The Service Tax Rules, 1994 (‘the Service Tax Rules’) were amended vide Notification No. 5/2015 – ST dated March 1, 2015 to insert New Rule 4C after Rule 4B thereof. In terms of Rule 4C of the Service Tax Rules, provision for issuing digitally signed invoices, bill or challan has been added along with the option of maintaining of records in electronic form and their authentication by means of digital signatures effective from March 1, 2015.
Corresponding changes were also made in Rule 5 of the Service Tax Rules. Further similar provisions were also incorporated under Rule 10 and 11 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002 vide Notification No. 8/2015 – CE(NT) dated March 1, 2015.
However, it was further provided that the conditions and procedure in this regard shall be specified by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (“CBEC” or “the Board”).
CBEC specifies conditions, safeguards and procedures:
The CBEC vide Notification No. 18/2015-CE (NT) dated July 6, 2015 has now specified the conditions, safeguards and procedures for issue of invoices, preserving records in electronic form, authentication of records and invoices by digital signatures, summarised here under for easy digest:
(Bimal Jain, FCA, FCS, LLB, B.Com (Hons), Email: email@example.com)