Saswatabanerjee
Partner - Risk Management
Adoni Suguresh
Sr.executive (per & Adm)
G. Hari
Retired
+3 Others

Thread Started by #dt007

dear all,
Can PF commissioner ask for the document for the period in which we are not registered with them as employer
In my case we register ourselves as an employer in 2012 not notice has been served to us to show all the records from 2002- 2012 duration in which we were not registered we dont have documents pertaining to that period as we were not having regular employees that time ours is a small firm having 5 employees.
please suggest
25th November 2014 From India, Dehra Dun
Dear Sir,
if you are not registered in PF department from 2002 to 2012 then your responsibility is nill the PF commissioner have not right ask documentation regarding PF. but attendance and other proof which is show that employees is less.
26th November 2014 From India, Shimla
Sir as for this period we actually dont have any regular employee people work on contract for 1 or 2 mmonth and left so didn't have any record
In this case what to do field officer has prepared the report in our favour but commissioner is not accepting the report we had the xerox copy of the report
26th November 2014 From India, Dehra Dun
The PF department has right to inspect the records and ask for production of records of any enterprise in India, irrespective of whether they are registered for PF or not. Naturally, they can only ask for documents in connection with computation and payment of PF, or to check whether they qualify.
If you were in operation for a certain period during which you had less than 20 employees, you are not liable for PF. However, you need to be able to prove that.
As per requirements of law, you are required to keep attendance and payroll records for a period of 3 years from the date of last entry in the register. In case of accounting records you are required by law to keep them for a 8 year period. So you can use that as a defence that you do not have the records any more since the statutory record keeping period is over.
But it would be required for you to show the relevant records within that period to prove that you had less than 20 employees.
26th November 2014 From India, Mumbai
Dear Member
PF authority have full right to check your documents from 2002 to 2012. You have to prove them that you had less than 20 employees during that period. Also please note that they can ask for first purchase and sale bill of your company from you.
In India , there is a trend to aviod PF liabilities.....and to avoid that liabilities they shows 5-6 employees in their payroll where as their balance sheet shows crores of rupees expenditure on account of Coolie & Cartage , Loading & unloading, Directors Servent expenses , Security expenses, Stipend etc etc ....all these account head covers under EPF Act....That is the main reason they are asking for previous documents and first purchase and sale bill of the company.. Supressing real fact to PF authority on the stregth way is not easy.....Now it is not easy also on different way.....
Wish you a very happy and successful PF Inspection.
.
27th November 2014 From India, Kolkata
Yes, PF Commissioner has got the right to ask records prior to your registration. If you do not have old records, atleast you might have filed the IT returns, etc., Is your company Pvt Ltd, or Priorietorship or Partnership or what is the status of your company, please explain and what is nature of work being done.
I can suggest you a method, if you are interested, you can call me on +919840136792
27th November 2014 From India, Chennai
It's a lame excuse that you do not have any documents during the period from 2002 to 2012. I faced a same problem. Our company is having centralised record keeping department at faridabad where our countrywide data and records are being kept. In the year April 2010 , a massive fire broke down there and all records has been gutted. We have clippings from leading national newspapers followed by FIR. At the same time , there is a 7A case ( from April 2007 to March 2008) pending before the Kolkata PF commissionar. When asked for the records , we submitted the FIR copy , news paper clippings with Affidevit attested by a first class judicial magistrate.....In that case what PF authority will do ???? They are also having certain guidelines to face these situations......They just took our balance sheet from 2006- 2007 to 2011-12... , studied all the balance sheet thoroughly .and then inspect all the records from April 2011 to March 2012. After calculation of total demand for the period from April 2011 to March 2012 , they just deduct 20% from the total demand to determine the actual demand for the period from April 2007 to March 2008. No problem if you say that you don't have balance sheet also from the period from 2002 to 2012 .They have power to collect the same from ROC...Brother , life is not so easy....So just enjoy inspection , have good lunch and snacks with the inspector and prepare for the consequences....They have to impose some demands to your company otherwise they will be booked......What I told you is the most practical experience I faced in my almost 15 compliances ( 7A) as on date. Yes , you can go to PF tribunal to challenge the demand imposed by them....You have one or two options but they have number of options....That days are gone where Once a lower division clerk is now a PF enforcement officer.....Now highly qualified and well trained peoples are working there as a PF or ESI enforcement officer...Not easy to convience them with dry speeches......
27th November 2014 From India, Kolkata
In your letter it is not clear that whether yu have registered or not. If registered the records shall be maintained from the date of registration prospectively.If not registered try to register atleast from 2012 but all the liabilities from both employees and employers with penal clause have to be borne by the employer. As our learned members said you can show the attendance below the 20. The deductions of PF is compulsory for all irrespective of casual, daily, permanent or temporary for all class of employment. Do not delay try to register your establishment without any loss of time. If enforcement officer visits your office consequences will be serious.
Adoni Suguresh
Sr.Executive (pers, Admin & Ind.Rels) Rtd
Labour Laws Consultant
27th November 2014 From India, Bidar
Mr Adoni
His post is very clear that his company is registered from 2012..and PF deptt is asking for the record from 2002-2012...
I must add one point ....Obtaining PF code is very easy now a days....but after you got a code number, PF authority will conduct an Inspection and you have to prove them that your your employee strength crosses 20 on 2012...it is called final coverage....
27th November 2014 From India, Kolkata
1. You need to produce records/evidence to prove your claim that you had engaged 5 employees in your establishment during the period 2002-2011 and hence were not required to register your establishment under the EPF & MP Act.
2. Would suggest that you seek the advice of a counsel on the matter and get a suitable reply drafted by him for transmission to the EPF Office in response to their notice.
Thanks.
G. Hari
27th November 2014 From India, Alappuzha
Dear all thanks for reply but we have been served notice 1 year before and from last 1 year my dad is going their signing their register and coming back pf officer said he will calculate the liabilities by year end
27th November 2014 From India, Dehra Dun
Kamal,

The law requires the labour law records to be kept for a period of 3 years. Under comoany act, the records of vouchers, etc needs to be kept for 8 years. So he has the right to claim that he does not have older records.

The department can ask for and obtain balance sheet. But if the amount of salary is higher than normal, then only can the department draw conclusions of there being more people employed. Even then it's a refutable conclusion.

Cartage or loading unloading charges is not necessarily subject to PF deductions. The requirement of PF for contract workers are applicable only is some specific circumstances.

The department can not ask for first invoices, because in this case the records would be more than 8 years old and not required to be preserved by law. The case you pointed out, there was an existing investigation, so the records need to be kept till the investigations are completed and retention period does not apply....

Ofcourse, we do not have much information from the post to make an assessment, therefore, I am countering your arguments on an academic basis.


27th November 2014 From India, Mumbai
Saswatata,

Firstly,Coolie & Cartage , Loading & Unloading is very much PF deductable if amoount is very high and the activities are frequent.. PF authority took 14 to 15% of total coolie & Cartage , loading & unloading charges as the wages and they detarmine the PF demand on that 14 to 15% amount.

Secondly, our 7A case filed after the incident happened.

Lastly , if company is registered under PF act in the year 2012 then PF department can ask for records from 2008-2009. In this case they are not willing to produce even a single documents to PF authority. I think the real fact is different in this case.

Again I told you that we Indians are smartar than god. To save 100 - 200 crores of compliances to different govt departments , I can easily set fire in my empty office . Police FIR will show that all records are gutted. Once you got FIR , you need not required to produce any documents ( for 8 years ) to any authorities by submitting one copy of FIR and affidevit only. In my case , I got relieved from ESI court also...It is like that " MERE PAAS 10 FACTORIES HAIN, PAISA HAIN, 1000 TRUCKS HAIN, 10 AIRCRAFT HAIN, TERE PAAS KYA HAIN ?" and the simple reply is " MERE PAAS FIR HAIN ."
28th November 2014 From India, Kolkata
Saswata ,

Also in the case of dt007, for final coverage , PF authority can ask for whole records....if it is not possible to produce whole records , they can easily find out the real picture of the company from the balance sheets from 2002 to 2011..

I can tell you one real story from my experience....in the year 1999 , in a case of one ESI inspection...enforcement officer asked for records . as ordered by our management , I denied to produce records indirectly....Now I realise that these attitude was totally wrong.....these types of attitudes help them to smell a foul play...and we can easily come under the scanner of the authority...What happened next ?? after 15-20 days , ESI enforcement's 7 member team visited our office headed by one Dy Director and imposed Rs 1.25 crores demand....that time no setting worked..

Again in my another company , PF inspector conducted an Inspection and ask for 2 years record in the year 2009 , I supplied all the required documents. His table was filled up with N numbers of files, ledgers, journal, vouchers etc etc.....What happened next ?? he did not touch even a single papers..He just right down the contribution paid during that period with date of payment...then took the balance sheets and detarmined only Rs 25000/- demand which is very nominal..If I denied that time to produce any document and these amount can be raised to Rs 2.5 crores later on...

So in my opinon , I can say....you need not require to show any documents....but don't say No , we can't , we don't have, etc etc. Just tell them that we will show every documents ..we are ready to co-operate.....Always remember that any enforcement inspector always try to show that he is very strict in his first appearance. gradually they are melted. You have to deal him as an Ice breaker that time. Also if you fail to produce the minimum documents then it is also not fair...because they are also Govt employee....they will have to reply to their higher authority....

Also , I think when you are in a worst situation , please discuss with your higher management that how much you are willing to pay as a PF or ESI demand...after that you please negotiate with the PF inspector that you can pay Rs xyz as a demand.....they will do it...but in that case , you have to prepare some documents...it depends on the basis of your co-operation and intention with the authority...
28th November 2014 From India, Kolkata
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