As a salaried employee, you must ensure that you claim your Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) from your previous employers. However, in case you forgot about your provident fund account you opened with your first employer, you are not in the minority. In many cases, salaried persons find it cumbersome to fill out the required forms and withdraw money from their provident fund. However, in many cases, salaried employees who did a small stint in a particular company do not bother to withdraw small amounts from their provident fund account.
According to Income Tax Act 1961, any withdrawal from your provident fund account before the completion of five years, will attract tax. In most cases, the PF account is withdrawn only at the time of the retirement of salaried employees and as a result, not taxed. Nevertheless, when a salaried employee changes jobs, he or she is more likely to withdraw his or her provident fund balance. Given the fact that both salaried persons and employers contribute to the EPF account, the total money accumulated over the years, in most cases, is a sizeable amount.
If the employee has rendered continuous service with his employer for five years or more, then the withdrawal of accumulated balance from such PF is not taxable at the time of termination.
If the period of service to your ex-employer is under five years, you have to pay tax on the amount of provident fund withdrawn. You should also pay tax concessions, if any, availed by you. It is important to note that from 2012 onwards, no interest will be paid on inoperative accounts which have not been active for over three years. It is, therefore, prudent to withdraw your EPF balance if you are not a salaried employee anymore or even unemployed.
PF Account withdrawals
You have to fill up the PF withdrawal form known as Form 19 which can be easily downloaded by logging on to the official EPF website at www.epfindia.org.in. After filling in all the required details carefully, you have to submit PF withdrawl form (form 19) to your previous employer. In many cases, salaried persons do not remember their EPF account numbers. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can request the human resources department in your company to contact your previous employer for the details. Alternatively, you can contact your ex-employer yourself and seek the required information on your provident fund account. In some cases, salaried persons who tried to contact their ex-employers found that the latter shut shop. There have also been instances wherein a salaried employee quit his or her previous organisation unceremoniously, which makes it awkward for him or her to establish contact with his ex-employer. If you find yourself in any of the aforementioned scenarios, you need not despair. Firstly, fill up your form 19 providing all the required information, following which, you have to get it duly attested by the manager (for verification of the claimant’s identity) of your bank (where you have your EPF account). Apart from bank verification, you will have to provide some additional personal details as further proof of your identity. Finally, you have to submit the PF withdrawl form to the regional provident fund manager, who you can identify with help of your account number (please click on the ‘establishment search’ tab on the EPF website).
Documentation required for making withdrawals
The most common documents required to withdraw your provident fund balance are listed below:
- Form 19
- Form 10C
- Two revenue stamps
- Bank account statement
- Identity proof
- Address proof
- A blank and cancelled cheque (IFSC code and account number should be visible). Also, you should ensure that the cheque provided by you is a single account holder cheque only.
This form allows you to withdraw your provident fund balance after quitting your job, superannuation, termination or at the time of retirement. Under no circumstances, can any establishment or organisation can stop you from withdrawing from your provident fund balance.
The form requires you to fill in the following details:
- Your name as per your payslip
- Your father’s name or husband’s name (married women)
- Provident fund account number (pay slip)
- Reason for leaving previous service
- Date of leaving previous service
- Your permanent address
- Your preferred mode of remittance
- Name and address of your establishment
- Contribution for the current financial year
This form is usually submitted with F-19/20 for the following schemes:
Settlement of withdrawal under old Family Pension Fund
New Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS 95)
Scheme certificate for membership retention (under 58 years)
The form requires you to fill in the following details:
- Name of the claimant
- Marital status
- Name and address of the establishment
- Code and account number
- Date of leaving
- Reason for leaving service
- Are you willing to accept scheme certificate in lieu of withdrawal benefits?
This is given when you opt for payment of withdrawal benefit by cheque.
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