EPFO Clarification reg. filing of Online Returns by Branches/ Units of Exempted or Relaxed Establishments
The EPFO vide Circular dt. 4 august 2016 has clarified that branches/ units of exempted or relaxed establishments are not required to file online returns as the requirement is to be complied with by the main establishment only, as under:
EPFO Clarification Circular dt. 4 August, 2016
1. A reference has been received from a field office where branch/ unit of an exempted establishment is covered under Section 1(3)(a) of the EPF & MP Act, 1952 instead of being covered under Section 2A as a branch and the main exempted establishment is covered under a different RO/ SRO. Both the branch and the main establishment are filing online returns reflecting the same notification and the main establishment is rightly reflecting the branch in its returns. The Regional PF Commissioner concerned has sought necessary guidelines from Head Office to deal with the situation.
2. In the scheme of things planned and prescribed for filing of Online returns by exempted/ relaxed establishments, only the main establishment exempted/ relaxed by order is required to file online returns, the branches/ units of such exempted/ relaxed establishments are not expected/ required to file the online returns. Details of branches/ units having separate code or branches/ units not having separate codes are being furnished by the main establishment in its returns. If branches/ units of exempted establishments are allowed to do so, it will lead to inflated/ incorrect figures regarding number of exempted establishments, corpus of PF Trusts, etc, being captured through returns. In view of above, please be clarified where ever a branch/ unit of an exempted establishment has been erroneously covered under Section 1(3)(a), instead of having been covered under Section 2A as a branch, necessary corrigendum to coverage letter/ note may be issued and establishment details in the establishment master of the office may also please be suitably corrected. Further, link for filing online returns made available to such branches/ units of exempted/ relaxed establishments should also be withdrawn immediately.