Tax on EPF withdrawal: Centre to consider partial rollback

Decision taken after proposal to levy tax on 60% of withdrawals from EPF received sharp criticism

New Delhi: Under all-round attack, the centre yesterday promised to consider demands for a partial rollback of the proposal to tax 60 per cent of withdrawals from Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and a ceiling on an employer’s contribution.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Pic/PTI
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Pic/PTI

But made it clear that PPF will continue to be tax exempt. Earlier in the day, Revenue Secretary Hashmukh Adhia said only 60 per cent of interest on contributions made after April 1, 2016 will be taxed and that the principal amount of contribution will remain untouched at the time of withdrawal.

However, in the evening a government press note said a proposal to tax only interest and not principal is under consideration. The press note also stated that the new tax proposal was aimed at taxing only the high salaried individuals totalling about 70 lakh people out of the 3.7 crore EPF members.

Taxing PF anti-worker: Unions
Central trade unions, including the RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), have opposed the proposal to tax EPF withdrawal and termed it as ‘an attack on the working class and a clear case of double taxation’. 
“This is an anti-worker proposal,” said BMS general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay.

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