You know how in today’s digital era everything seems to happen at the click of a button, and hence, ensuring the security and authenticity of e-docs is crucial.
With the shift to online ITR filing, the ITD has added an extra layer of authenticity. They’ve made it compulsory to use a DSC (Digital Signature Certificate) when filing your ITR if a tax audit is applicable to you. Read more on tax audit applicability here!
Let’s take a closer look at what a DSC is and why is it important especially when it comes to a tax audit for an individual.
What is a DSC?
Think of a DSC as a digital version of your handwritten signature, enhanced with multiple levels of security. It’s like a virtual seal that confirms your identity when you sign a document. This “virtual seal” contains important personal details such as your name, postal code, email address, and the date when the DSC was issued. These are details that are unique to you, hence confirming your identity.
Why is a DSC necessary in the tax audit process?
A DSC plays a vital role in the tax audit process which is as follows:
- The chartered accountant (CA) prepares the audit report and files it on the e-filing portal.
- The CA uses their DSC to digitally sign and verify the audit report, ensuring its authenticity.
- Now, you should first register your DSC on the e-filing portal and then, you are required to review the audit report, accept it, and e-file your return using your DSC.
Hence, a DSC becomes compulsory for both you and the CA to file your ITR. The use of a DSC also extends beyond income tax purposes such as for MCA e-filings, GST applications as well as the authentication of documents in Word, Excel, and PDF format, etc.
What type of DSC is required for ITR filing?
There are 3 classes of DSCs, class-1, class-2, and class-3. You will require a class-3 DSC to file your ITR when you get a tax audit done. Class-3 DSCs are the most secure type of DSCs.
DSCs are typically issued with initial validity periods of 1 or 2 years, and they can be renewed once their initial validity period expires. You can get a DSC from a licensed certifying authority. Visit the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) website to find the list of licensed Certifying Authorities.
Have Questions? Ask away!