EPFO makes new company registration paperless

Companies will no longer be required to submit physical applications for registering themselves under the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) in order to cut down unnecessary paperwork and compliance hassles for employers.

“Earlier, employers had to submit a physical copy of Form 5A to the concerned EPFO field office upon new registration of establishment and whenever there was any change in ownership details,” EPFO, the retirement and pension fund body, said on Tuesday.

EPFO said employers can update Form 5A online and submit with e-signatures. This will not only reduce the unnecessary paperwork but also avoid the need to visit EPFO field offices.

Tens of thousands of new establishments come under EPFO every year. The body had 921,000 registered organizations in 2015-16. That number grew to 1.02 million in 2016-17. According to statutory requirements, when an organization has 20 or more employees it comes under EPFO’s ambit.

Besides, new establishment registration, it also said that establishments will be allowed to pay penalties online without having to visit EPFO offices. If a firm does not submit the PF dues of its employees on time, then it is required to pay a penalty and interest on the dues. Such compliance requirements were earlier largely done through physical submission of forms.

“Till date, EPFO used to send the notices to employers under Section 14B and Section 7Q against their belated payments. Under the new functionality for belated payment, the employer can select the cases where he/she wants to make payment immediately. The system will generate auto challan for 14B and 7Q, employer can know the 14B and 7Q dues immediately and make the payment accordingly, thereby avoiding the requirement of visits to EPFO field offices,” the retirement fund body said.

The Economic Survey on Monday said the government will push ahead with labour reforms and adopt technology to ease compliance norms for companies.

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