If someone who owes you money, give a cheque without his/her signature, will you take it?
It’ll be a direct No! A cheque’s worth, without the owner’s signature, is nothing.
Similarly, have you ever thought, we send/ receive many documents online through emails etc. So what’s the surety that person on the other end is the one we trust?
Especially in important tasks like filing income tax return (ITR), uploading of documents by a company as compliance with MOC rules etc.
Hence, to solve this issue of authenticity, the concept of a Digital Signature Certificate came into existence.
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What is a Digital Signature Certificate?
A digital signature certificate is the online version of one’s physical signature.
It is used to verify an individual’s authenticity, to sign documents digitally, verifying income tax return (ITR) etc.
A certificate generally contains the digital signature, serial number, details about the certifying authority etc. DSC is issued in the form of a USB token (like a pen drive).
What are the different classes of Digital Signature Certificate?
There are basically 3 types/ classes of a digital signature certificate as described below.
- Class 1: This class of DSC is issued to business houses & to private individuals. It provides a basic level of assurance that information provided by the subscriber matches with the database of Certifying Authority.
- Class 2: This DSC provides a moderate level of assurance & is issued to an individual as well as to business personnel. It is useful for securing transactions having substantial monetary value, private information etc.
- Class 3: This level of DSC is issued to individuals & organizations only when they are physically present before the Certifying Authority. It is useful for transactions which involve a high level of fraud risk. E-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart etc use Class 3 DSCs.
Who issues a Digital Signature Certificate? What are the charges etc?
A DSC is issued by a Certifying Authority (CA). The CA is legally authorized to issue DSC on behalf of the government as per Sec 24 of Information Technology Act, 2000.
You can get your DSC from CAs in the market like eMudhra, NSDL, Safe Scrypt etc. They are authorized by Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA). All you need is to provide them with Photo ID proof, Address proof & submit these documents along with the application form.
The charges to obtain a DSC differs from entity to entity & it is valid for a period between 1-2 years, depending upon the duration of your preference.
How to register DSC with the Income Tax Department?
Just purchasing a digital signature isn’t enough. If you want to use it while filing your ITR, it is imperative to register DSC with the department.
Follow these simple steps & your digital signature will get registered within minutes.
Step 1: Visit income tax efiling website & log-in to your account.
Step 2: Once logged-in, in the tabs area at the last, you’ll find the option “Profile Settings”. Click on it. A drop-down list will appear, from here select “Register Digital Signature Certificate”.
Step 3: Select option “Click here to download the DSC utility”. The DSC utility file will start downloading (in ZIP format).
Step 4: Extract the ZIP file in your system & run the application “DSC_MGMT_UTILITY”. You will need Java application to run this utility.
Step 5: The software will show the screen as below. Here fill the relevant details & select option “USB Token”. After filling all the details, click on “Generate Signature File”.
Step 6: Now, again log-in to your account at income tax e filing. Go to the same “Register DSC” page. Now here select the option “Choose File” & attach the file generated in Step 5. Click on submit button & your DSC will get registered.
Make sure, you connect the USB token with the system while registering the digital signature.
As India is becoming a digital economy, there are many benefits but also some setbacks in the form of hackers, fraudsters, date-stealers etc.
Digital Signature provides data security, document authenticity & much more. Hence, it is high time we start using the technology to protect our interest, privacy & money.
We hope our blog was able to solve your queries related to digital signature. Still, if you need any assistance, simply get in touch with our eCAs.
Keep following our blog & social media pages for more e filing tips to make your tax life easy. Happy Filing 🙂