The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked investors to convert their physical shares to demat format to improve transparency of the holdings and facilitate an easy transfer. Though the earlier deadline (5 December) to do so has been extended to 1 April, investors who still hold physical shares have a certain amount of confusion about how to seek a refund of unclaimed dividends from IEPF account.
When investors holding physical shares do not claim dividend for seven consecutive years, the shares are transferred to the IEPF (Investor Education and Protection Fund) account.
The IEPF was set up under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to protect investor interests and create awareness. When not claimed within seven years, dividends, refund on applications, matured company deposits or debentures and interest earned on them are transferred to IEPF.
If you have any unclaimed dividend from your physical shares, follow the below steps to claim the dividend:
- Download the form IEPF-5 from the IEPF's official website (Click here for the direct link).
- The website has an instruction kit that you can use before you make the claim. The applicant will be required to give his/her names, address, Aadhaar number, bank account number, and demat account number. One is also required to fill company and share details along with the amount claimed. The CIN of the company can be found at www.mca.gov.in.
- Once the IEPF-5 is filled completely, it can be uploaded on given in link provided on the website.
- An acknowledgement indicating SRN will be generated on successfully uploading the form. Take note of the SRN to track your refund status.
- Submit indemnity bond in original, copy of acknowledgement and self-attested copy of e-form along with the other documents as mentioned in the Form IEPF-5 to Nodal Officer (IEPF) of the company at its registered office in an envelope marked "Claim for refund from IEPF Authority".
- Claim forms completed in all aspects will be verified by the concerned company and on the basis of company's verification report, the refund will be released by the IEPF Authority in favor of claimants' Aadhaar linked bank account through electronic transfer.