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How to Check if Your Form 16 Carries a Valid Digital Signature

By Mohammed S Chokhawala

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Updated on: Jul 1st, 2024

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1 min read

Employees receive a salary statement in Form 16 on an annual basis. Form 16 provides the break-up of your yearly salary and income tax calculations. We provide you with steps to check the authenticity of Form 16 by validating the digital signature.

Why should you validate the digital signature on Form 16?

Your Form 16 is digitally signed by or on behalf of your employer. Employees should check the details of their salary, tax deductions and tax calculations. You should also check the form to make sure that the digital signature is validated and the form is authentic. The validation of a digital signature ensures that there is no tampering with the Form 16 after signing.

According to Archit Gupta, founder & CEO of Cleartax.com, a digital signature holds the same significance as a physical signature. It validates the Form 16 as a legal document and can be verified to ensure its authenticity. Validating the digital signature helps establish that it originates from a trusted source and has not been altered after signing. Therefore, verifying the digital signature adds an additional layer of assurance to confirm the authenticity of your Form 16.

How to check the validity of your Form 16?

Step 1:Open your Form 16 in Adobe reader. The digital signature is visible on the last page of Form 16.

Step 2:Right-click on the ‘Signature’ and choose ‘Validate Signature’. The document will display that the signature is valid and not modified after signing.

How to validate the digital signature on your Form 16?

Step 1: Check the validity of the digital signature. In a case, the validation fails, the ‘Signature Validation Status’ will display that the validity is unknown. You will see the below information:

Step 2: You should perform further validations by clicking on ‘Signature Properties’, and then click on ‘Show Signer’s Certificate’. When you click on ‘Show Signer’s Certificate’, a certificate viewer window appears. In the ‘Summary’ tab, you can see the details of the digital signature. Further, in the ‘Details’ tab, you can view the details of the signer such as name and email address of the signer. You can also see the digital signature certifying authority. CCA India is the official certifying body for digital signatures in India.

Step 3: The CCA is not part of the list of digital certificates. You can add CCA India to your trusted list of digital certificates. You click on the tab ‘Trust’, and click on ‘Add to Trusted Certificates’. A security message will pop-up. Click ‘OK’, and next, it will open ‘Import Contact Settings’. Select ‘Use this certificate as a trusted root’. Please note that when you add the certificate to your trusted list, you should make sure that the ‘Certified Documents’ option is selected. Click on ‘OK’ and return to the ‘Certificate Viewer’ window. Now CCA India is part of your trusted certificates.

Step 4: Hence, you can re-validate the digital signature by returning to the ‘Signature Properties’ window. You can re-validate by clicking on the ‘Verify Certificate’ or ‘Validate Signature’ button. The digital signature is now valid. Click on ‘Close’ and your Form 16 validation is complete.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do all employers have to issue Form 16 to their employees?

Form 16 must be issued by all employers to employees whose tax has been deducted during a specific financial year. However, if there are employees for whom no Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) has been made, the employer may not issue Form 16 to such employees.

What is the salary limit for issuing Form 16?

According to legal obligations, employers who deduct TDS are required to issue Form 16 by 15th June each year.

How to check the authenticity of my Form 16?

You can follow the step-by-step process mentioned above in the article to check the authenticity of your form 16.

About the Author

I'm a chartered accountant, well-versed in the ins and outs of income tax, GST, and keeping the books balanced. Numbers are my thing, I can sift through financial statements and tax codes with the best of them. But there's another side to me – a side that thrives on words, not figures. Read more

Clear offers taxation & financial solutions to individuals, businesses, organizations & chartered accountants in India. Clear serves 1.5+ Million happy customers, 20000+ CAs & tax experts & 10000+ businesses across India.

Efiling Income Tax Returns(ITR) is made easy with Clear platform. Just upload your form 16, claim your deductions and get your acknowledgment number online. You can efile income tax return on your income from salary, house property, capital gains, business & profession and income from other sources. Further you can also file TDS returns, generate Form-16, use our Tax Calculator software, claim HRA, check refund status and generate rent receipts for Income Tax Filing.

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