Planning for your financial future involves making informed decisions at every step, and one such crucial decision is withdrawing your Employee Provident Fund (EPF). When it comes to withdrawing your EPF, you might come across the term ‘Form 15G’. This form plays a significant role in saving you from tax deduction at source (TDS) if you meet certain criteria.
Form 15G is a self-declaration form provided by the Income Tax Department of India. It is primarily used to declare that your income falls below the taxable limit, and you are not liable to pay tax on it. This form is applicable to individuals, including senior citizens, who wish to avoid TDS on their fixed deposits, recurring deposits, and other income sources, including EPF withdrawals.
Eligibility Criteria for Form 15G Submission:
Before we dive into the form-filling process, let’s understand who is eligible to submit Form 15G for EPF withdrawal:
- Age Limit:
- Individuals below 60 years of age are eligible to submit Form 15G.
- Senior citizens (individuals aged 60 years or above) should submit Form 15H instead.
- Income Criteria:
- Your total estimated income for the financial year should be below the taxable limit. This includes income from all sources such as salary, interest, rental income, etc.
- The specific income threshold varies each financial year based on the prevailing tax laws. The threshold is usually set to the basic exemption limit for that year.
Steps to Fill Form 15G for PF Withdrawal:
Step 1: Obtain the Form:
You can download Form 15G from the official Income Tax Department website or obtain it from your bank or financial institution.
Step 2: Fill in your Personal Details:
- Start by entering your name as per official records.
- Provide your PAN (Permanent Account Number) and Aadhaar number.
- Mention your residential address.
Step 3: Mention Financial Details:
- Enter your assessment year (usually the financial year for which you are submitting the form).
- Mention your estimated total income for the financial year.
- Declare the total income for which this declaration is being made, including EPF withdrawal.
Step 4: Declaration and Verification:
- Declare that your total income is below the taxable limit and that you are not liable to pay tax on it.
- Confirm that the details provided in the form are accurate and complete.
- Sign and date the form.
Step 5: Submit the Form:
Submit the filled and signed Form 15G to the relevant authority responsible for EPF withdrawals. This is typically the HR department of your previous employer or the EPF regional office.
Tips to Successfully Fill Form 15G
To ensure that your PF withdrawal process if seamless without any obstacles, be sure to follow these tips:
- Accuracy is Key: Ensure that all the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date. Any incorrect details can lead to complications in the future.
- Submission Timelines: Submit the Form 15G at the time of EPF withdrawal. It’s advisable to submit it well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.
- Keep Proof: Make copies of the filled form and any supporting documents you submit. This will serve as evidence in case of any discrepancies.
- Senior Citizens: If you’re a senior citizen, you can submit Form 15H instead of Form 15G. The process is similar, but Form 15H is meant for individuals above 60 years of age.
What Happens After Filing Form 15G?
Once you submit Form 15G, it will go through the following process to ensure that the full PF sum reaches you without any unnecessary tax deduction:
- Verification by the Authority:
Once you submit Form 15G to the relevant authority, whether it’s your bank, financial institution, EPF regional office, or employer’s HR department, they will review the form for accuracy and completeness. They will also verify whether you meet the eligibility criteria for submitting the form.
- Processing of Form:
If your submitted Form 15G is found to be accurate and in line with the eligibility criteria, the authority will process the form accordingly. This means that they will acknowledge your declaration that your income is below the taxable limit and that you are not liable for TDS.
- No TDS Deduction:
The primary benefit of submitting Form 15G is that TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) will not be deducted from your EPF withdrawal or other applicable income sources. This can help you receive the full amount without any tax deductions.
- Communication of Status:
Depending on the authority you submitted the form to, you might receive an acknowledgment or confirmation of your Form 15G submission. This could be in the form of an email, letter, or other official communication. It’s important to keep this communication for your records.
- Accounting and Reporting:
The authority responsible for processing the form will account for your declaration and report it to the Income Tax Department. This reporting ensures transparency and compliance with tax regulations.
- Potential Verification:
While your form might be processed without any issues, it’s possible that the Income Tax Department might conduct further verification in certain cases. If they find any discrepancies or if they suspect incorrect information in the form, they might take additional steps to ensure the accuracy of the declaration.
- Future Tax Filing:
Even if TDS is not deducted due to Form 15G submission, it’s essential to remember that you still need to include your total income, including the EPF withdrawal, in your annual income tax return. While the form prevents immediate TDS deduction, your income needs to be accounted for during the tax filing process.
Filling Form 15G for EPF withdrawal is a straightforward process that can save you from unnecessary TDS deductions. Remember to stay updated with the latest tax laws and limits, as they might change from year to year. If you’re uncertain about your eligibility or how to correctly fill the form, consulting a financial advisor can provide you with expert guidance tailored to your situation. By following this guide and adhering to the eligibility criteria, you can make your EPF withdrawal a seamless and financially advantageous process.