EPFO launched a special facility for attaining the online receipt of Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) since April 2012 where March was paid in April. The employers are simply required to make a registration of their establishments on the portal by creating a unique user ID as well as a secured password in the portal, to avail the facility.
Once registered, the employers are allowed to upload the Electronic Return. The uploaded return data gets displayed with the help of a digitally signed copy that can be saved in the PDF format, online. The document is printable too. After it is approved by the employer himself or herself online, a Challan will pop up on the screen that is based on the uploaded return. The employer can also choose to pay through the internet banking facility of SBI. He or she also has the option to print a hard copy of the Challan and thereafter pay at any listed branch of State Bank of India (SBI). It is suggestible that the employer keeps both a soft and hard copy for reference and documentation sake.
Advantages of using e-Sewa portal for employers
This facility has tremendous potential and the EPF e-Sewa Benefits include:
- Employers have the option of no paper return that needs preparation and submission to EPFO.
- There is no requirement anymore for submitting other returns viz Form 5/10/12A,3A and 6A.
- Once the payment is made, the employers will be immediately notified for the confirmation of payment via SMS.
- The EPF contribution would be hence credited to all the member’s account month wise.
- The annual accounts slips are available for viewing for the year 2011 to 2012 online and so on.
- A request can be sent by the employers for the annual slips, through the portal, for availing account slips prior 2011.
How to use e-Sewa Facility
Kindly follow the steps enlisted to register and use the EPF e-Sewa Facility at your convenience:
- Use the following URL to avail the e-Sewa facilty: http://e-Sewa.epfoservices.in/
- Register your establishment at EPFO website.
- The portal will provide you with a system generated username and password sent to your mobile, temporarily.
- When you log in for the first time with the given temporary username and password, you need to create a permanent User Id as well as a new password to login and enjoy all the facilities through the e-Sewa portal.
Steps to download E-return Tool
- Log in to the website, www.epfindia.com and click on ‘E-return Tool for Employers’. It is advisable to read the installation instructions, as well.
- For a fresh installation, download the software ‘A-L’ and for upgrading an older version, download ‘E&F’.
- Install the software and enter employee details, such as wages and contribution to EPF.
- Using the module ‘Generate Returns for Submission to EPFO’ and ‘Electronic Challan Cum Return Form (ECR)’, generate the text file for the same.
How does ECR Work
The preconditions for generating the challan are as follows:
- The employer should have already registered the establishment on the Employer e-Sewa portal.
- The employer has already downloaded the ECR file format and prepared the ECR text file.
- The employer has gone through the FAQs on the website to get a clear idea of the process flow.
Generation of challan through the following steps
- Log in to the e-Sewa portal.
- Upload the generated ECR by choosing the option ‘ECR Upload’ under the ‘ECR’ module. You should ensure that the ECR is being uploaded for the correct month and year.
- A Summary page appears if the text file was uploaded correctly. On this Summary sheet, enter the ‘Total EDLI Contribution’, ‘Total EPF Administrative/Inspection Charges’, and ‘Total EDLI Administrative/Inspection Charges’. Also update the ‘Contribution Rate’ accurately. By default, this value is 12%, but if applicable to your organization, you may change it to 10% as well. Submit the ECR.
- A PDF file that is digitally signed will appear on the screen. If the number of members in the file is above 200, you will have to wait for an SMS alert to view or download this file. You should validate the data in this PDF file with the ECR text file that you uploaded.
- After the accuracy of the file is validated, you need to approve the PDF file in order to generate the EPF Challan online. Click on the ‘Approve’ button for the same.
- Once the ECR file is approved, a Temporary Return Reference Number (TRRN) will be generated for the uploaded file. The next screen displays the Challan Receipt File and Acknowledgment Slip corresponding to this ECR.
- Click on the Challan Receipt File to download.
- Print the challan with the TRRN number and manually update the details under the section ‘For establishment use only’.
- Make the payment along with the challan to State Bank of India, either through the online portal of SBI or through a cheque/demand draft submitted at a designated branch of the bank.
- Once the cheque is realized, you will receive an alert in the form of an SMS. This completes the ECR filing process for the month.
UAN Member e-Sewa for Android
The EPF UAN Member e-Sewa Helpdesk is available for download on phones with Android version 2.3 and above. The application solves all problems related to the Universal Account Number (UAN). The key features of this product are highlighted below:
- The application enables you to get the EPF UAN Registration (number) online instantly.
- It also enables you to activate your UAN.
- You can check the status of the UAN, as well.
- The application allows you to download your EPF e-Passbook.
- You can check the balance in your Provident Fund.
- The app also provides KYC facility.
- The product is easy to navigate and use.
- You can check your claim status, email address, and mobile number.
- It is possible to link all your provident fund accounts through this application.
- The app also has an Online Claim Transfer Portal (OCTP).
1. How long is the online generated challan valid for?
The online challan that you receive, is valid for 12 days.
2. As an employer, what happens if I do not register?
The generation of the online challan is only possible if the employer registers his or her establishment. It only takes a few minutes of your time to register and create your username and password for accessing the Employer Portal of EPFO.
3. When the pages for Registration ask for the entry of PAN, which PAN are we supposed to enter as being the Employer and Authorized Signatory?
You are supposed to enter the PAN issued by the Income Tax of India that has been registered in the name of your establishment Remember to enter the name as it shows on your PAN.
4. As an employer who is already registered with a user-name and password, what should I do, if I lose your forget my password?
When at the login page of the Employer Portal, a link is available right below the login area labeled as "Forgot Password?". You simply need to click the link. A pop up screen will appear where you can enter your establishment id. you then need to enter the user id or the primary mobile number or even the primary e-mail id will do. Once you submit, a text or email will be sent through which you can login.
5. If an individual is the employer and authorized signatory for multiple establishments, can he or she use the same login details for all the establishments?
No, as you need separate login details for separate establishments and hence requiring separate login details.
6. How can i change the profile details of my establishment?
Simply login at the Employer Portal. Look for the "PROFILE" Menu under which you need to click a link labeled "Edit profile". You can hence make the changes there on the profile details and click on the link "Get PIN". You will receive a text on the registered primary mobile number. Simply enter the provided PIN and click on the link labeled, “Update Profile”. You will receive a confirmation message on your phone through SMS.
7. What do I require to get a grant of exemption from any of the schemes?
Exemption is approved granted for an establishment that is covered under the “Act (i) if the rules of its provident fund with respect to the rates of contribution are not less favorable than those specified in Section 6 of the Act and (ii) if the employees are also in enjoyment of other provident fund benefits which on the whole are not less favorable to the employees than the benefits provided under this Act or any Scheme in relation to the employees in any other establishment of a similar character,” as per the EPF portal.
8. Is it possible for a member to register on the e-Sewa portal for viewing his/her account?
No, this facility is only available for employers of an establishment with a valid EPF Code number. The employer can file returns online and make remittances through this portal. It is not possible for members to do the same.
9. What is the need for an employer to register on the EPFO portal?
Effective 1st April, 2012, all remittances from employers should be made only after the generation of a challan through the employer portal of EPFO. Starting from the wage month of March 2012, the employer will need to upload the ECR in the predefined format, and the challan is populated accordingly. For dues before this date, the challan will have to be manually filled on the online page, and then printed for remittance.
10. I am an employer and I have entered the correct code number to view the details of my establishment. But I see that the address and name displayed are incorrect. How can I get it corrected?
You will have to send a letter to the concerned EPFO office, requesting for the details to be updated.
11. What is the purpose of including additional authorized signatories and their email addresses or mobile details?
Messages will be sent to these mobile numbers in the future for all activities other than registration and profile editing.