With the Service Tax ACES Software, doing a Service Tax Application is now possible online.
Even a Service Tax Registration or a Service Tax Payment can be done from the comfort of your home by using the Service Tax ACES software
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An important feature of the government’s exercise in increasing e-governance, is the installment of the Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (“ACES” or “software application”).
The Service Tax ACES software encompasses the entire gamut of Central Excise and Service Tax processes, this note will specifically deal with the Service Tax related processes like Registration, Returns, Refunds, Provisional assessment, Dispute resolution etc.
This note serves to provide an understanding of the system of automation in place and therefore divides this analysis of the system into two pertinent questions.
The Service Tax ACES application is a government centralized web based software application which automated the entire process of filing service tax returns by assesses. It can be accessed at www.aces.gov.in. ACES takes Service Tax Online!
This is one stop shop for all transactions between existing assessees, non-assessees and members of Large Taxpayer Units (LTU). The Service Tax ACES Software works on a workflow software based system.
The unique features of this ACES software application are:
Online service tax registration and amendment of registration details
Electronic filing of service tax documents such as:
B. Refund claims
D. Provisional assessment
E. Intimations etc.
Facility for filing service tax returns by using an offline downloadable utility
Viewing the status of documents such as Refund claims
Viewing documents such as
A. Service Tax Registration certificate
B. Show cause notices
C. Adjudication order etc.
Here’s a step by step guide to accessing the Service Tax ACES software application, overviewing the services provided and how to go about using them.
Log on to the website at www.aces.gov.in , click on the “SERVICE TAX” tab.
Image 1: The ACES Homepage
You will reach a page that requires a username and password.
Now, non-assessees who are not in possession of a registration number from the earlier database, will have to first register themselves with ACES. This can be done by clicking the hyperlink in “New users click here”, available on this page.
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Image 2: The Screen obtained on clicking the Service Tax Tab on the ACES Homepage. Do note the hyperlink for New Users.
Subsequently, a form titled “Registration with ACES for Service Tax” will appear on the screen.
This is not a statutory registration required under Service Tax laws, but ONLY a registration for the Service Tax software application.
On filling the requisite details.You will be required to make your very own username. The Service Tax ACES service tax online software application, will first check whether the username is available, in which case it will send a system generated password to the email id that you provide in this form.
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Image 3: Registration for for accessing the ACES Service Tax software application
On logging in to the software application with the system generated password, you will reach a page that requires you to mandatorily change your system generated password to one your own choice.
Existing assessees do not have to go through the above mentioned process, the system generates a TPIN (Temporary Personal Identification Number) and password for initial access to the software application.
A message with details for accessing the Service Tax ACES application is sent to the email Id available in Assessees registration details.
The assessee, after initially accessing the website with the above mentioned TPIN/password combination, has to enter a new User Name that would be used for accessing ACES.
Once the User Name and password are assigned successfully, the TPIN is deactivated, and all subsequent logins are possible using the selected credentials.
Please note that username once made cannot be changed.
The successful completion of the above steps will lead you to the home screen of the service tax online software application.
With each tab signifying the various services that can be availed using the Service Tax ACES portal.
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Image 4: The Homescreen of the ACES Service Tax software application. Do note the abbreviated functions (SDR,PRS, REF etc.), which have been referred to below.
Existing assessee’s data will already be migrated to the new software application and they, therefore do not need to submit the details required under Form ST-1. They can thus avail of the other functions available on the home screen of the software application.
New assessees will have to fill the Form ST-1, with the requisite details; the details required for registration have been dealt with elsewhere on this blog. (See here).
LTU assessees require a consent form to be submitted to their respective jurisdictional officer, which can be located by the hyperlink “Know your location” available on the screen reached by following Step 1.
The process of registration for LTU Assessees is the same as that of existing assessees.·
A Non Assessee is one who is required to transact with the department, but is not registered as an assessee. Non Assessees are required to fill the “Form for Registration of Non-Assessees” available in the “REG” tab on the Home Screen.
Non Assessees may be a co-noticee, claimant of refund or rebate, or who is required to pay a fine or penalty to the department, and therefore are required to transact business with the department.
On submission of the registration certificate, the assessee can at any time the details of the same as and when required.
The registration can also surrender the registration as and when required by clicking the “Surrender ST2” sub tab in the “REG” tab on the Home Screen.
Now, a registered assessee can prepare and submit ST-3 Return form online or offline as per convenience.
The form can be filled by clicking the “RET” main tab on the Home Screen, alteration and revision can be done by clicking the same tab.
The unique feature of this software application is that even returns in the ST3 form can be done offline. This offline mechanism involves downloading an XML file, which can be availed either in the “Downloads” tab available in the home page of www.aces.gov.in or in the “RET” tab in the Home Screen of the portal.
In case the registered assessee cannot do a self assessment, it may request a Provisional Assessment available under the “PRA” tab on the Home Screen.
This request is subject to the approval of the department. In case such request is approved the assessee has to submit ST-3A every month.
The ST-3A form can be filled by clicking the “PRA” tab on the Home Screen of the Service Tax ACES site. The same can be viewed at any time, the monthly summary may also be printed.
The Home Screen also provides for a Refund mechanism under the “REF” and “SDR” tabs on the Home Screen of the portal.
The Refund mechanism of the ACES envisages multiple services such as:
A. Refund Request
B. Viewing Refund Request
C. Viewing Refund Order
D. Acknowledgment of the Refund Receipt.
The Dispute Resolution mechanism of the Service Tax ACES Software envisages services such as:
A. Viewing and Replying to Demand Note
B. Viewing and Replying to Show Cause Notices
C. Filing an appeal to the Commissioner of Central Excise under Form ST-4
D. Filing an appeal to Appellate Tribunal under sub-section (1) of section 86 of the
Finance Act, 1994 under Form ST-5.
E. Filing a Memorandum of Cross-Objections to the Appellate Tribunal under
Subsection (4) of section 86 of Finance Act, 1994 under Form ST-6.
F. Viewing Orders passed.
In conclusion, the Service Tax ACES software application is an endeavor that promises to make life easier for everyone involved in the process of filing and collecting Service Tax.