TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) is applicable on pre-mature EPF (Employees Provident Fund) withdrawals of Rs 50,000 or more with effective from June 1st, 2015. Also, EPF withdrawals are liable to income tax if withdrawn before five years of service. You are actually allowed to withdraw (legally) only if it has been more than two months that you are out of work and your are still unemployed.
Does this mean that you can not withdraw your Provident Fund till you retire? Are there any options to partially withdraw your EPF balance, without getting taxed?
In this post, let us learn about EPF Partial Withdrawals / Advances rules and conditions, various options that are available to an EPF subscriber to claim partial PF withdrawals and the procedure to apply for EPF advance / loan.
EPF Partial Withdrawals – Options
Below are the various reasons for which you can make a partial withdrawal from your EPF Account. These partial withdrawals are usually computed on the basis of your monthly salary or contributions made so far.
(The definition of SALARY for EPF calculation is : Salary = Basic + Dearness Allowance. So, salary here does not mean your Take Home salary. Also, the ‘number of years of service’ is the total number of years you have worked / contributed to EPF. It can be with multiple employers. The amount of advance/withdrawal is not required to be refunded under normal circumstances. If the amount is not utilized, the same should be refunded with penal interest)
EPF Advance / Withdrawal for Purchase of House / Flat, Construction of House and acquisition of Site
You can withdraw up to 90% of EPF Balance (Employee share and interest on that+Employer share and interest on that) or the cost of the construction of property whichever is less. You are allowed to withdraw only once in your working life from the EPF Account to fund the construction, purchase or repayment of a housing loan.
To avail this option, you should have completed
5 years 3 years of service (with effective from 12-April-2017) to purchase or build the house. For buying land or site, the withdrawal amount can be 24 times of your basic wage and should have completed 3 years of service. (Kindly note that as per EPFO’s staff, if you are purchasing from a builder directly, then the minimum PF membership is still considered as 5 years only.)
Your accumulated EPF balance must be more than Rs.20,000. If your spouse is also the EPF member, then the combined balance will be considered for the eligibility.
Henceforth, the EPFO will not transfer the Advance amount to EPF member (employee’s) account. The amount will be credited to Cooperative society, Central Government, a State Government, or any Housing Agency under any Housing Scheme or any promoter or builders as the case may be, in one or more than one installments.
If the amount of such withdrawal is more than the actual cost or expenses of acquiring the property, then you have to refund such excess amount to EPFO in lump sum within 30 days from the date of allotment / completion of project / alteration of house etc.,
In case, you do not utilize the EPF advance amount completely for the said purpose, you have to refund the entire amount to the EFPO account within 15 days.
Below table has all the required details.
Below is the standard ‘Declaration Form‘ provided by the EPFO. The EPF member has to submit this form in case the ‘partial withdrawal’ is for HOUSING purposes. There is no need to enclose any other documents like copy of Sale Deed, Building Sanction plan, Encumbrance Certificate etc., The form has to be signed by the employee and the employer. Click on the below image to download the ‘Declaration Form Template’. This standard declaration form will be discontinued from Feb 2017. Henceforth, there is no need to submit this form (latest update as on 22/Feb/2017)
For obtaining EPF advance for purchase of house/site, employee(s) have to now submit application letter as below;
Latest Update (22-February-2017) :
EPFO has introduced new composite, single page and common Withdrawal form for all types of Withdrawals. This new Composite Claim Form (CCF) will now replace all the existing withdrawal Forms 19, 10C & 31 (both UAN & Non-UAN based). Kindly read this latest article @ New EPF Composite Claim Form | Single Page Form for different types of PF Withdrawals (Full / Partial).
Withdrawals from EPF A/c for Repayment of Home Loan
If you are prepaying the debt (loan), you should have completed at least 10 years of service. To avail this provision, you need to submit Loan certificate / statement to your employer, along with From 31 (form for EPF partial withdrawal),.
The withdrawal amount that is admissible for this reason can be least of the below;
i) 36 times of your monthly salary (or)
ii) Total contribution (or)
iii) total outstanding home loan amount
You can now use your EPF balance to repay your home loan EMI either fully or partly. You can instruct the EPFO to deduct monthly amount from your PF balanced and the same will be transferred to your Loan account, as long as there is sufficient EPF balance in your account. This transfer will be active as long as you are the member of EPF. Once your membership of EPF ceases, then EPFO will stop to repay the loan.
You need to submit below authorization letter to EPFO;
EPF partial withdrawals for Medical Treatments
The EPFO allows advance withdrawals whenever you need funds for medical treatment for yourself or a family member (spouse, children or dependent parents). No minimum years of service is required. However minimum one month of hospitalization is a must.
The advance can be taken for all major surgical operations or for treatment of critical illness. Y
ou have to submit proof of hospitalization, leave certificate along with Form 31, in case the funds are for your own treatment. (Latest Update (28-Apr-2017) : For partial withdrawal towards medical treatment, now there is no need to submit any medical certificate or document. For more details, kindly read – ‘EPF advance for medical treatment‘)
EPF Partial Withdrawals for Education or Marriage Expenses
You can make a partial withdrawal for marriage of your children, brother / sister and yourself if you have completed seven years in service.
You can also make a partial EPF withdrawal for meeting education expenses of your children. Do note that only ’employees contribution’ is allowed to be withdrawn.
EPF advance to an Employee who is physically handicapped
An employee who is physically challenged can apply for EPF partial withdrawal for purchasing any equipment that can minimize the hardship on account of handicap.
After attaining 54 years of age and within one year before retirement, a partial withdrawal of up to 90% of PF amount is allowed.
How to apply for / claim EPF partial withdrawals?
You need to submit EPF Partial Withdrawal form i.e., Form no 31 along with the required documents / proofs to your Employer. In EPF’s Advance form no 31, you need to provide your personal, PF account, salary and bank account details. Once the claim is processed, you will receive direct credit to your bank account.Do note that only after your Employer verifies your partial withdrawal application will the EPF office processes it.
Latest Update (22-Feb-2017) : With effective from Feb 2017, Form 31 will be replaced with new EPF Composite Form. Kindly click here to know more.
Your EPF contributions / savings are meant for your retirement (long-term). So, think twice before you withdraw your PF money. Try out all the options and sources to fund your expenses or needs. EPF Partial Withdrawals should be your last resort.
Latest News : You can now submit PF new claim forms directly to EPFO office without your Employer’s attestation. Download New Composite Claim Form. Click here for complete details.
Latest update (22-June-2017) : EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Org) & HUDCO (Housing & Urban Development Corp) plan to tie up for providing housing subsidy to members of EPF Scheme, under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. As per the recent notification, EPFO now allows its subscribers who want to buy a house property from Housing Societies / Agencies to withdraw up to 90% of their EPF accumulations to buy homes.
(Source & Reference: EPFO. Photo Credit : rediff.com)