Compliance Calendar for September, 2017
Professional Tax – States – Remittances
The Code on Wages, 2017
- The Code on Wages, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Labour, Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya on August 10, 2017. It seeks to consolidate laws relating to wages by replacing: (i) the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, (ii) the Minimum Wages Act, 1949, (iii) the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and (iv) the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
- The Code will apply to establishments where any industry, trade, business, manufacturing or occupation is carried out. This will also include government establishments.
- The central government will make wage-related decisions for its authorities, and establishments related to railways, mines, and oil fields, among others. State governments will make decisions for any other establishments.
- Wages include salary, allowance, or any other component expressed in monetary terms. This will not include bonus payable to employees or any travelling allowance, among others.
- National minimum wage
- Fixing the minimum wage
- Working hours
Payment of Wages
- Wages will be paid in
(i) coins, (ii) currency notes,
(iii) by cheque, or (iv) through digital or electronic mode.
PAYMENT OF BONUS
- Determination of bonus
- Maximum bonus
Other key features
- Advisory boards
Limit of wages under the Payment of Wages Act, 1936
Effective August 28, 2017, the wage ceiling under the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (“Act”) was increased to an average wage ceiling of INR 24,000 per month from INR 18,000 per month, pursuant to a notification by the Indian Government. As a result of such increase, the Act, which applies only with respect to employees who earn less than the wage ceiling, will become applicable to a larger number of employees. The Act regulates the payment of wages to certain classes of employed persons, and contains provisions in relation to, inter alia, the responsibility for payment of wages, fixing of wage-periods, time of payment of wages, and maintenance of registers and records.
Tax Audit filing Date is extended
The CBDT has extended Tax Audit Filing for AY 2017-18 to 31st of October 2017.The due-date’ for filing Income Tax Returns and various reports of audit prescribed under the Income-tax Act,1961 has been extended from 30th September, 2017 to 31st October, 2017 for all taxpayers who were liable to file their Income Tax Returns by 30th September, 2017.
Earlier CBDT had extended the due date for ITR Filing for non-tax audit cases to 5th August 2017 from 31st July 2017.This extension was given keeping in view the GST implementation and the busy schedule of the taxpayers/professionals in the initial phase of GST regime.
Updates on EPFO:
EPFO Clarifies on skilled & unskilled workers for PMRPY Scheme – 31 July, 2017
It is stated that the PMRPY Scheme was intended to target semi-skilled and unskilled workers and would be applicable to those workers whose wage/salary was up to INR 15000/-per month. However, keeping in view the challenges faced by industry/establishments in identifying the skill levels among workers and classifying them in skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled, it has been decided to consider the skill-level eligibility using the salary/wage limit as INR 15001/- per month for the target group. The other eligibility conditions (new UAN etc.) remain unchanged.
EPF pensioners may soon get medical benefits
In association with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), EPFO is going to formulate a medical benefit scheme for all pensioners who are EPF members,” labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya told Lok Sabha on Friday (28.07.17)The government is formulating a medical benefit scheme for all pensioners who are members of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). The government will also constitute a high-level committee to revamp the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS). This would be a contributory medical benefit scheme and details were being worked out.
Provident Fund Account Will Now Be Transferred Automatically On Job-Switch
Beginning September, money from your provident fund account will automatically be transferred when you change a job, with Aadhaar being used to streamline the process. EPFO India says “Now we have made Aadhaar compulsory for enrolment. We don’t want accounts to be closed. The PF account is the permanent account. The worker can retain the same account for social security. We are trying to ensure transfer of money if one changes jobs, without any application, in three days. In future, if one has an Aadhaar ID and has verified the ID, then the account will be transferred without any application if the worker goesanywhere in the country. This system will be in place very soon,”
EPFO-Standard Operating Procedure for settlement of claims
EPFO has issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for settlement of claims in EPFO. The SOP has been duly approved by the CPFC.This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of EPFO, for settlement of claims, has been prepared as per the existing procedure in Manual of Accounting Procedure (MAP) and other instructions/circular issued by the Head Office from time to time.
EPFO has directed that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) should be followed for the process of settlement of claims. Anything that is not contained in the current SOP shall be governed by the existing Manual of Accounting Procedure (MAP). In case of any conflict between the SOP and the Manual of Accounting Procedure, the SOP shall be followed.
PF withdrawal to Japanese employees who have left India
A new circular from EPFO dated Sep 1, 2017 has clarified that Japanese employees who have contributed to Indian Provident Fund and had left India prior to 1 October 2016 (i.e. before the Social Security Agreement between India and Japan came into force) will also be eligible to claim lump sum withdrawal from the Provident Fund Scheme. Such withdrawal can be claimed in the employee’s/Employer’s Indian bank account and Employee’s Overseas bank account.
Change of date of birth of Employees Pension Fund member
However, it has been reported that there is considerable delay in considering the request for change in date of birth of members under the EPS, 95 on account of transfer of file from SRO to RO. This leads to discontentment among members and also generates large number of grievances. Further, after restructuring 100 offices are headed by RPFC-I level officers and only 35 offices are headed by RPFC-II.
The matter has been examined and in order to obviate the difficulties faced by the field offices it has been decided to partially modify the existing instructions issued vide aforesaid letter 07.10.2016 as under ”The request for change in date of birth must have approval of the Officer lncharge of the concerned office.”This instruction will be applicable to all the requests for change in date of birth with immediate effect.