10/3/2011: The German Steuervereinfachungsgesetz Shows: Advanced Signatures are Sufficient

ARTEC IT Solutions points to importance of digital timestamps for legally compliant archiving.

Karben, September 29, 2011 - After a delay of several months, the German Bundesrat passed the so called "Steuervereinfachungsgesetz" (Simplification of Taxation Act) last week. For organizations, this means that due to a EU regulation, it is no longer necessary to add verifiable and documented qualified digital signatures to invoices sent electronically (i.e. via e-mail).

ARTEC IT Solutions, a specialist for digital information management and legally compliant archiving, sees its previous strategy confirmed by the new legislation, and stresses the importance of advanced signatures and time stamps when dealing with business-relevant information.

Jerry J. Artishdad, Managing Director of ARTEC IT Solutions AG comments: "For the purposes of sending invoices via e-mail and sales tax deduction, this new legislation eliminates costly and expensive qualified signatures and clearly reduces bureaucracy. However, we opted for the consistent use of advanced signatures right from the start. The new legislation confirms our view that this is the better way. Our ANA Automated Network Administrator® signature servers sign every e-mail without causing any additional expenses for customers. This is important, because there are legally mandated retention periods for documents such as invoices. These must be retained for the purposes of taxation. Similarly, digitally sent invoices must also be retained in digital form. There are clear rules concerning, for example, the immutability and auditability of such archived documents. For long-term archiving, advanced signatures and time stamps are an important prerequisite to ensure an archive is legally compliant. They provide a reliable content protection and guarantee that archived information has not been tampered with."

Unlike other manufacturers, ARTEC IT Solutions' EMA® product range has always included protection against unauthorized data manipulation, using a combination of electronic time stamps and encryption, as a standard feature. ARTEC's technology did not require any cost-intensive qualified signatures. These security mechanisms ensure that the integrity of archived information can always be proven beyond doubt. The EMA® product family, which consists of preconfigured, ready to use appliances, provides legally compliant archiving for all documents relevant to organizations. Supported content includes e-mail messages, files, printed and scanned documents, and even telephone conversations and voice data.

PDF (German, 112 kB)