The Telegraph
Monday , March 24 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Digital signature for returns

New Delhi, March 23 (PTI): The income tax department has decided to bring in the facility of electronic signatures for taxpayers to endorse their bonafides in a bid to weed out the hassle of sending by post a hard copy of the e-filed return.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex office to formulate policies for the income tax department, has decided to implement the new mechanism by the end of the next financial year in March 2015.

Official sources said the CBDT would get in touch with the communication and information technology ministries to establish the legal position and technology requirements before it introduces the new protocol for e-returns, called ITRV.

“It has to be seen what will be the procedure to obtain the electronic or digital signatures of the taxpayers. There should not be an additional cost or procedural burden for the taxpayer who opts to file his or her I-T return online,” a senior official said.

A digital signature (used by corporate entities as of now) — a bonafide statement that verifies the identity of the sender — is created by paying a fee and has to be renewed regularly. This is why it is being seen as a burden on the salaried class and other categories of small taxpayers.

The tax department also wants to introduce e-filing of TDS statements.