Digital Signature & Its Purpose in Income Tax Return

With maximum day-to-day operations resorting to online channels, people are getting used to accepting the digital way of life. Even the Government is now shifting to online tax filing where there are minimum hassles and maximum time saving. People can now file their taxes online along with making payments. However, the whole system is not possible without the presence of a Digital Signature.

Update: How to e-Verify Income Tax Return Instead of Sending ITR-V to CVC Without Digital Signature?

Digital Signature – Defined

Digital Signature is a modern day tool which serves as a signature for people who file their forms online. To be precise, it is basically a certificate which is used to certify that a person is wholly responsible for the information which is present in the electronic form. Moreover, this digital signature is used the person who is filing his return through online medium.

For an instance, if Mr. X wishes to file his tax returns online, then at the end of the filing he has to use his digital signature. Now let’s make this case a little complicated. Suppose, Mr. X wants to file his return online but is not confident of completing the process and hence seeks help from a professional, Mr. Y. In this case, all the filing has been done by Mr. Y, but the information in the file represents the details of Mr. X. Therefore, at the end of the form, Mr. X’s digital signature would be affixed. In a nutshell, the person whose information appears in the form, should be the person affixing his digital signature at the end of the form.

Digital Signatures are generally issued in two variants, namely, 1 year and 2 years. Choice of the digital signature depends on the discretion of the tax payer.

Purpose of Digital Signature in Online Tax Returns

Digital Signature serve the purpose of signatures on electronic documents. When you are filing your returns through online medium, you are required to certify that all the listed information are true as per your knowledge and you are responsible for the information mentioned within the form. This is where the necessity for authentication is felt. The function of digital signature is to act as the medium of authentication.

For obtaining a digital signature, you can simply login to the Income Tax website, which at the present stands as www.incometaxefiling.gov.in and click on the tab ‘My Account’. When you click on the option, you will see a drop down box where the option of ‘Digital Signature’ is present. Click on the option followed by selecting the type DSC, which can either be USB token or .pfx form. At last, simply click on ,pfx file certificate.

There are difference between obtaining digital signatures for individuals and HUF/Firms/ Company. In case a person is applying for a Digital Signature certificate for a HUF, then the email id registered in the DSC (Digital Signature certificate) form should match with the email address mentioned in efiling website. On the other hand, if an application has been made for a DSC (Digital Signature certificate) for a firm or company, then the DSC should be held by either a Director or Partner or any other key person of the organization.

Thus, we find that Digital Signatures are an important part of online efiling in the modern era.

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