All about digital signature in income tax return


PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF DIGITAL SIGNATURE AND UPLOAD OF INCOME TAX 
RETURNS USING DIGITAL SIGNATURE
A. The salient features of use of Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) for signing the Income Tax Return are as under:
1. As per Section 140 of the IT Act 1961, the person responsible for signing the I-T return can be, typically, the:
a) Managing Director or any other Director (in case the MD is unavailable) in case of a Company;

i. Any authorized person holding a legal power of attorney in case of a Non-resident Company;

b) Managing Partner in case of a Firm or any other Partner (in case the Managing Partner is unavailable);

c) Principal officer / Chief Executive Officer or Competent person in case of other entities such as Association of persons, Body of Individuals, Artificial Juridical person, Local Authority, Trust etc

d) Karta in case of a HUF;

e) Self in case of an Individual or;

i. Any authorized person holding a legal power of attorney in case the individual is incapable of signing the I-T Return or is absent from India.

2. Any person wishing to sign the I-T Return digitally has to complete the registration process for the DSC on the e-filing website- http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in prior to signing.

3. Any person could register his DSC to be used to sign the I-T Return of any entity provided he was a Director or Partner or Key Person as mentioned in the Key person Schedule of the I-T Return (ITRs 5 or 6) already filed electronically with the Income Tax Department.

4. Any person could register a DSC and use the same in his individual capacity to sign his own IT Return as well as sign the I-T returns in his various capacities as mentioned in 1 above, if required, and for as many entities as applicable.

5. Any person could change or update his DSC registration any number of times.

B. The existing procedure for registration of the DSC is as follows:
1. The authorized signatory / Individual would log into the E-filing websitehttp://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in using the Login particulars such as the userid and password of the company / firm / HUF / Individual etc.

2. Under “My Account” he would have to select -> Update Digital Certificate (see webpage 
below-> circled portion under ‘My Account’)) or register the DSC at the time of creating the user on 
e-filing website at the time of initial registration



3. The taxpayer has to select the appropriate type of DSC (.pfx or USB token) and click on ‘Select Your .PFX File Certificate’.

At this stage, the Department would verify if the person holding the DSC matches the Director / Partner / Key Person in the Key Person Schedule of the Company (ITR-6) or Firm etc (ITR-5). If there is a match, i.e. the person registering the DSC is mentioned as a Director / Partner / Key Person, then the DSC would be registered against the Company / Firm / Entity PAN and the critical details such as the Sl no, Name etc would be stored. In this process, it is essential that at least one earlier I-T Return should have been filed by the Company / Firm / Entity so that the verification of key person is possible. In case an individual is registering the DSC for his own ITR (ITRs 1-4 case), then the email id as mentioned in the DSC should match the email id as per his registered profile in the efiling website.

Now, the I-T Return for the Individual/HUF/Company / Firm / Entity PAN can be signed using this registered DSC.

4. At the time of uploading the I-T Return of the Company / Firm / Entity PAN, if the DSC is used for signing the I-T Return, the Department verifies,

i. if the DSC is registered;

ii. that the unique Sl No of the DSC used to sign the I-T Return is the same as the unique Sl No of registered DSC; and,

iii. the PAN number of the Verifier (Authorized Signatory) as mentioned in the Verification portion of the I-T Return, is the same as that of the person bearing the registered DSC; or

iv. in case of ITRs 1-4, the Individual logged in is the same as the person bearing the registered DSC,
only then the I-T Return is permitted to be signed and uploaded.
(See webpage below- circled portions-> Select ‘Submit return’-> ‘AY 2010-11’ for submitting I-T return for AY 2010-11 and then select ‘Do you want to Digitally Sign the file’ -> ‘Yes’.

Select appropriate type of DSC (.pfx or USB token) and click on ‘Next’ to proceed further to enter the DSC password and sign and upload the I-T return.



C   Amendment to Rule 12 – Making Digital Signature Mandatory for CompaniesVide notification dated 9th July 2010 amending Rule 12, the CBDT has made it mandatory all Companies filing ITR-6 to digitally sign the I-T return for AY 2010-11. In the following scenarios, taxpayers may find it difficult to register the DSC as per the existing procedure as mentioned above:

1. Non-resident companies where the Directors are foreign nationals.

2. Companies where the I-T return is being filed for the first time

3. Companies where the Managing Director has changed and other Directors are either unavailable or also have changed.

In all such cases it is difficult to verify the identity of the person and his relationship with the Entity for which he is the authorized signatory. With a view to make registration simpler in such cases, the procedure has been changed to enable registration of a DSC where the PAN is also provided in the DSC as per the latest Interoperability guidelines issued by the Chief Controller of Certifying Authorities. Such DSCs with encrypted value of PAN are now available in the market. Refer to the new guidelines for DSC Interoperability issued by the CCA, Government of India in http://cca.gov.in/rw/resource/dsc_guidelines_r2.pdf?download=true wherein the Permanent Account Number (PAN) has been included in an encrypted format as an attribute .

D. Changes in the process of Registration of DSC
In view of the above, a change is made in the registration process (as compared to sub-para 3 in para B above) for DSC as under:

Modified sub-para 3 of para B. The Authorized Signatory has the option-

i. To select existing procedure to register the DSC, in case the scenarios mentioned in sub-paras 1, 2, or 3 in para C above are not applicable (the Authorized Signatory details must be already available in the previously filed I-T return of the Company/Firm/Entity, in which case he can continue to use his existing DSC issued prior to 01/08/2010); or

ii. To select new procedure as given below:

a. The Authorized Signatory must use a fresh DSC having encrypted value of his PAN, as issued by Certifying Authorities with effect from 01/08/2010.

b. Enter Authorized Signatory’s PAN number while registering the DSC. The same person must also enter the same PAN in the Verification portion of the I-T Return which he is signing in his capacity as Director/ Partner/Karta/Authorized Signatory.

c. If the Authorized Signatory PAN number matches the encrypted value of the PAN present in the DSC – then the DSC will be registered after selecting the appropriate type of DSC (.pfx or USB token) and clicking on ‘Select Your .PFX File Certificate’.

d. In case of an Individual is registering his DSC for submitting own ITR (ITRs 1-4 case) then his PAN as per his login should match the encrypted PAN contained in the DSC- then the DSC will be registered after selecting the appropriate type of DSC (.pfx or USB token) and clicking on ‘Select Your .PFX File Certificate’.

e. Now, the I-T Return for the Self / Company / Firm / Entity PAN can be signed using this registered DSC.



The I-T Return upload process remains the same. If the DSC is used for signing the I-T Return, the
Department verifies,

i. if the DSC is registered and in case DSC has been updated the DSC being used is the latest DSC registered;

ii. that the unique Sl No of the DSC used to sign the I-T Return is the same as the unique Sl No of registered DSC; and,

iii. the PAN number of the Verifier (Authorized Signatory) as mentioned in the Verification portion of the I-T Return, is the same as that of the person bearing the registered DSC; or

iv. in case of ITRs 1-4 the Individual logged in is the same as the person bearing the registered DSC,
only then the I-T Return is permitted to be signed and uploaded.



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