The first thing you should do after receiving a TDS certificate, also known as Form 16, from your company is validate the digital signatures on it. Validating the digital signature is critical for ensuring Form 16’s authenticity.
Cleartax.com’s founder and CEO, Archit Gupta, states, “People often overlook the fact that a digital signature is equivalent to a physical signature; a digital signature transforms Form 16 into a legal document. It is also possible to verify a digital signature. Validating a digital signature ensures that it came from a reliable source and that it hasn’t been tampered with after it was signed. As a result, it aids in ensuring that your Form 16 is genuine.”
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In Form 16, how do you validate digital signatures?
Make sure you’ve opened the Form 16 PDF document with Adobe Reader software before you start validating signatures.
To validate the digital signature in Form 16, follow the steps below:
Step 1: The digital signature can be found on the Form 16’s last page. Select the image of the digital signature.
Step 2: On your screen, a new window titled ‘Signature Validation Status’ will open. Select ‘Signature Properties’ from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: A new window titled ‘Signature Properties’ will emerge once more. Select ‘Show Signer’s Certificate’ from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: You’ll see a certificate viewer window pop up. Select the Trust tab.
Step 5: Click the ‘Add to Trust Identities’ option in the trust tab. The ‘Acrobat Security’ Message Box will appear.
Step 6: Click ‘OK’ on the ‘Acrobat Security’ Message Box to open ‘import contact settings.’
Step 7: Select the certificate as ‘trusted root’ in the ‘Import Contact Settings’ window and click OK.
Step 8: When you click ‘ok,’ you’ll be taken back to the ‘Certificate Viewer’ window.
Step 9: After clicking OK, you’ll be taken back to the ‘Signature Properties’ panel. Here, select ‘Verify Certificate’ or ‘Validate Signature’ from the drop-down menu.
When you click it, the signature will appear as valid in the ‘Signature Properties’ window. When you click ‘Close,’ your Form-16’s digital signature will be authenticated.