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Electronic Signature Instrument (IFE) In Colombia

The electronic signature, previously known as a “digital signature”, is a mechanism that allows you to electronically sign tax returns and other documents addressed to DIAN that require the signature of the taxpayer.

Given the evolution of the means for the fulfillment of the formal tax obligations of the taxpayers in Colombia, which today mostly must be done virtually, it is necessary to introduce a signature that is also electronic or digital.

The obligation to obtain the electronic signature

The use of electronic signatures is mandatory for people who must file tax returns virtually, or who must present exogenous information, and fulfill formal duties such as: accountants, tax auditors, legal representatives, as well as people non-resident natural declarers of incomes.

Any taxpayer can obtain it. However, the issuance of the signature will be subject to the decision of the official who attends the request.

Benefits of the electronic signature

  • The electronic signature allows you to do different tasks online such as updating the RUT, filing your returns from home and paying taxes online.

  • Even if there is no need to obtain the digital signature, having it means avoiding lines at banks and offices of the DIAN.

  • Even if you are not forced to sign anything virtually, you can do a lot of procedures online, so our recommendation is still get the digital signature, which is free.

Issuance and management of the digital signature

To obtain or issue the digital signature for the first time, it is necessary to do it personally at a point of physical attention in the DIAN, prior appointment scheduling.

However, for the duration of the Health, economic and social Emergency due to COVID-19, these appointments will be attended virtually. At the following link you can carry out the scheduling:

But before requesting the appointment at the DIAN, you must have the RUT updated with an email address that is easily accessible, since this will give you all the information to carry out the process; You must also create and enable your account on the DIAN page with username and password.

Enabling the user account can be started at this link:

Once the first step has been completed (issuance request), you can enter the account created at the DIAN portal and continue with the online authorization or activation process following the procedure found at the following link:

Validity of the electronic signature

Once the digital signature is enabled or renewed, it will be valid for 3 years in accordance with article 4 of resolution 070 of 2016 issued by DIAN: "The validity is three (3) years, counted from the completion of the procedure for issuing or renewing the Electronic Signature Instrument (IFE)."

The renewal must be done before it expires, and can be done or requested at any time in case the security of the firm has been compromised.

Recommendations in the management of the digital signature.

The management of the digital signature is the process of digital signing of documents and tax returns, it is done using a password of the digital signature and by means of email.

Every time a document is required to be signed, a unique code is generated that is sent to the email informed by the taxpayer, and that code, together with the password for the digital signature, is what allows the documents to be signed.

Therefore, email must be secure, preferably a highly reliable and available email such as Gmail or Hotmail (Outlook), since they are always available and never bounce an email as it usually happens in corporate emails.

You must also ensure that no one can access either your email nor the digital signature password.

The password of the digital signature is different from the password to enter with the username to the account that is on the DIAN platform.

Finally, keep in mind all these must be safe to prevent third parties from misusing your data, as they are entirely your responsibility.

Remember our team is prepared to provide you with support and advice in the regularization of your tax documents.

Do you want more information on this topic? Contact us here.

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