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Calculation of taxable interest on P.F. contribution

Updated on:  

08 min read

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a notification on 31 August 2021, stating how the taxable interest will be calculated relating to the contribution to the Provident Fund or Recognised Provident Fund.

Introduction

The earnings from the Provident Fund have remained tax-free for many years. As per the old provisions, a minimum of 12% of salary had to be contributed by employer and employee towards Provident Fund. Excess contribution above 12% of the salary by the employer was taxable. 


To bring the high-income earners excess benefits under the taxability net, the Union Budget 2020 introduced an amendment. Accordingly, employer’s contribution to Provident Fund, National Pension Scheme (NPS) and Superannuation Fund in excess of Rs.7.5 lakh will be taxable as perquisites in the hands of the employee.


Further, the Union Budget 2021 introduced taxability on the interest accrued on the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account for contributions in excess of Rs.2.5 lakh. Here also, the government intended to rationalise the tax exemption for the high-income earners by putting a threshold limit. 


To clarify the amendment introduced in the Budget 2021, CBDT issued a notification showing the calculation of taxable interest relating to the contribution to the Provident Fund or Recognised Provident Fund.

As per the notification, this amendment in the income tax rules shall become applicable from 1 April 2022

Manner of calculation

The notification stated that for calculating taxable interest of the provident fund contribution, separate accounts shall be maintained for all the financial years starting from the current financial year 2021-22. 

Two different accounts, one with taxable contribution and another with non-taxable contribution, shall be maintained for all the subscribers. 

Calculation of non-taxable contribution

Use below mentioned formula to arrive at the non-taxable Provident Fund contribution :

(A) – Aggregate of the following:

  1. Closing balance in the account as of 31 March 2021.
  2. Any contribution made by the person in the account for each financial year starting from F.Y. 2021-22 is non-taxable, i.e. below Rs.2.5 lakh or Rs.5 lakh threshold, as the case may be. 
  3. Interest accrued on the closing balance as of 31 March 2021, as well as interest accrued on the non-taxable contribution for each financial year starting from F.Y. 2021-22.

(B) – Reduced by withdrawal from such an account. 

Calculation of non-taxable contribution = (A) Less (B)

Calculation of taxable contribution 

Use below mentioned formula to arrive at the taxable Provident Fund contribution :

(A) – Aggregate of the following:

  1. Any contribution made by the person in the account for each financial year starting from F.Y. 2021-22 is taxable, i.e. above Rs.2.5 lakh or Rs.5 lakh threshold, as the case may be. 
  2. Interest accrued on the taxable contribution for each financial year starting from F.Y. 2021-22.

 (B) – Reduced by withdrawal from such an account.

Calculation of taxable contribution = (A) Less (B)


The threshold limit for non-taxable Provident Fund contribution for employees where the employer does not contribute is Rs.5 lakh (as amended). In all other cases, the threshold limit is Rs.2.5 lakh.


Let us understand this using an example.

Illustration

Mr A has a P.F. balance of Rs. 5,50,000 (including interest) as on 31 March 2021. He works with a private company and has contributed Rs.3,50,000 (total contribution) into the P.F. account in F.Y. 2021-22. Assuming an interest of 8.5% will be received on the contribution made. 

What will be his taxable as well as a non-taxable contribution for F.Y. 2021-22?

Answer : 

Let us separate the contribution into taxable as well as non-taxable. 

ParticularsNon-taxable contributionTaxable contribution

Closing balance as on 31 March 2021 (including interest accrued)

5,50,000

Contribution  made in FY 2021-22

2,50,000

1,00,000

Interest accrued for FY 2021-22

21,250*

8,500*

Total

8,21,250

1,08,500

*Assuming deposit is made at the start of the financial year

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