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Payroll and Compliance The Monthly Chronicle - November 2015

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EPFO plans to launch online PF-withdrawal facility by March 2016

All the paperwork required to withdraw your PF may soon be history! Currently one’s PF can only be withdrawn manually by submitting a signed application to the respective employer. This is a long, time-consuming, and tiresome process. Now the retirement-fund body, EPFO, is planning to launch an online PF-withdrawal facility by the end of March 2016.
This will allow subscribers to withdraw their PF with minimal delay and paperwork. But for the online mechanism to work, at least 40% of Unique (portable PF) Account Numbers (UANs) should be seeded with the Aadhaar numbers and bank account details of the subscribers.

Changes in Forms 15G, 15H and related procedures

Forms 15G and 15H are forms that individuals submit to declare that their income is under the non-taxable limit, and therefore no tax would be deducted thereon. These forms had to be submitted manually to the deductor. The process involved the complex compliance procedure of submitting returns to the department.

To ease the compliance burden for both the tax payer and tax deductor, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has simplified the format for self-declaration in Forms 15G and 15H. The procedure to submit the forms to the deductor has also been simplified.

Under the simplified procedure, a payee can submit the self-declaration either in paper form or electronically. The deductor will allot a Unique Identification Number (UIN) to all self-declarations. The particulars of self-declarations will have to be furnished by the deductor along with the UIN in the Quarterly TDS statements.

Steps taken by the Government to simplify Income Tax laws

The government has set up a high-level committee under a former Delhi High Court judge to simplify Income Tax laws. The purpose of the panel is to study and identify the provisions which are impacting the ease of doing business and the areas and provisions of the Income Tax Act for simplification in the light of existing jurisprudence.

Latest changes in the Factories Act

The Indian Labour ministry is trying to put in place a new Factories Act that gives equal opportunities to all workers. The new Act will be contemporary, simple, transformational, process re-engineered, and outcome-oriented.

There are new provisions to be introduced to ensure adequate safety of women, mandatory purchase of accident insurance by employers, total bar on hiring children under 14. Penalties will rise along with the general price levels for any defaults made in the compliance of such provisions.

Private Hospital Doctors allowed to issue Certificate under Section 80DDB

Earlier to claim medical expense deduction under section 80DDB of Income Tax Act, an individual has to provide a certificate from neurologists, oncologists, urologists, hematologists, immunologist, and other such specialists working in a Government hospital.

However, this rule has been amended in October. Now the concerned specialists who hold the relevant qualifications, which are recognized by the Medical Council of India, can issue valid certificates irrespective of whether they are working in Government hospitals or not.

Proposed amendments in the Payment of Bonus Act 1965

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved certain amendments in the Payment of Bonus Act 1965 for industrial workers.

The amendments propose an increase in the following:

  1. Bonus ceiling (under the legislation) from ₹ 3500 to ₹ 7000 per month.
  2. Wage ceiling (to be eligible for a bonus) from ₹ 10000 per month to ₹ 21000 per month.
  3. The amendment bill concerning this will be tabled during the Parliament’s winter session.

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