In a move that will ease compliance burden for employers, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has permitted companies to file their electronic challan cum return (ECR) without the simultaneous requirement to pay their PF contributions. Through this move, the government is also expected to get an estimate of the companies under EPFO which are facing cash crunch and wage payment related issues owing to the lockdown to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will be no penal action on those companies which file the ECR on time, even if their payment contributions get delayed. “The ECR can now onwards be filed by an employer without the need of simultaneous payment of contributions. The contributions may be paid later by the employer at his convenience after filing the ECR…filing of ECR shall establish employer’s intent to comply and unwillingness to default which will not attract penal consequences and employees also get assurance of their employment and membership,” the EPFO said.
This will also “help in policy planning and decisions making regarding supporting the businesses and EPF members in wage payment or contribution payment or otherwise”, it added.
Earlier this month, the EPFO extended the deadline for filing ECR and making payment of PF dues for the month of March till May 15. The ECR and PF dues payments for March were due on April 15. Thereafter, the employers were to get 10 days’’ grace period for compliance till April 25.
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