Home Income Tax Understand Key Points before you withdraw EPF

Understand Key Points before you withdraw EPF

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When can EPF be withdrawn?

One may choose to withdraw EPF entirely or partially. 

Complete Withdrawal

EPF can be completely withdrawn under any of the following circumstances:

  • When an individual retires
  • When an individual remains unemployed for more than two months. To make a withdrawal on this circumstance, the individuals must get an attestation of the same from a gazetted office.

Individuals are not allowed to make a complete withdrawal of EPF balance while switching employers if they don’t remain unemployed for two months or more (i.e. the interim period between changing jobs). 

Partial Withdrawal

Partial withdrawal of EPF balance can be made only under certain circumstances. They are explained in the table below.

Sl. No.  Particulars of reasons for withdrawal Limit for withdrawal No. of years of service required Other conditions
1 Medical purposes Six times the monthly basic salary or the total employee’s share plus interest, whichever is lower No criteria Medical treatment of self, spouse, children, or parents
2 Marriage Up to 50% of employee’s share of contribution to EPF 7 years For the marriage of self, son/daughter, and brother/sister
3 Education Up to 50% of employee’s share of contribution to EPF 7 years Either for account holder’s education or child’s education (post matriculation)
4 Purchase of land or purchase/construction of a house For land – Up to 24 times of monthly basic salary plus dearness allowanceFor house – Up to 36 times of monthly basic salary plus dearness allowance,Above limits are restricted to the total cost 5 years i. The asset, i.e. land or the house should be in the name of the employee or jointly with the spouse.
ii. It can be withdrawn just once for this purpose during the entire service.
iii. The construction should begin within 6 months and must be completed within 12 months from the last withdrawn instalment.
5 Home loan repayment Least of below: Up to 36 times of monthly basic salary plus dearness allowanceTotal corpus consisting of employer and employee’s contribution with interest.Total outstanding principal and interest on housing loan 10 years > i. The property should be registered in the name of the employee or spouse or jointly with the spouse.
ii. Withdrawal permitted subject to furnishing of requisite documents as stated by the EPFO relating to the housing loan availed.
iii. The accumulation in the member’s PF account (or together with the spouse), including the interest, has to be more than Rs 20,000.
6 House renovation Least of the below:Up to 12 times the monthly wages and dearness allowance, orEmployees contribution with interest, or Total cost 5 years  i. The property should be registered in the name of the employee or spouse or jointly held with the spouse.
ii. The facility can be availed twice:
a. After 5 years of the completion of the house
b. After the 10 years of the completion of the house
7 Partial withdrawal before retirement Up to 90% of accumulated balance with interest Once the employee reaches 54 years and withdrawal should be before one year of retirement/superannuation  

Procedure for EPF withdrawal

Broadly, the withdrawal of EPF can be made either by submitting:

  1. Physical application
  2. Online application

Physical Application

Download the new Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar)/Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhaar) to withdraw EPF balance. 

Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar)

  1. Use the Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar) if you have seeded your Aadhaar number and bank account details on the UAN portal and if your UAN is activated.
  2. Fill and submit the form to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office without the attestation of the employer.

Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhaar)

  1. You can use the Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhaar) if the Aadhaar number is not seeded on the UAN portal.
  2. Fill and submit the form with the employer’s attestation to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office.

One may also note that in case of partial withdrawal of EPF amount by an employee for various circumstances as discussed in the above table, very recently, the requirement to furnish various certificates has been alleviated and the option of self-certification has been introduced for the EPF subscribers. (For details, you can refer order dated 20.02.2017 of the EPFO)

Online Application

The EPFO has come up with the online withdrawal facility, which has made the entire process more comfortable and less time-consuming.

Prerequisites

To apply for the withdrawal of EPF online through the EPF portal, make sure that the following conditions are met:

  1. The Universal Account Number (UAN) is activated, and the mobile number used for activating the UAN is in working condition.
  2. The UAN is linked with your KYC, i.e. Aadhaar, PAN, and the bank details along with the IFSC code.

If the above conditions are met, then there is no need for the previous employer to attest your withdrawal application.

Steps to apply for EPF withdrawal online

Step 1: Visit the UAN portal.

Step 2: Log in with your UAN and password. Enter the captcha.

FAQs

Are EPF contributions eligible for tax deductions? 

Yes, EPF contributions are tax-deductible under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Can I increase my EPF contributions?

Yes, you can increase your EPF contributions and contribute up to 100% of your basic pay. This is called VPF.

Will employer also contribute higher when I do?

No, the employer’s contribution will still remain the bare minimum regardless of you opting for VPF.

Do I need employer’s permission to withdraw EPF from EPF?

The new amendments have meant that the employer’s permission is not needed to make the EPF withdrawals.

Can I make premature withdrawals?

Yes, on meeting certain conditions, you are allowed to make premature withdrawals, and you need to produce documentary evidence for the same.

What happens to my EPF account once I quit my job or switch jobs?

Once you quit the job or leave a company and join elsewhere, the EPF account will no longer receive any monthly contributions. However, it does not mean that the account will become inactive.

When you join another company, the new employer will create a new EPF account for you under the same UAN. You can then request EPFO to merge the previous EPF account with the new one.

In case you do not join a new employer, your EPF account will continue to earn interest on the available balance until you attain the age of 55 years. An additional grace period of three years will be provided for you to withdraw your EPF balance in full. If you fail to do so, your EPF account will be declared inactive. You may have to go through complex procedures to get access to this money.

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