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Employee Provident fund (EPF) is an investment option available for salaried individuals where an equal contribution is made every month by the employer and employee. This investment option acts as a retirement and pension benefit for employees working in organisations that are required to follow EPF norms. Investment in EPF, interest earned from EPF and withdrawal made from EPF after completion of 5 years is exempt from tax.
EPFO has now made provisions on its website to enable members to easily transfer their existing EPF accounts to new ones by following a few simple steps. The online process of transferring EPF is convenient as users can comfortably transfer EPF funds from home or office and save a lot of time. The process involves online document uploading, thus saving the time of employees and they can also avoid the hassle of physical document verification from the employer.
Employees can transfer EPF online in case of a job change. This option can be availed on the official website of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). As part of the process, a copy of Form 13 must be submitted to the employer. In this article, we will explain the process of EPF transfer online and provide related details for easy transfer.
About How to Transfer EPF Online?
When an individual begins working in the form of employment with any PF registered organization, he or she will automatically be registered for PF benefits. Both the employee and employer contributed to the employee’s EPF account and the accumulated funds start earning interest till the time of withdrawal.
It is very common for employees to switch jobs in the middle of their career for various reasons. In such cases, what about the PF account created for the employee with the previous employer? There are two options available for the employee to choose:
To make EPF an ideal retirement saving provision, it makes sense to transfer the PF balance rather than withdrawing. This is also beneficial from the tax point of view as withdrawal of EPF, before completion of 5 years of continued service, is taxable.
For transferring EPF from existing account to a new account, an individual needs to fulfil the following criteria:
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has implemented measures to simplify EPF account operations for employers and employees. Keeping pace with the technological revolution, EPFO constantly aims to make all the processes of EPF electronic. This includes PF transfer and withdrawal, which often used to be tedious and time-consuming.
EPFO also introduced Universal Account Number (UAN), which acts as a blanket number for an individual across different employers. UAN allows linking of various EPF Accounts (Member Id) provided to a single member. It offers multiple services such as an updated UAN card, PF passbook that includes all transfer-in details, option to link previous members’ ID with a new ID, SMS updates regarding credit in PF account and auto-transfer facility during a change of employment.
Employees can follow below-mentioned steps for initiating an EPF transfer request online:
To make the process of EPF transfer easy, an employee must keep ready the following documents before beginning with the process-
While applying for online PF transfer, employees must ensure the following:
An employee can check the status of PF transfer in the following three ways:
Track Status via Member Claim Status Link - To check the status for PF transfer online, an employee must follow the below-mentioned steps-
Track Status using EPFO portal
Track Claim Status from the website
If an employee is still working and wishes to continue with the same job, it is advised to avoid withdrawing the available PF corpus. PF is a long-term investment that is backed by the Government of India. It does not carry any risk due to this fact. Thus, it is in the best interest of the PF account holder to avoid withdrawing PF and withdrawn only in case of an emergency. An employee can transfer EPF amount rather than withdrawing it. The PF transfer option has a range of benefits for employees, here are some of those:
1. Can I withdraw my EPF balance without having a PAN?
In case you want to withdraw your EPF balance without having PAN, you will have to pay TDS at a marginal rate of 34% on the withdrawn amount. If you wish to withdraw more than Rs. 50,000, there will be no TDS applicable.
2. In what cases will my EPF withdrawal be taxed?
EPF withdrawal is taxed if you withdraw the amount before completion of 5 years of continued employment.
3. What is the tax rate applicable on EPF withdrawal?
If you furnish your PAN, a TDS of 10% will be applicable during withdrawal of EPF. In absence of PAN, a TDS of 34% is applicable while making a withdrawal of EPF.
4. How do I reflect EPF withdrawal in my ITR filing?
EPF withdrawal is considered income for the employee and therefore, must be mentioned within the head ‘Income from salary’. If you have withdrawn EPF money, you can report the same while filing the ITR by choosing ‘Section 10(12) Recognized Provident Fund’ on the portal.
5. Is there any special/dedicated EPF withdrawal enquiry number?
PF withdrawal enquiries can be made on - 1800 118 005.
6. Is there a way to withdraw my EPF balance without my company’s approval?
If you have furnished your Aadhaar number on the EPFO website or to the PF office, there is no need to seek approval or authorization from your employer at the time of withdrawing your PF balance.
7. Can I withdraw EPF balance while I am still working?
No, EPF account balance cannot be withdrawn while you are still working. You should be unemployed for at least 2 months to be eligible to apply for partial withdrawal of your PF corpus. However, partial withdrawal of EPF balance is possible under certain conditions like a medical emergency of the account holder or family member, purchase or construction of a house, or wedding of self or child.
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