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Home / Money / Personal Finance /  You can transfer EPF balance to NRO

I am a non-resident Indian (NRI). I have non-resident ordinary (NRO) and non-resident external (NRE) bank accounts in India. I want to transfer my NRO account balance to my NRE account held in the same bank. According to the notification by the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT), Forms 15CA or 15CB are not required for this. However, the bank is asking me to submit them. The bank is justifying by citing strict penalties and disclosures required by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). What is the correct position? How should I go about transferring the balance from one account to the other?

—A.L. Chaudhary

RBI allows individuals to transfer balances in their NRO account to their NRE account within the overall cap of $1 million in one financial year. It is also important to ensure that taxes have been paid on these funds before they can be transferred. To be able to make this transfer, Form 15CA (self-certification) and Form 15CB (certificate from a chartered accountant) will need o be submitted to the bank.

Do note that certain transfers do not require submission of Form 15CA or 15CB. The central bank has listed such transfers separately. It is advisable for you to involve an expert and check whether your funds meet the criteria for transfer without the submission of these forms.

I am an NRI. I was previously employed in India, and want to withdraw my Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) balance. I had completed five years of service with my previous employer. Can I file a withdrawal claim and give the details of my NRO account for the transfer of the EPF balance? Would there be any additional tax deduction at source (TDS), considering the funds would be transferred to an NRO account?

—Rohit Narula

Since you have completed five years of service, you can withdraw your EPF balance without facing any tax incidence. You can withdraw EPF balance after being out of employment for 60 days after leaving a job, even if you have not attained the age of 58 years.

Please note that if you don’t withdraw it, you may be allowed to continue to earn interest on your EPF balance until you are 58 years of age.

As such, there is no restriction on transfer of EPF balance to an NRO account. Since you have completed five years of continuous service with your employer, you are not likely to face any TDS.

Archit Gupta is founder and chief executive officer, ClearTax. Send in your queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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