Digital signature certificate
Sameep Mohite

Updated on February 9th, 2024

Businesses adapt to new technologies that facilitate a smooth business workflow and save money in today's revolutionary digital world. Because more companies are working these days remotely, a digital signing solution is required. Digital signature certificate we need after filing return article thoroughly explain why DSC need, benefits for DSC and more.

In this article, we will present you with some of the most important details about the Digital Signature and assist you in selecting the best Digital Signing solution for your business and personal use.

Digital signing services in India are one such revolutionary concept.

Although electronic signatures are not a new concept in the market, Digital Signatures are the most recent advances in the electronic signature realm.

Simply put, digital signatures are more advanced and secure than electronic signatures.

What is Purpose of Digital Signature

  • A digital signature is a digital certificate based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) that authenticates the identity of the person signing the document.
  • Digital signatures are secure, ensuring that documents signed with them have not been forged or tampered.
  • This confirms the document's authenticity and allows it to be circulated online without fear of tampering with its content.

What is Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

A digital signature certificate (DSC) is a method of electronically signing documents to verify the identity of the signature. It can be used in place of a physical handwritten signature. DSC is only valid if it is created by the provisions of the Information Technology Act of 2000.

A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is a secure digital key issued by government-authorized certifying authorities to verify the certificate holder's identity. DSC is a mandatory term in all GST forms for identifying the taxpayer.

In India, DSC is required for GST registration and filing. The DSC is digitally stored on a pen drive. As a result, it can digitally sign online applications, GST returns, and other GST forms. The following article will explain the significance of the DSC Requirement for GST and how to register DSC on the GST Portal.

Importance of the DSC Requirement for GST

Importance of DSC

According to the Information Technology Act of 2000, all corporate entities and LLPs are required to use DSC. All documents submitted to the government must be digitally signed under GST, including GST registration applications and documents uploaded to the GST common portal.

As a result, the taxpayer must attach a valid for performing the following activities on the GST portal under Goods and Services Tax (GST):

  • A taxpayer can use DSC to make secure and authentic online payments.
  • DSC is required to submit various applications, such as the GST registration application.
  • DSC is required for uploading documents to the GST portal. Taxpayers must use DSC to respond to GST notices.
  • For claiming GST refunds, etc.

Use of DSC before e-invoicing system

All invoices (including credit notes/debit notes) must be physically signed by an authorized representative of the entity issuing the invoice, according to the CGST Rules. However, such a person may use his digital signature if it is attached following the provisions of the Information Technology Act of 2000.

Where is DSC required to sign invoices?

All GST filings in India, including forms and invoices, must be digitally signed as part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regulations. This requires digital signatures for e-filing income tax returns, e-filing for a Registrar of Companies, online auctions (like e-tenders), challans, consignment notes, delivery orders, and other documents.

Companies are using Digital Signature Certificate to create digital signatures because they are secure digital keys issued by Certifying Authorities (C.A.) to validate and verify the identity of the person (or a company's authorized signatory) holding the certificate. It can prove one's identity when accessing information and services via the internet.

 The digital certificate includes the user's name, pin code, country, email address, the date the certificate was issued, and the name of the Certifying Authority.

Benefits of a Digital Signature Certificate

Benefits for DSC
  1. Authentication:
    Conducting online business helps authenticate the individual holder's information details.
  2. Reduced cost and time:
    Instead of signing complex copy documents and scanning them to send via email, you can digitally sign the PDF files and send them much faster. To conduct or authorize business, a Digital Signature certificate holder does not need to be physically present.
  3. Data integrity:
    Digitally signed documents cannot be altered or edited after they are signed, making the data safe and secure. Government agencies frequently request these certificates to cross-check and verify business transactions.
  4. Document authenticity:
    Digitally signed documents give the receiver confidence that the signer is genuine. They can take action based on such documents without fear of the documents being forged.
  5. DSC classifications:
    The type of applicant and the purpose for which the Digital Signature Certificate is obtained determine the kind of DSC that must be applied. Accordingly, the certifying authorities issue three types of Digital Signature certificates.
  • Class 1 DSC:
    These are issued to individual/private subscribers and are used to confirm the user's name and email contact details from a clearly defined subject area in the certifying authority's database.
  • Class 2 DSC:
    These are issued to company directors/signatory authorities for electronic filing with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Individuals who must sign manual documents while GST return filing with the ROC must have a Class 2 certificate.
    However, as of January 1, 2021, the Controller of Certifying Authority has directed that Class 2 Certificates be phased out, and Class 3 Certificates will be issued in their place.
  • Class 3 DSC : 
    Are used for online participation/bidding in e-auctions and online tenders throughout India. Vendors must have a Class 3 digital signature certificate to participate in the online tenders.

Documents Needed to Submit a DSC Application

Documents for DSC

Identification Documentation

The following documents are accepted as identification proof:

  • The applicant's passport, PAN card, and driving license
  • Post Office ID card Bank account passbook containing the applicant's photograph and signature, attested by the concerned bank official
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Centre/State Governments issues photo I.D. cards.
  • Any government-issued photo I.D. card bearing the applicant's signature

Address Proof

As proof of address, the following documents can be submitted:

  • Driving License (DL)/Registration Certificate AADHAAR Card Voter ID Card (R.C.)
  • The Water Bill (Not older than 3 Months).
  • Bill for Electricity (Not older than 3 Months)
  • The most recent bank statements signed by the bank (Not older than 3 Months)
  • Registration certificate for Service Tax/VAT Tax/Sales Tax
  • Receipt for Property Tax/Corporation/Municipal Corporation
  • Officer of Attestation Proof
  • A self-attested copy of the attesting officer's I.D. card/address proof is required.

Note: The above documents must be submitted with the DSC Application Form when applying for a DSC.

Prerequisites for registering DSC on GST Portal

Before filing a GST Return with a digital signature, please ensure the following:

  1. The computer has emSigner installed.
  2. Possessing a valid class 3 DSC and a USB token
  3. The applicant should have access to the DSC's password.
  4. The computer must be connected to the digital signature stick.
  5. Desktop browsers must have internet explorer 10+/ Chrome 49+ or Firefox 45+ versions.

Note: For Prerequisites for registering a DSC on the GST Portal

  • Valid Class 3 DSC and USB Token
  • Installed DSC software, User ID and password required to access emSigner Utility
  • Install the emSigner Utility before registering DSC on GST Portal.
  • The emSigner Utility is available for download from the Register DSC page.

How to Register a DSC on the GST Portal

DSC registration process
  • Log in to the GST Portal via the official GST web portal. Then, click on the username in the upper right corner of the post-login landing page.
  • Choose My Profile from the dropdown menu and click the Register/Update DSC link in the Quick Links section on the My Profile landing page.
  • Open the emSigner Utility and connect your DSC dongle.
  • The PANs of all authorized signatories will be listed in a dropdown on the Register/Update DSC landing page. Choose the PAN number from the dropdown menu.
  • From the emSigner Utility, select the appropriate option. Then, before registering, the system will prompt you to enter your password to authorize DSC registration on the GST Portal.
  • The DSC registration on the GST portal will be completed once the correct password is entered.
  • You have completed the task of registering your Digital Signature Certificate on the GST portal by following the steps outlined above.
  • It should be noted that the same procedure can be used to update the DSC on the GST Portal.

How to File a GST Return with DSC

  • After entering all of the required information in GST Returns on the GST portal, select the PROCEED TO FILE option.
  • Details will appear on the screen after clicking the proceed to file button. To accept the declaration, check the box.
  • Select the Authorized Signatory from the Authorized Signatory dropdown list.
  • Click the FILE GSTR 3B WITH DSC or Type of GST Return button (E.g., GSTR 1, GSTR 2, GSTR 3, etc.).

Note: If an error message appears, "Please Restart the Emsigner," click on this error link to resolve the problem.

Using a Digital Signing solution to sign a PDF digitally

  • Using a digital signing solution like GSTHero Safesign to digitally sign all of your business documents is the best option.
  • Choosing a Digital Signing solution over a Digital Signature Certificate eliminates the need for the Certified Authority (C.A) to perform e-KYC.
  • Using a digital Signing Service eliminates much of the document work.
  • All you have to do is purchase a Digital signing software subscription and digitally sign multiple PDF documents.
  • You can purchase the digital signing solution from any authorized provider, such as GSTHero.
  • GSTHero's SafeSign, for example, will help businesses save time and effectively and securely sign all of their documents in a single click.
  • Digital sign PDF documents can be digitally signed quickly, and businesses are not required to apply for the Digital Signature Certificate individually.
  • The 'Digital Signing Solution' provider will handle all compliance issues.

Using these steps in GSTHero safe desktop application, you can create your signature and custom templates.

How to create a digital signature with GSTHero

step 1

Download EXE

Download EXE
step 2

After login, click on Settings and Register DSC

Register DSC
step 3

Click on Link DSC

Link to DSC
step 4

Attach the DSC token to the system and select the DSC name and click on Link DSC

Attach the DSC token
step 5

Check the status on the Dashboard. It will show as "Approved." After Click on the back button and add the Document

DSC Dashboard
step 6

Click on Browse the file and select the PDF file which the user has to sign and Then click on the add template

Browse the file

Mention the template name and select the Signature Position as Static

step 8

Add a templates & click on the view button and select the area where DSC is to be signed and click on the add button

select area
step 9

Select the template name as "DSC_Template" and select the DSC Token name also select destination folder path

Destination folder path
step 10

Mention the Destination folder path and click on Add to List

Link to DSC
step 11

Data will be added successfully after clicking on add to list

add the data
step 12

Select the invoice and click on the Sign button

Select invoice
step 13

After this Invoice will get signed successfully

signed successfully
step 14

Open the folder and view the invoice

view invoice

Video of Tally integration

GSTHero DSC solution is highly cost-effective for your company due to its automated features and desktop-based design. However, you must spend a lot of money on paper documents, such as printing, signing, and sending them via courier.

GSHero DSC performs better than traditional document signing methods in the following ways:

  • It saves time and money
  • Minimal effort is required, and the solution is desktop-based.
  • Integration with ERPs is simple and quick.
  • The application's highly automated operation and features.
  • User authorization and authentication are separated in a secure design.
  • Sign all PDF documents from within the ERP.

Instead, you can use GSTHero to save money on maintaining and transferring paper documents. In addition, GSTHero allows you to sign all of your documents from within your ERP!

Sameep Mohite

About the author

Sameep Mohite is a computer engineer with a passion for GST. He has written many articles on GST, Finance, and Technology topics.

He is a GST expert who writes for GSTHero. He wants to ensure you know what you're paying for and why.

He enjoys explaining complex technical terms in primary, easy-to-understand language.

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