EPF Return- ECR Challan Generation, process, fee and Return filing 2023

EPF Return- ECR Challan Generation, process, fee and Return filing 2023

ecr challan generation

EPFO return likely refers to the returns or interest earned on contributions made to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) in India. The EPFO is a government agency that manages the retirement funds of employees in India’s organized sector-under ecr challan generation.

  1. EPF Contributions: Both employees and employers contribute a percentage of the employee’s salary to the EPF account. Currently, the contribution rate is 12% of the basic pay and dearness allowance from both the employee and employer. The employee’s share is deducted from their salary, while the employer contributes an equal amount.
  2. Interest Rate: The EPFO declares an annual interest rate on the accumulated EPF balance. The interest rate can vary from year to year and is typically announced by the government. Historically, the interest rate on EPF deposits has been higher than the average bank savings account interest rates.
  3. Returns on EPF: The returns on EPF are in the form of interest earned on the contributions made by the employee and the employer. The interest is compounded annually and credited to the EPF account. The interest earned on EPF contributions is tax-free.
  4. Withdrawal and Maturity: EPF accounts mature when an employee reaches the age of 58. At this point, the employee can choose to withdraw the entire EPF corpus or continue to keep it invested. Partial withdrawals are also allowed for certain purposes like buying a house, marriage, medical emergencies, etc.
  5. Tax Benefits: EPF contributions and the interest earned on them are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. However, there are tax implications if the EPF balance is withdrawn before a certain period.
  6. Online Access: EPFO provides an online portal where employees can check their EPF balance, contributions, and interest earned. This portal also provides services for withdrawal and transfer of EPF accounts.


The Electronic Challan-cum-Return (ECR) for the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is a crucial document that employers in India need to file regularly. Here are the key points to understand about the EPF ECR Challan:

  1. Mandatory Filing: Employers are required to file the ECR Challan on a monthly basis. It includes details of employee and employer contributions to the EPF, as well as other relevant information.
  2. Unified Portal: ECR Challan generation and filing are done through the Unified Portal of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
  3. Establishment ID: Employers must have a unique Establishment ID, which is obtained through registration with the EPFO, to file the ECR Challan.
  4. Employee Details: The ECR Challan includes information about each employee, such as their Universal Account Number (UAN), basic wages, dearness allowance, and EPF contributions.
  5. Employer Contribution: Employers are required to contribute an amount equal to the employee’s contribution to the EPF, and this information is also included in the ECR Challan.
  6. Due Date: EPFO sets a due date for the monthly filing and payment of EPF contributions. Employers must adhere to this deadline to avoid penalties.
  7. Payment Modes: Payment of EPF contributions as per the ECR Challan can be made through various online payment modes, including net banking.
  8. Acknowledgment: After successfully filing the ECR, employers receive an acknowledgment from EPFO. It’s essential to verify the details in the acknowledgment for accuracy.
  9. Compliance: Employers are required to maintain records of EPF contributions, ECR Challans, and returns for a specified period and may be subject to audits by EPFO officials.
  10. Fee and Penalties: EPFO may impose administrative fees or penalties for delays or non-compliance with EPF rules. The fee structure can change, so it’s important to refer to the latest notifications for updated fee information.
  11. Revision and Rectification: Employers have the option to revise or rectify the ECR in case of errors or discrepancies, but this should be done within a specified time frame.
  12. EPF Audit: The EPFO may conduct audits of employers to ensure compliance with EPF rules and regulations. Proper maintenance of ECR Challans and related records is crucial during such audits.
  13. Employee Access: Employees can also access their EPF account details, including contributions made by the employer, through the EPFO portal using their UAN- under ecr challan generation.
  14. Tax Benefits: EPF contributions and interest earned on them enjoy tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

Also Read- 80 IAC TAX Exemption for Startup


  • If you are an employer, you must first register with the EPFO as a covered establishment and obtain a unique employer identification number known as the Establishment ID-, under ecr challan generation.

2. ECR Challan Generation:

  • ECR (Electronic Challan-cum-Return) is a monthly return that employers must file with EPFO. It contains details of employee and employer contributions to the EPF, as well as other relevant information, ecr challan generation.
  • Here are the general steps for ECR Challan generation: a. Log in to the Unified Portal of EPFO using your Establishment ID and password. b. Select the “ECR/Return” option from the main menu. c. Provide the required information, including details of employees, their contributions, and the employer’s contribution. d. Verify the ECR data for accuracy. e. Generate the ECR Challan generation.

3. ECR Challan Payment:

  • After generating the ECR Challan, you will need to make the payment of the EPF contributions as per the challan using the prescribed modes of payment, which may include online payment options, ecr challan generation.

4. Return Filing:

  • Once the ECR Challan payment is successful, you can proceed to file the ECR return- under ecr challan generation.
  • Upload the ECR file containing the contribution details to the EPFO portal- under ecr challan generation.

5. Acknowledgment and Verification:

  • After successful filing, you will receive an acknowledgment for the return filed. Verify the details in the acknowledgment to ensure accuracy, ecr challan generation.

6. Monthly Due Date:

  • The EPFO typically sets a due date for the monthly filing and payment of EPF contributions. It’s important to meet this deadline to avoid penalties, ecr challan generation.

7. Periodic Compliance Reporting:

  • Employers are required to maintain records of EPF contributions, including ECR Challans and returns, for a specified period and may be subject to audits by EPFO officials, ecr challan generation.

8. Fee:

  • EPFO may charge administrative fees or penalties for delays or non-compliance. The fee structure can change, so refer to the latest notifications for updated fee information, ecr challan generation.

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ecr challan generation

Click on the ECR upload then you will get option of ECR Download.

  1. ECR
  2. Arrear
  3. POHW Arrear


ecr challan generation

To know the whole process, watch below video to know step by step process.

For paid Service contact YMW Financial Services- 08298057771




1.    How to validate a text file through the Validation tool? In some cases when a file is validated, it gives an error message that the number of required fields is less than the required fields.


Answer: The Validation Tool can validate the correctness of structure of text files of four types of Returns namely Form 5, Form 10, Form 12A and Form 3A. For the text files to be successfully uploaded in the EPFO new application software the structures of the files have been uploaded on the website and files can also be generated through the e‐return software.ecr challan generation.

For validating a file, please select the file to be validated, using the Browse Button. Please also select the type of return you want to validate. Then press Validate Button. The results will be displayed.

For the four return forms the number of fields is as follows:

  1. Form 5: 23
  2. Form 10: 9
  3. Form 12A: Header row – 7 and data row – 29. There is only one data
  4. Form 3A: Header row 10 and each data row 28, number of data rows is 12 for each member and validation tool also checks whether the total number of lines for the data is 12 times the number of members mentioned in the header row.

Thus if after validation of Form 5 text file one error shown is ‘number of fields 23 is less than the number of fields required (29)’, it means that you have selected a form 5 but in the software you have selected the radio button for form 12A.ecr challan generation.

After the validation tool finds that the number of fields matches, then it checks the validity of the data in each field. This means that it checks whether the data is within maximum length allowed, whether it is having any special character in the field that is not permitted, whether the date format is correct. The software only checks the validity of the data for upload and not the correctness of the data. For example, if the date entered is 04/05/2010, it will allow it taking the date as 4th May 2011, even


if the correct date was 5th April, 2011. But in case you enter 04/15/2011 for 15th April, 2011, it will show it as error.

2.    Can I validate the DBF file of Form 3A from the validation tool?

Answer: NO. The validation tool can validate only the text files of the four Returns namely Form 5, 10, 12A and 3A either generated directly or through the e‐return software, ecr challan generation.

3.    How to upload data in the e‐return software?

Answer: In the e‐return software, data entry and upload of data both are possible. In case of upload, CSV file is to be used. Sample CSV files for the upload of Employee data, Exit details and Monthly data have been uploaded on the website. You can download the files and use the sample file by adding your data and then upload it in the software.

Care has to be taken that the CSV file has no “,” (COMMA) in any data field since the comma will create a new field and upload will fail.

The software requires one time entry/upload of the employee data and thereafter every month the data of the new members can be added through upload or data entry. The monthly wage details are to be uploaded every month and in case the current month’s data is same as previous month’s data, the same may be forwarded in the software itself. For slight changes the update button may be used after importing the previous month’s data.


4.    I have downloaded the e‐return software and installed. After adding the establishment, error message comes that Error is there while opening the data base or ret.<<estt id>>.mdi file not found.

Answer: This error comes when you have reinstalled the software and at the time of re‐installation you have selected a different folder in the program files.

When the software is installed and an establishment is added then a ret.<<estt id>>.mdi file is created in the folder where the software is installed under E‐return setup>>Apps_code. This stores all the data for that establishment. Once the software is installed, the ret file is not deleted.


Thus if the reinstallation of the software is done in a new folder the error is reported since the software does not find the ret file in the new location.

Solution is that search for the ret.<<estt id>.mdb file and copy the same after search and then paste it under the E‐return setup>>Apps_code folder. Note: <<estt id>> mentioned here means the estt id such as HRKNL00032561000 (for establishment under SRO, Karnal with code number HR/32561 and without extension).


5.    I am not able to enter the VPF amount in the software. How to enter it?

Answer: The VPF amount field is there in the E‐return software under Menu

>> Transaction>.Monthly Data Upload/Data Entry. The VPF amount in the EE share should be inclusive of the statutory rate of EE share due.

For example, if the contribution rate for establishment is 12%, and employee’s wages are 6000/‐the due is 720/‐. In such case if the employee wants to contribute 900/‐, then please enter 900/‐ in the VPF column and not the difference amount of 180/‐. Once entered and when update button is clicked, the EE share will become Rs 900/‐ for the month.


6.    How to enter VPF if a member wants to contribute at a rate above 12% (or 10% wherever applicable)?

Answer: The e‐return software allows entry or upload of the VPF amount. The calculation is not possible through any % rate. Actually the data in the software is to be entered/uploaded after the wage file is ready and the at that time the VPF amount is known to the employer/pay disbursing officer even if the employee want a certain percentage (above statutory rate) of the wages as his share. Therefore while doing the data entry the EE share deducted from the wages has to be entered.

In case of upload the total EE share deducted (including the additional amount as VPF) should be entered in the EE Share column of the CSV file for upload. The software allows an amount higher than the statutory rate for EE Share but does not allow any amount less than the statutory amount and at the time of upload it replaces the entered amount with the statutory due amount. For example if the EE Share due is 600/‐ and the EE share entered is 400/‐ the system


will replace 400/‐ by 600/‐ at the time of upload and error log will show the amount inserted. However if Rs 1000/‐ is entered in the EE Share column, system will insert 1000/‐ taking the extra amount as VPF.

7.    How are the dues in the software calculated?

Answer: The Employee and Employer Shares in the e-return software are calculated on the basis of four flags as follows:

  1. EE share: Calculation is as per the rate of Contribution in the Contribution Master, 12% or 10% and the flags for Higher Wages PF, depending on the Flag for International Worker, Disabled Worker or otherwise. In case of International Worker, there is no wage limit, in case of disabled worker if joined on or after 04.2008, the ceiling is 25000/- and in all other cases the ceiling is 6500/-. Thus if the PF Higher wage flag is ‘NO’, then the contributions are restricted to wage ceiling of 6500/-, 25000/- or no limit in cases of other workers, disabled workers and international workers respectively. The administrative charges are also calculated accordingly.
  2. If the higher wage flag is ‘Yes’ then the calculation of EE share and Administrative charges are on the wages actually entered in the software irrespective of the wage limits. This has been explained in the User Manual also. In case the amount of EE Share entered or uploaded is less than the statutory amount (say 780/- in case of wages 6500/-, and amount entered is say 500/-, then the amount of 500/- is replaced by 780/- and dues are calculated accordingly. This is also reflected in the log file which appears after each upload.
  3. Employer Share is also calculated as per the flags and the difference of the calculated Employer Share and the EPS contribution is reflected here.
  4. EPS Contribution: This is at the rate of 8.33 % of wages and is dependent on the Flag for EPS Higher In case of International Worker the wage limit is ignored from 10.09.2010 as per the recent notification. In case of a member having completed 58 years age, the EPS share is diverted to the Employer share field from the following month after attaining the 58 years age. It is therefore important that the correct date of birth is entered in the employee data.


  1. EDLI: In all cases the amount of Contribution and Adm Charges or Inspection charges is restricted to wages of 6500/- for each


The four flags mentioned above are not mandatory and in case they are kept blank while uploading member data, in all four cases it takes the value as “NO”.


8.    Can the arrear details uploaded in the monthly wage date entry/upload function?

Answer: Yes. The sample CSV file uploaded on the website will show that there are fields for Wage Arrears, EE Arrear, ER Arrear and EPS Arrear and if data is entered here the arrear details are uploaded, ecr challan generation.


9.    How the dues against the arrears are calculated in the software?

Answer: The Provident Fund and Pension Fund dues against the arrears are to be entered by the employer and the dues are not calculated since the monthly details are not known and the arrears can be of multiple months. However the EDLI charges and the two admin charges under the Account number 2 and 22 are calculated on the arrears.


10. The employer wants to contribute PF on wages above the wage ceiling, but wants to restrict the Pension Contribution on the ceiling of Rs 6500/‐. How to do this?

Answer: The amounts under the Employee Share, Employer Share and Pension Fund are calculated by the software on the basis of following logic: There are two Flags in the function, MASTER>>EMPLOYEE MASTER. They are Whether Contributing on more than wage ceiling EPF, and EPS.

Case 1 If the flags are N (by default they are ‘N’), the employer share is restricted to 12% (or 10% as the case may be) of wages, maximum 6500/‐ and in such case whatever the wages are entered, the EPS will be restricted to max Rs 541/‐ and the remaining amount will be reflected under employer share. The administrative charges for EPF will also be on max 6500/‐.


Case 2: In case the EPF Flag is made Y by editing in the Employee master or at the time of upload it is made Y, the ER share will be calculated on the wages entered in the given field and will not consider the wage ceiling of 6500/‐. However here the Pension Fund will be restricted to 541/‐ and remaining amount will come under ER share, ecr challan generation

Case 3: In case the Flags for both EPF and EPS is made Y, all contributions will be on the wages entered irrespective of the wage ceiling, ecr challan generation

In both the case 2 and 3, EPF Administrative charges will be on the higher wages and will not be restricted to wages of 6500/‐.

In case of the Employee Share, the system calculates the due based on the wages and the EPF Flag, and if the amount uploaded is less than the due, it replaces the uploaded amount with the due amount. That is to say that the software does not allow entry or upload of Employee Share less than the due amount. The other shares are calculated by the system and are not to be entered, ecr challan generation.


Note: 1. In case of a Disabled Worker (in case the date of joining is on or after 01.04.2008), the wage ceiling is 25000/‐ in place of 6500/.

  1. In case of an International Worker, there is no wage ceiling from 01.10.2008. Here the Pension wage ceiling is 6500/‐ till 10.09.2010, but from 11.09.2010, there is no wage ceiling for Pension Fund also. The rules in this regard may be seen from the EPF Scheme 1952, and relevant Notifications, ecr challan generation.



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