PF withdrawal is tax-exempt once you complete 5 years of continuous service
I joined a company in August 2013 and opened a Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account. I left this company after working there for three years and joined another in August 2016. I transferred my PF to the new employer. I had to leave this new job in October 2018. Now I am 54 years old and don’t have any job. I have continuously worked from August 2013 till October 2016 with one job change in the interim. If I withdraw the entire amount from PF, will it be taxable?
If EPF is withdrawn before the completion of five years of subscription, i.e., continuous service of five years, TDS (tax deduction at source) would be applicable and such withdrawal becomes taxable under the Income-tax Act. However, if the employee finds another job and the total PF balance is transferred to the new PF account maintained by the new employer, the PF is considered to be continuous service. There should not be any gap in contribution to PF to avail of the continuous service clause. In your case, you have joined the new employer with immediate effect and, hence, there is no gap in continuous service. Hence, the withdrawal, if any, will be considered as exempt from tax. However, the interest earned during the last few months since you have not made any contribution to your PF account will be taxable as it is earned during the period when you were not employed.
I worked in a company from 1987 to 1995. I don’t know how to transfer the PF account and I don’t have the PF details. The company was sold to another company. How can I get the money?
You need to contact the new company. The new company can guide you how to claim the PF and if you wish to do withdrawal on your own, you do not require the attestation of the employer. This can be done provided your UAN is active and mobile number is mapped with the PF account. You need to submit composite claims form along with your bank details and IFSC code.