheme introduced by EPFO through which the employees and their employer contribute a part of their salaries towards the PF fund in order to build a corpus for retirement.

In order to contribute towards the EPF Scheme, an establishment first needs to get itself registered on the EPFO Portal which in maintained by Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India.

The EPFO Portal allows the establishment to make the PF payment online.

Steps to file monthly PF return online

In order to make the PF payment online through the EPFO Portal, the following procedure is to be followed:

  1. Login to EPFO Portal

    Login to the EPFO portal using the credentials sent on your email Id upon successful sign up with Unified Shram Suvidha Portal.

  2. Download the ECR File

    Navigate to Payment and click on ‘ECR/Return Filing’. Next, click on ‘ECR Upload’, go to ‘Download ECR File’, select the wage month for which you want to file PF return, select the file type as ‘ECR’ and click on ‘ECR File Download’. An ECR file containing the list of employees against their UAN will be downloaded.

  3. Enter wage details

    Fill in the details regarding:
    a) Gross wages: Gross wages are the
    b) EPF wages: Basic Wages + Dearness Allowance
    c) EPS wages: Basic Wages + Dearness Allowance
    d) EDLI wages: Same as EPS wages
    e) EPF Contribution remitted: 12% of EPF wages (or as decided by organization)
    f) EPS Contribution remitted: 8.33% of EPS wages
    g) EPF EPS difference remitted: Difference between (e) and (f)
    h) NCP Days: Non-Contributing Period i.e. Absent days
    i) Refund of Advances

  4. Save as Text Document

    Next, save the excel file as a CSV file. Make sure to delete the first column with the particulars. Now, open the CSV file and remove all the extra commas, if any. Next, replace all the commas (,) between two fields with #~# and save the file as a text document.

  5. Upload the ECR file

    Now, login to the EPFO Portal, got to Payments> ECR Filing> ECR Upload. Select the Wage Month for which you are filing the return and other required details and upload the Text file.

  6. Generate TRRN and make payment

    Next, verify the ECR uploaded and a Temporary Return Reference Number (TRRN) will be generated. Further, click on “Prepare Challan” and fill in the EPF and EDLI charges as applicable. Also, enter the number of employees, excluded number of employees and their salary. Now, click on “Generate Challan”> “Finalize” and make the payment by clicking on “Pay”.

Due date of PF payment and return

PF Payment: The due date for PF Payment, i.e. the date by which employees’ PF shall be deducted is on or before 15th of the next month.

PF Return: The due date of filing PF return on the EPFO portal is on or before the 15th of every month.

Penalty for late filing of return

When there is a delay in filing of PF return, the following interest/ penalty is levied:

  • Interest under Section 7Q: An interest of 12% per annum, for every single day is levied on the employer if there is a delay in filing PF return.
  • Penalties under Section 14B in case there is a delay in making the challan payment:
    • 5% interest per annum for a delay upto 2 months
    • 10% interest per annum for a delay of 2-4 months
    • 15% interest per annum for a delay of 4-6 months
    • 25% interest per annum for a delay of more than 6 months
Can an employee contribute more than 12%?

Yes, an employee can contribute more than 12% towards PF contribution

Can an establishment go for voluntary PF registration?

Yes, an establishment can opt for voluntary PF registration even if they are not employing more than 20 employees.

Online EPF Registration for Employers : Step by Step Procedure

Employees Provident Fund is a scheme launched by the Government of India in order to make sure that the salaried employees have an appropriate sum of money to support themselves during their retirement. EPF is monitored and regulated by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation.  Equal distribution of the contribution takes place between the employer and the employee. Both the employer and employee individually contribute 12% of the basic salary of the employee to the scheme every month. This article will guide you through the step by step EPF Registration Procedure.

What is the Eligibility Criteria for EPF Registration?

It is mandatory for all businesses to register for EPF if:

  • The factory is employing 20 or more than 20 people
  • Any other establishment employing 20 or more than 20 people

It is also important to note that the organisation will have to register themselves within 1 month from the time they reach the strength, penalties will be charged provided that the registration is not done within the given one-month timeline. If there is an organisation where EPF is not compulsorily applicable, they can also register their organisation and apply to the Central PF Commissioner if the employer and majority of the employees agree to have an EPF registration.

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EPF Registration Procedure Details

In order to make the entire process of registration smooth and hassle free, EPFO has started providing online facilities for registration, making contribution and for filing return. The following details are mandatory in order to register for EPF:

  • Name and address of the establishment
  • Details of head office and all branches
  • Date of Incorporation of the establishment
  • Details of your employees-total employee strength
  • Define the legal status of the company i.e., private or a public company or partnership
  • Business activities involved in i.e. service, production or manufacturing etc.
  • Address and designation of the directors, partners or owners
  • Bank details of the partners
  • PAN details
  • Total salary component of the employees
  • Employees’ basic details like name, date of joining, salary etc.

EPF Registration Procedure

Follow the below-mentioned steps for EPF registration procedure:

  1. Open EPFO’s Website

    Go to the website of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and click on ‘Establishment Registration’

  2. Click on ‘Download Menu’

    You will now be taken to the home page of Shram Suvidha, click on ‘Download Manual’ and go through the manual before proceeding any further

  3. Click on ‘Sign Up’

    Now as you are registering for the first time click on ‘Sign Up’

  4. Enter the required details

    You will now be required to fill out details such as name, birth date, email address and mobile number. After filling out the details click on ‘sign up’ to open an account

  5. Click on ‘Registration for EPFO ESIC’

    Now click on ‘Registration for EPFO ESIC’ and go to ‘Apply for New Registration’

  6. Enter Employers Details

    You will now be directed to a page where you are required to add in the details related such as information about the owner of the establishment (name, address, email id etc.) and PAN card details of the employer

  7. Click on ‘Submit’

    Review the details once again and Click on ‘Submit’

  8. DSC Registration

    The Digital Signature Certificate registration is compulsory for first-time registrations so, the next step is employers DSC registration in order to authenticate the details submitted earlier

  9. Add Username

    Once DSC registration is done. You have to select a username

  10. Mobile Verification

    You will now receive an OTP on your registered mobile number for verification, enter the OTP and select the ‘I agree’ checkbox

  11. Email Verification

    Lastly, verification on the registered email address will be sent to you and after confirmation of that the employer’s login will be activated

Documents for EPF Registration

Below is the list of all the documents that we require for establishments for PF reregistration online:

Company/LLP Partnership Firm Society/Trust Properiteryship Firm Employees
Incorporation Certificate Certificate of Registration Firms Certificate of Incorporation Applicant’s Name

Name, Father’s Name, Date of joining

ID proof of Directors Partnership deed MOA and Bye-Laws PAN Card Number Date of Birth, Mobile Number, Postal Address
DSC of Director Id proof of partners – Driving license/Passport/Voter Card PAN Card Number Id proof – Driving license/Passport/Voter Card Name of Nominee, Grade, Salary
List of all directors with Address and ID Proof List of all partners with Address and ID Proof President & Members Address and ID Proof Address proof for the premises Designation, ID proof (Aadhaar Card/ PAN Card), Bank A/c number with IFSC code
MOA and AOA     Residential Address proof and Telephone number Voluntary Application, Employee details, Signature, Date of Agreement

Apart from the above-mentioned documents, all the establishments must also have the following documents. 

  • First sale invoice
  • GST Certificate, if registered under GST 
  • Invoice of first inventory and machinery purchase
  • Name and address of the partner bank
  • Monthly employee strength record
  • Salary and wages register, all vouchers, balance sheets from day one to the date of applying for registration
  • Date of joining of the employees, along with their date of birth and father’s name
  • Cancelled cheque 
  • Salary and EPF statement
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FAQ’s

Is it mandatory for an employer to registration all the multiple establishments with EPFO?

Yes, the employer has to register with EPFO for every establishment.

I forgot the User ID/ Password for login into the portal?What should I do?

An employer can click on ‘Forgot Passward’ and reset it using the establishment ID, primary email ID and mobile number.

While registering the establishment, which PAN number should be added? Owner’s PAN or Establishmnet’s PAN?

While registering the establishment the PAN which is in the establishment’s name has to be entered.

If an establishment has less than 20 employees can it be registered under EPF?

Yes, establishments that are employing less than 20 employees can voluntarily register under EPF. The rate of contribution for these type of organisations is 10% compared to the normal 12% contribution made by establishments with 20 or more employees.

What is UAN?

UAN is short for Universal Account Number which is allotted by Employees Fund Organisation (EPFO). It can be issued to the individuals who have a valid PF number. UAN acts as an umbrella which links multiple Member Identification Numbers issued to a single member under single Universal Account Number. When members switch organisations, they are allotted different IDs. Through UAN, a member will be able to view details of all his IDs linked to it.

If a member is already allotted Universal Account Number (UAN) then he / she is required to provide the same upon joining a new establishment. This will enable the employer to mark the new allotted Member Identification Number (Member Id) to the already allotted Universal Identification Number (UAN).

Is it possible to modify certain detials post registration?

Yes, an employer can modify details post the registration process in either of the following ways:

Via Email Address: Log in to the Employer Portal. Under the ‘Profile’ section, click on ‘Confirm primary email’. The employer needs to enter a new email id replacing the id that appears and then click on the ‘Send Verification Link’. An email message will go to the registered email id. The employer must go to the email account and click the link in the message received. The verified email id will be recorded in the system and in the future, all emails will be received on the new id.

Via Mobile Number: The employer must log in to the Employer Portal. Under the ‘Profile’ section, click on “Edit primary mobile number” link. The employer must enter the new mobile number and then the employer may receive an SMS with a PIN on the new mobile number. Enter the PIN and then press ‘Change Primary Mobile.’ Confirmation  SMS will be sent to the latest mobile phone number, which is also the primary number.

What should be done if ‘Your Establishment is already registered’ message pops up?

If ‘your establishment is already registered’ appears, the employer needs to check the extension number, code number and make sure that the EPFO Office added is correct.  If the details are correct, the employer must send an email to ecrhelpdesk@epfindia.gov.in and with subject as ‘Rest Registration’.

VPF ( Voluntary Provident Fund ) – Interest Rate, Features and Tax Benefits

What is a VPF?

A VPF is a contribution that one makes towards their provident fund account over and above their Employee Provident Fund contribution. This is a scheme made specifically for salaried employees who wish to add to their provident fund. It is also known as the Voluntary Retirement Fund Scheme and is basically an extension of the Employee Provident Fund.

This contribution is made over and above 12% of the contribution made by an employee towards their EPS. The employee can contribute up to 100% of their basic salary as well as their Dearness Allowance (DA). The interest earned on the VPF is credited to their EPF account and the interest offered is as per the EPF scheme.

Once a plan for VPF has been chosen, it cannot be terminated or discontinued before the completion of the base tenure of 5 years. The employers are under no obligation to contribute to the VPF of their employees.

Features of VPF Scheme

  1. Employees can contribute 100% of their salary to the VPF account.
  2. This scheme is specifically for salaried employees who are working in an organization that is recognized by the EPFO. (Employee Provident Fund Organisation of India)
  3. The employees are not obligated to enroll themselves in this scheme and can do so only if they wish to.
  4. They can enroll themselves in the VPF accounts at any time during the Financial Year.
  5. The minimum time period or maturity term for this scheme is of 5 years and the investments cannot be withdrawn before the tenure is completed.
  6. The interest rates are regulated by the government of India and are announced in the annual budget of every financial year.
  7. The individual could withdraw the entire amount from their account before the end of the tenure but would be subjected to tax implications. Moreover, partial withdrawals such as loans are allowed in VPF accounts.
  8. The employee is entitled to the final maturity amount at the time of resignation or retirement from employment.
  9. In a situation of an untimely death of the employee, the payout could be done to the nominee or legal heir in the VPF account.

How does Voluntary Provident Fund work?

Investments in the VPF are usually made with long-term financial goals in mind. The focus of such plans is mainly towards retirement. This scheme also lets you earn interest while making such savings. Given below are the steps required and a few other important points to remember while opting for such a scheme: 

  1. The employee has to ask their employer for further deduction in their salary. This has to be done in written and submitted to their respective HR or accounting team. 
  2. A VPF form is to be filled which would require personal details of the employee and has to be submitted to the employer. 
  3. The form would require details such as the details of the amount which is to be contributed monthly from Basic Salary and DA.
  4. The interest rate on the VPF is 8.65%. Any interest rate offered above this amount would be taxable. 
  5. If the money is withdrawn prior to the maturity date of the scheme, the interest earned becomes taxable. 
  6. This scheme can only be availed by salaried professionals. 
  7. The interest rate offered on the PF or the VPF changes every financial year. 

Tax Benefits available under VPF

Voluntary Provident Fund is considered one of the best investment instruments that an individual can consider investing in. With respect to the tax benefits, under section 80C the employees can claim deductions up to INR 1,50,000. In addition to this, the interest that is generated from these contributions is also exempt from taxes provided that the interest rate is not more than 9.05% per annum.

Documents Required to Open a VPF Account

Below mentioned are the documents that are required to open a VPF account:

  • An employee needs to submit the company registration certificate with the Ministery of Finance (MoF)
  • Form 49 and Form 24 needs to be filled and submitted
  • Registration Certificate of the company must be submitted
  • In detail company profile must be given
  • If the organisation is an ‘Sdn Bhd’, then the article and memorandum of association must also be submitted

VPF Withdrawal Process

The investors can withdraw the money completely or partially at any point in time. However, any funds that are withdrawn before the minimum period of 5 years will be subject to taxation. No tax will be applicable if the funds are withdrawn after 5 years.

Form 31 needs to be filled out in order to withdraw the amount from the account and this can be done by using the help of the HR/accounting team in the company or can be done online. Document such as bank details, cancelled cheque, PF number and postal address needs to be submitted. One can do so by logging in using their UAN (Universal Account Number). The funds will then be directly transferred to their accounts.

One can withdraw from their VPF account in unforeseen circumstances like financial crisis, medical emergencies, for the higher education of children or even for new house property/land.

The maturity amount will be paid to the employee at the time of resignation or retirement. Moreover, in case of the sudden death of the account holder, the nominee gets the possession of the accumulated amount of the VPF holder. The amount from VPF can also be partially withdrawn pre-maturely as loans.

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Benefits of Voluntary Provident Fund

The three major tax benefits of this scheme are that it is exempted from:

  1. Contribution
  2. The principal
  3. Interest

Along with the above mentioned 3 tax benefits, there are other benefits that are mentioned below:

  1. An employee can contribute up to 100% of their total basic salary and dearness allowance.
  2. This investment is done via the pre-tax income of the taxpayer.
  3. The income earned on the interest is non-taxable given the interest rate is not above 8.65%.
  4. The return on such an investment is also tax-free given the funds are not pre-maturely withdrawn.
  5. The process to avail yourself of such a scheme is hassle-free as the only requirement in terms of paperwork is the VPF account registration form.
  6. The funds can be withdrawn at the time of resignation or retirement from the current employer.
  7. VPF accounts are easily transferrable which is very helpful in case there is a change in job.
  8. In the case of an untimely death of the account holder, the investment will be paid to the nominee or the legal heir.

Comparison between VPF, PPF and EPF

Parameters VPF PPF EPF
Eligibility Criteria Employed Indian  Any Indian citizen Employed Indian
Contribution  Up to 100% Minimum contribution INR 500 and the maximum amount is INR 1.5 Lakh 12%
Taxability on Maturity None None None
Maturity Period Retire/Resign 15 Years Retire/Resign
Tax Benefits Up to INR 1 Lakh a year Up to INR 1.5 Lakh a year Up to INR 1 Lakh a year
Interest Applicable 8.5% P.A. 7.1% P.A. 8.5% P.A.

FAQs

How much can I contribute to VPF?

An Individual can contribute his/her 100% of the salary to VPF.

Can I stop my VPF contribution?

You can stop your contributions at any time. However, bear in mind that amount withdrawal prior to the completion of 5 years will be taxed.

Can the contribution to VPF be changed?

Yes, the contribution to a VPF can be changed. To change your VPF contribution you would have to ask your HR team, or accounting team to raise a request for the addition of a VPF account.

How much amount can I withdraw as loan from a VPF account?

An account holder can make a full or partial withdrawal from the accumulated amount in the VPF account. One has to note that if such withdrawal has been made before the completion of 5 years of existence then the accumulated funds are subject to taxation.

Will there be an effect on my VPF account if I change jobs?

As the VPF account is linked with the Aadhar Card it is quite easy to transfer the VPF account from one employer to the other.

How can one convert an EPF account to VPF account?

The process to convert an EPF account to VPF account is very simple. All one needs to do is inform the employer regarding opening a VPF account and mention the amount that he/she will be contributing to the account.

Transfer EPF Balance: Step-by-Step Process

Any company with more than 20 employees is required by law to register with the Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). A mandatory contribution is made to an employee’s PF account, every month. When an employee changes a job, he/she can transfer this balance from an old account to the new one. In order to transfer EPF balance, one must have an active UAN account. Also, Aadhaar and bank details must be seeded against their UAN account.

Employee’s contribution to EPF was deductible from income tax under section 80C. However, as per the recent announcement in Budget 2021, interest earned on annual PF contribution exceeding INR 2.5 lacs from April 2021 will now be taxable.

Steps to transfer EPF balance online: 

  1. Go to EPFO Member’s portal

    Click on Login from the Home Page

  2. Login to your account

    Use your UAN and Password

  3. Next Go to Online Services

    Click on One Member one EPF Account (Transfer Request)

  4. Verify personal information and PF account for the present employment

    If you dont do this step your claim will not be processed: 

  5. Click ‘Get Details’

    This will help obtain PF account details of the previous employment

  6. Select the employer for attestation of a claim.

    It could be a previous employer or current employer based on the availability of authorised signatory holding DSC.

  7. Click on ‘Get OTP’ to receive OTP to UAN registered mobile number

    Enter the OTP and submit the transfer request. 

The employer will approve EPF Request digitally by accessing the employer interface of EPFO. Submit the self-attested copy of your online PF transfer request in pdf format to your selected employer within 10 days of submitting the request online.

FAQs:

What is UAN? 

UAN is short for Universal Account Number which is allotted by Employees Fund Organisation (EPFO). It can be issued only to the individuals who have a valid PF number. UAN acts as an umbrella which links multiple Member Identification Numbers issued to a single member under single Universal Account Number. When members switch organisations, they are allotted different IDs. Through UAN, a member will be able to view details of all his IDs linked to it.
If a member is already allotted Universal Account Number (UAN) then he / she is required to provide the same upon joining a new establishment. This will enable the employer to mark the new allotted Member Identification Number (Member Id) to the already allotted Universal Identification Number (UAN).

How to check the status of a claim? 

Employees can check the status of their EPF balance transfer/withdrawal claims through various modes. They can check the claim status through EPFO member portal, by SMS or by using the EPFO mobile app. Here are steps to check status of claim on EPFO member portal:
1. Go to EPFO Portal
2. Go to Our Services > For Employees
3. Click on ‘Know Your Claim Status’
4. Enter your UAN, Captcha and click on Search
5. Enter the State of your PF office, your establishment code, PF account number and click on submit.

Do all companies need to register for EPFO?

No, only companies with more than 20 employees are required to register for EPFO. For companies with lesser employees, it is optional.

EPF Balance Check : Step-by-Step Process

Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement benefits scheme available to salaried individuals. The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) administers and oversees the funds of this scheme. Any company with over 20 employees is required by law to register with EPFO. This article will provide you with different ways in which you can check your EPF balance.

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Check EPF Balance using EPFO Portal

Checking the EPF balance online is a very simple process. To check your balance through EPFO portal make sure that your employer has activated your UAN (Universal Account Number). Go to EPFO Portal

  1. Select the relevant options from the Menu:

    Go to Our Services > For Employees

  2. From the Services page:

    Click on Members Passbook

  3. In Memeber Passbook:

    Enter your UAN, Password and Captcha to log in,

Additionally, you can check your balance once you log in. 

Check EPF Balance by Missed Call

You can also check your balance on your mobile. This service is only available upon the integration of your UAN with your KYC details. 

  • Give a missed call to 011-22901406 from your registered mobile number.
  • After placing a missed call, you will receive an SMS providing you with your PF details.

Check EPF Balance using SMS

This retirement scheme is only available upon the integration of your UAN with your KYC details. 

  • Send an SMS to mobile number 7738299899.
  • You need to send the message as EPFOHO UAN ENG.

Check EPF Balance using EPFO App

However, before downloading the EPFO app, make sure that your UAN is active. 

  • Download and open the EPFO mobile app or Umang Mobile app
  • Enter your UAN and registered mobile number to get EPF Balance.  
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FAQs

What is EPF?

Employee Provident Fund is a retirement benefits scheme available to salaried individuals. Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) oversees and manages funds.

How can I get my EPF statement?

Click on My Account > the latest EPF statement. You can choose to save or print the statement. However, banks and financial institutions always require the latest statement so you have to make sure that you have accessed the latest statement.

Do all companies need to register for EPF?

No, only a company with over 20 employees is required by law to register with EPFO. It is optional for companies with less than 20 employees.

Can I check my EPF balance using Aadhar Number?

No, one cannot check the balance using Aadhar Number, this balance can be checked online by using UAN number.

Can I check my EPF balance from any mobile number by giving a missed call?

No, EPF balance can only be checked through a registered mobile number.

Can I use my PF number to check my EPF balance?

No, UAN number is required to check the EPF balance, PF number is not required for this process.