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Digital Signature Certificate for ITR filing: What you need to know

By Deepika
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    New Delhi, July 13: With the July 31 deadline for income tax returns filing only a few weeks away, it is time to gather all your tax-related documents for a smooth filing process. To make things simpler here is a guide for you and we hope this information can help in completing the verification process.

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    Individuals and entities who are required to get their accounts audited have to file their income tax return compulsorily using a digital signature. Furthermore, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has made it mandatory for companies to file all reports, applications, and forms using a digital signature only.

    Here are the Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

    A Digital Signature Certificate is a secure digital key that is issued by the certifying authorities for the purpose of validating and certifying the identity of the person holding this certificate. Digital Signatures make use of the public key encryptions to create the signatures.

    Why is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) required?

    Like physical documents are signed manually, electronic documents, for example e-forms are required to be signed digitally using a Digital Signature Certificate.

    What it contains?

    A digital signature certificate (DSC) contains information about the user's name, pin code, country, email address, date of issuance of certificate and name of the certifying authority.

    Who issues a DSC ?

    A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues the digital signature. Certifying Authority (CA) means a person who has been granted a license to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000.

    What is the cost of obtaining a Digital Signature Certificate?

    The cost of obtaining a digital signature certificate may vary as there are many entities issuing DSCs and their charges may differ.

    What are renewal charges?

    The renewal charge for Class III DSC is Rs.1500/- for the period of 1 year.

    What is the validity of Digital Signatures?

    The DSCs are typically issued with one year validity and two year validity. These are renewable on expiry of the period of initial issue.

    What is the legal status of a Digital Signature?

    Digital Signatures are legally admissible in a Court of Law, as provided under the provisions of IT

    Is Director Identification Number (DIN) a pre-requisite to apply for DSC?
    No.

    Benefits of a digital signature certificate

    Digital Signature Certificates are helpful in authenticating the personal information details of the individual holder when conducting business online.

    Reduced cost and time: Instead of signing the hard copy documents physically and scanning them to send them via e-mail, you can digitally sign the PDF files and send them much more quickly.

    The Digital Signature certificate holder does not have to be physically present to conduct or authorize a business

    Data integrity: Documents that are signed digitally cannot be altered or edited after signing, which makes the data safe and secure.

    The government agencies often ask for these certificates to cross-check and verify the business transaction.

    Authenticity of documents: Digitally signed documents give confidence to the receiver to be assured of the signer's authenticity. They can take action on the basis of such documents without getting worried about the documents being forged.

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