As a value-added tax, GST is levied on most goods and services that are sold for domestic consumption in India. GST (goods and services tax) is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax: comprehensive because it has subsumed almost all the indirect taxes (Excise duty, VAT, Service tax) except for a few state taxes.

In simple words, GST is an indirect tax on the supply of goods and services used in India.

Understanding the process of payment through the GST portal is important, as it is a necessary payment to help the government keep track of the supply & demand as well as provide the best quality goods and services to consumers.

There are a few ways to find user authentication in the GST portal. However, the three commonly used methods for user authentication are; DSC (Digital Signature Certificate), Electronic Signature (E- Sign), and Electronic Verification Code (EVC).

There is a significant difference between all three authentication methods. As such, a user should be clear about the difference before proceeding. Thus, to help you better understand these terminologies, here is a quick brief on the difference between DSC, E-sign, and EVC.

A. DSC, E-sign and EVC in GST Portal

  • What is DSC in GST?

  • Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is the authentication used to sign documents digitally in a GST portal. An authorised DSC-issuing certifying authority can help in obtaining a DSC for your use. It is important to know that the GST portals only accept PAN-based Class II and Class III DSC.

    DSC is a mandatory user authentication for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships(LLP) in a GST portal. To authenticate the user, you need to, first, register the DSC in the GST Portal, which can be done from the GST Portal user login.

  • What is E-Sign in GST?

  • The E-Sign is an electronic signature service in India used in GST processes. It gives an Aadhaar cardholder the facility to sign any document digitally. The process is simple; a one-time password (OTP) is sent to the Aadhaar registered mobile number, which helps the person to access the GST portal and sign a document digitally.

  • What is EVC in GST?

  • EVC stands for Electronic Verification Code. A person can authenticate the user by using the One-time Password (OTP) in a GST portal. The authorised signatory will receive the password on their registered mobile number, and they can use it (OTP) to proceed further. Electronic Verification Code is, in simpler terms, is a 10 digit alphanumeric code, which is used for authentication by the user.

B] FAQs; Frequently asked Questions:

1. To digitally sign any documents, do I need to register my DSC before I can use it on the GST Portal?

Yes, you do! Registration of DSC on the GST portal is necessary to access and digitally sign any documents.

2. How do I register/update my DSC on the GST Portal?

You must have the EMsigner installed on your device to register/update DSC on the GST portal. The process is quite simple;

  • Step 1: Visit the GST Portal website and click on ‘login’ on the top right section. Enter the username and password.
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  • Step 2: Once logged in, select ‘My Profile’ from the drop-down and under the ‘Quick Links’ section, click on the ‘register/update DSC link’ option.
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  • Step 3: Attach your DSC dongle and open EMsigner utility.
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  • Step 4: On the register/update landing page, you will see the PAN card details of all the authorised signatories. From the list, choose your PAN details.
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  • Step 5: Enter the password to authorise the registration, and once the password is verified, your DSC will be registered on the GST portal.

3. Can I opt for E-Sign, or is it mandatory for me to use DSC?

Companies and LLPs need to use the DSC as it is mandatory; whereas other entities can use any of the available methods – DSC, E-sign and/or EVC – to sign documents digitally on the GST portal.

4. What are the prerequisites to register for DSC?

A few prerequisites to register for the DSC include; the installation of an EMsigner, the DSC software and a DSC dongle. These are required to register for the DSC.

5. What are the prerequisites for using E-Sign and EVC?

A valid Aadhaar card and phone number(registered in the Aadhaar database) is necessary as a taxpayer to avail the services of E-sign and EVC.