Why India Absolutely Needs Digital Signatures?

This is dedicated to everyone who went through too many hassles because digital signatures are still considered with a wary eye.

In the simplest terms, digital signature is a legally valid electronic fingerprint substituting wet signature. It allows digital authentication of documents which otherwise would have to be needlessly printed out and physically signed. This reduces the time, money and efforts invested in doing voluminous paperwork. Digital signature, unlike its physical counterpart cannot be extracted, copied or stored. It is legally valid and non-repudiated in the Indian court of law.

According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global digital signature market will be worth 2.6 billion dollars by 2021, almost a four-fold increase from last year. In India, adoption of digital signatures is on a steady rise. In fact, central and state governments like Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have already started using digital signatures to expedite all process.

Presently, India is bullish on showcasing itself at par with its global counterparts with various initiatives like Digital India, India Stack and DigiLocker. Such initiatives have helped India grow into an almost cashless economy and at the same time reduce our dependency on paper. Though India has started appreciating digital signatures and its numerous pros, the country is still far from embracing it on a larger scale. I have listed below a few points which states that it is high time for India to realize the importance of digital signatures and make it a norm.

Digital Signatures for a paperless India

Digital signatures play a crucial part in pushing India towards being a paperless country. Paper based documents are vulnerable to being misplaced or damaged. With digital signatures, documents can be easily shared with different hierarchy levels for approval within no time and once these documents are signed, they can be stored digitally. This enables easy access to the required documents from anywhere, at any given time and also reduces the need for storage infrastructure.

Moreover, digitally stored documents drastically reduce the time for manually searching a document thus enhancing the productivity and profitability of any entity.

Digital Signatures to reduce carbon footprint

The paper consumption in India is a whopping 13 million tons. This number can be lowered significantly by integrating paperless solutions to avoid the unnecessary printing of papers resulting in reduction of India’s carbon footprint.

Digital Signatures improves ease of doing business

In a recent World Bank report titled ‘Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All’, getting a digital signature is the first and most important parameter to rate countries for setting up operations in India. Encouraging adoption of digital signatures will help to elevate India’s rankings. The government is in touch with companies providing digital signatures to be able to accelerate this process to improve its global standings.

To make our Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India’ a reality, it’s time for us to adopt digital signatures without skepticism and make it a truly digital nation.

Source: bbwdisrupt.businessworld

Where can I purchase a Digital Signature Certificate?

Legally valid Digital Signature Certificates are issued only through a Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA), Govt. of India,licensed Certifying Authorities (CA), such as eMudhra.
eMudhra, a Certifying Authority (CA) licensed by CCA, offers secure digital signatures through various options tailored to suit individual as well as organizational needs.
You may purchase Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) through Authorised Registration Authority of eMudhra : Ishika Technologies www.digitalsignature.in Call +919432644547

Class II B Company Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) for VAT / Sales Tax Returns Filing in West Bengal

“Only Class II B (Class 2B) Company Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) will be registered for availing Directorate of Commercial Taxes eServices
w.e.f. 15.9.2013. All DSC issued by CA before 15.9.2013 on Individual basis can be registered for the purpose of availing Directorate of Commercial Taxes eServices.”

Mandatory Submission of Return using Digital Signature under WBVAT

In its continuous endeavour to promote e-governance among citizens, the Directorate has decided to extend the facility of submission of return using digital signature to larger number of registered dealers with effect from quarter ending 30th June, 2016. Accordingly the West Bengal Value Added Tax Rules 2005, has been amended through Notification No. 1024-F.T. dated 21.07.2016.

According to the amendment, all registered dealers filing return in Form 14/14D/15/15R having turnover of sales or contractual transfer price or both in the immediate previous year, i.e., 2015-16, in excess of rupees fifty lakhs or having registration under the Companies Act, 1956, or the Companies Act, 2013, shall have to furnish return using DIGITAL SIGNATURE mandatorily from quarter ending 30th June, 2016, in terms of amended rule 34A(3) of WBVAT Rules, 2005. These dealers need not submit any signed hard copy of the said return furnished on line or the acknowledgement thereof, at the Charge Office/ LTU/ Central Section, as the case may be.

All registered dealers falling under the category as mentioned above, who do not have Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), are requested to procure the same and get it registered with this Directorate immediately to avail of the service. DSC registration with the Directorate can be done using the website http://www.wbcomtax.gov.in

Registered dealers not falling under the above category, may also submit return electronically using DSC, or alternatively send the single page signed acknowledgement in Form 14e/15e/15Re, as the case may be, to Central Receiving Section at the address noted therein so that it reaches the said address within fifteen days from the expiry of the due date of furnishing the return electronically.

Thus, the need for filing of hard copy of the entire return is done away with. We expect a saving of approximately 5 crore pages of printing every year. All dealers are advised to obtain DSC at the earliest convenience.

TRADE CIRCULAR NO. 05/2016 DATED: 25.07.2016

Class 2B Digital Signature Certificate ensures convenient and enhanced Security in Filing E Tenders. A digital Signature Certificates authenticates the identity of the person filing the Tender Information. An organization needs to obtain a class 2B digital signature certificate in the name of the authorized representative to submit the Bids and tender documents online. Class 2B Digital Signature Certificate are issued only to authorized Individuals of the an Organisation.

A signing Certificate ensures that the message is not tampered in transit and also verifies the identity of the person filing the Tender. An Encryption certificate encrypts the data in a cipher text so that only the intended Person can read the message.

Download Form to apply Class 2B DSC for West Bengal (WB) VAT / Sales Tax Return Filing

 

 

Steps for Online filing of income tax returns

With more easy access to the Internet, many people prefer filing returns online. Out of around 4 crore income tax (I-T) returns last financial year, 1.65 crore were filed online. From assessment year 2012-13, e-filing is mandatory for those with annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh.

E-filing with digital signature is mandatory for those with business income of Rs 1 crore or more and professionals with income of Rs 25 lakh or more. E-filing is now mandatory for individuals and Hindu Undivided Families whose accounts have to be audited under Section 44AB of the Income Tax Act. For companies, e-filing with digital signature is mandatory. Let’s take a look at steps for filing returns online using the I-T department website:

1. Select appropriate tax return form here: https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/selectforms.do

2. Download the relevant Excel spreadsheet.

3. Fill your tax return form offline and save the XML file generated by the software.

4. Register with http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in

5. Log in and click the relevant form on the left panel and select “Submit Return”

6. Now upload the XML file and print the acknowledgement/ ITR-V Form. (Don’t have a
printer at home? Save the document in the PDF format and get a printout.)

7. If the return includes digital signature, the process is over. Else, you get a verification form (ITR-V ). Sign it and mail it to ‘Income Tax Department – CPC, Post Bag No – 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru – 560100, Karnataka’ by ‘Speed Post’ or ordinary post within 120 days of submitting the return.

8. Once the tax department receives the physical copy of the ITR-V form, you will get an acknowledgement over email.

Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) for e-Tendering in India

e-Tendering is changing the way procurement is carried out. It has made the whole process reliable, faster and anytime-accessible. To lend legl sanctity to the the whole e-Tendering process, Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are used to authenticate the identity of the vendors as well as buyers. It also secures the data that is transacted online and hence gives maximum security as required in an ideal tendering scenario.

Class 3 DSC – It is the highest category of Digital Certificate issued to organizations.

To provide you with secure online interactions with ministry and in compliance with IT Act 2000, a director, authorized signatories and professionals will be required to acquire a DSC from any Licensed Certifying Authority (CA) in India.  To obtain your Class 3 DSC, click here

CBDT Issues Notification Making E-Filing of Income Tax Returns Mandatory

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a notification S.O. 626(E) dated 28th March 2012 vide which e-Filing has been made compulsory for Assessment Year 2012-13 onwards for an individual or a Hindu undivided family, if his or its total income, or the total income in respect of which he is or it is assessable under the Act during the previous year, exceeds ten lakh rupees; and an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), being a resident, having assets (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located outside India and required to furnish the return in Form ITR-2 or ITR-3 or ITR-4.

However, digital signature will not be mandatory for these taxpayers and they can also transmit the data in the return electronically and thereafter submit the verification of the return in Form ITR-V.

Filing of returns electronically under digital signatures is already mandatory for any company required to furnish the return in Form ITR-6 or a firm required to furnish the return in Form ITR-5 or an individual or HUF required to furnish the return in Form ITR-4 and to whom provisions of section 44AB are applicable. Source

Efiling in India Mandatory with Digital Signature Certificates

Now ITR efiling with digital signature is mandatory for Individual,HUF and Firms also to whom Audit provision u/s 44AB is applicable. Income Tax Department has issued a notification 37/2011 dated 01.07.2011 in this regard. After issuance of Notification Individual /Hindu undivided family assessees (covered under audit section 44AB)have to file ITR 4 and Firms (covered under audit section 44AB) have to file ITR-5 with digital signature.Companies are already directed to file returns through digital signature only.