The Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (PF Act) governs the provisions of EPF. It is a retirement savings scheme that is useful for employees. Employees and employers make compulsory contributions under the Provident Funds scheme. Deduction of the deposit amount is made from the employee’s salary and the same amount is contributed by the employer. Online EPF payment is made by the employer on behalf of both parties.
Process For EPF Payment Online
In organizations registered under the PF Act, a deduction is made from an employee’s salary towards contribution to the PF account. Thereafter, the employer also contributes an equivalent amount. Subsequently, the employer deposits the total payable amount to the employee’s PF account.
Earlier the employer could make EPF Payment offline but from September 2015 onwards it is mandatory to pay it online. There are two modes to make EPF payment online-
- EPFO website
- The authorized website of the bank in which the employer holds an account. However, to make payment through this method, the following conditions are applicable:
- Employers must have a net banking facility with the bank
- The bank in which the employer holds its account must allow direct payment to EPFO through its website.
Steps to Make Online EPF Payment
Establishments can make EPF Payment online easily through the following process:
- You must log in to the Official Unified portal of EPFO using your Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) portal credentials.
- Upon logging in you can see the PF details of your establishment. Verify all details such as Establishment ID, Name, Address, Exemption status, etc.
- Next, click on the ‘Payment’ option and select ‘ECR upload’ from the drop-down.
- On the page that opens provide the details such as ‘Wage Month’, ‘Salary Disbursal Date’, and ‘Rate of contribution’. After that, you must upload the ECR text file.
- The ECR file you upload will be validated in accordance with predefined conditions. A message ‘File Validation Successful’ appears on the next screen. In case validation of the ECR file is not successful, an error will appear. You will have to correct the ECR text file after rectifying the specified details. Upload the file again for successful validation.
- You will see a TRRN on the same page, it is generated for the uploaded ECR file. You have to click on ‘Verify’ on this page.
- In the next step, you have to click on the ‘Prepare Challan’ button to generate the ECR summary sheet.
- Next, you must click on the ‘Generate Challan’ button to pay Admin/ Inspection Charges.
- A challan will be generated and you can verify the amount by clicking on the ‘Finalize’ button.
- After that, you have to click on ‘Pay’ against the relevant TRRN.
- On the next step, select the payment mode as ‘Online’. A drop-down menu appears from which you can choose the bank and click on ‘Continue’.
- The next page redirects you to your bank’s internet banking login website. You need to log in to your net banking account to make the payment.
- Upon successful payment, the system will generate a Payment/ Transaction Id. You will also receive an e-Receipt for the transaction, which is a confirmation of your payment.
- The transaction will be automatically updated with EPFO.
- You will receive a confirmation of payment against the TRRN number you select on the EPFO portal.
Which Banks Provide Online EPF Payment Services?
Employers can pay directly through the internet banking service of the bank in which they hold an account. Following banks provide online EPF Payment services:
- State Bank of India
- Indian Bank
- Allahabad Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
- Axis Bank
- Union Bank
- HDFC Bank
- Bank of Baroda
- Central Bank of India
Due Date for EPF Payment
The due date for EPF payment is the date on which employers deduct and make payment of the PF amount. The deduction from an employee’s salary is done on or before the 15th of every month. However, the due date of PF return and PF payment is the same, i.e. 15th of every month.
Penalty for PF Late Payment
A Penalty is applicable upon the late payment of EPF Challan. The applicable penalty for EPF late payment is of the following two types.
- Interest for late payment under Section 7Q- If an employer fails to deposit EPF contribution before the deadline, a penalty in the form of interest is levied. An interest of 12% per annum per day is applicable to the employer.
- Penalty for late payment under Section 14B- In case the employer fails to make Challan payment, the following penalties are applicable-
|Duration of delay||Rate of interest (per annum)|
|Up to 2 months||5%|
|More than 6 months||25%|