What is Digital Signature?
A Digital Signature is a certificate demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message/document. It works in the same manner as a handwritten signature authenticates and approves a printed document. This signature cannot be faked or edited. A DSC is issued with 2 years of validity typically.
Digital Signatures have been status as regular signatures by the IT Act, 2000.
Digital signatures are issued by Certification Authorities (CAs) and are signed with the help of the private key assigned to that particular Certification Authority. The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is the technology used for digital signatures.
Digital Signatures Consist of :
- The Owner’s name.
- The Owner’s public key.
- The Expiration date of the Owner’s public key.
- The name of the Issuing Certification Authority.
- Serial Number assigned to the digital signature.
- Digital signature of the issuer.
Digital Signature Certificate and e-Filing of Incomes Taxes :
There are various advantages of filing the ITR through DSC. Some are stated below :
- It is a paperless method of filing of ITR.
- It is very cheap to obtain.
- It gives a higher security as the signature cannot be forged.
- It cannot be misused too, as it is password authenticated.
- It is mandatory for some class of taxpayers to file the ITR through DSC only.
- It is not required for a person to be present physically for authenticating the document in case of DSC.
Benefits of Digital Signature
Following are some of the benefits of using digital signature:
- A digital signature cannot be edited or tampered with.
- It is easier to track a digitally signed document.
- Brings down wastage of paper and is an environment-friendly option.
- Helps streamline the efficiency of the entire e-filing process.
- Reduces cost and adds to convenience.
Components of Digital Signature
For the purpose of knowing how a digital signature functions, one needs to first understand the elements involved in a digital signature:
- Personal Information
- Public Key
- Serial Number
How to Register a Digital Signature with the Department of Income Tax ?
Step 1: To get started with the process one must first log on to the Income Tax India website.
Step 2: Once on the official website, click on the “Log In” button.
Step 3: log in using User ID and Password. After entering the correct details, click on “Login”.
Step 4: Once logged in, click on the button that says “My Account”.
Step 5: In the “My Account” tab, select the option “Update Digital Certificate”. Then download should automatically start. Click “Yes”, “Accept”, or “Continue”.
Step 6: A download should start at this point, containing a file from the Income Tax Department called “StoreCertificate”.
Step 7: click on “Upload your USB Token” on the open web page. A button that says “Select your USB Token Certificate” and “Browse” will appear in another page. Click on this button and open a selection prompt window.
Step 8: In the selection window, find and select the file you just downloaded.
Step 9: Select the file mentioned above and click “Okay”, then enter the PIN code (Token Password), and then click on “Sign”.
How to Upload Income Tax Return Online using a Digital Signature
Step 1: Fill out and properly prepare the ITR form, generate the file as an XML file, save it on your local computer system.
Step 2: Open the login page of the Income Tax India website, and log into your private income tax management dashboard using the credentials.
Step 3: Find and click on the tab “Submit Return”, and select the appropriate Assessment Year.
Step 4: Select the Form Name from the drop down menu provided on the page.
Step 5: “Do you want to Digitally sign the file?” will appear. Select the “Yes” option.
Step 6: Then choose the type of digital signature you want to use – “Sign with .PFX file”, or “Sign with USB Token”.
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About the author –
I am the writer of the above blog. Being a content writer for more than 5 years now, I love to write on trendy market topics and share my point of view. I truly take pride for writing such an informative blog for ALLDSC and I hope this blog helps you in many ways. Good Luck.