Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES)
Central Board of Excise and Customs has introduced "Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax� (ACES) to improve tax-payer services. ACES is a centralized web based application which enables the assesses to electronically interface with the department. It aims to reduce paperwork, manual interface, transaction costs and increase accountability, efficiency and transparency.
With the launch of ACES, assessees will be able to file, online, registration requests, amendment applications and track them; file returns, refund claims, various intimations and view records online.
CBEC has issued Notification No. 04/2010 CE (N.T.) which has modified the Central Excise Rules, 2002 and made electronic filing of returns and e-payment mandatory for those assesses who have paid a total excise duty of Rs.10,00,000 or more including the amount paid by utilization of CENVAT credit, in the preceding financial year. Similarly, Notification No. 01/2010 ST dated 19.02.2010 has modified the Service Tax Rules, 1994 and made the electronic filing of returns and e-payment mandatory for those assesses who have paid a total service tax of Rs.10,00,000 lakh or more including the amount paid by utilization of CENVAT credit, in the preceding financial year. The modification in the Central Excise Rules and Service Tax Rules has put the onus on the assesses to register themselves on ACES and file their returns electronically from 1.4.2010.
The facility of e-filing of returns on the website (http://exciseandservicetax.nic.in), as provided in the CBEC Circular No.791/24/2004 CX dated 1.6.2004 has been withdrawn and the assessees are required to file their returns online or by uploading the downloadable off-line return utilities to the new ACES website (http://www.aces.gov.in). Detailed instructions regarding usage of ACES and procedure of getting the login and password are available on this site. Further, to make it easy for the assessees to file returns in ACES, an XML scheme has been hosted on the ACES website. By suitably modifying their own software application and using this scheme the assessees can also generate an up-loadable form of return directly from their own database without the need to make fresh data entry.
Details for e-filing of returns are available in the Help section of website (http://www.aces.gov.in) under Learning Management Software (LMS), User Manual and FAQs and in the Download section. Learning Management Software (LMS) is a very useful feature available on the above website which is an interactive online demonstration of the features of ACES. In case of any difficulty in accessing or using the ACES Application, an assessee can seek help of the ACES Service Desk by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling up national toll-free number 1800 425 4251 on any working day from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 7 PM.
Registration with ACES
An assessee has to register himself with ACES to seek registration; to file tax return, claims and intimations and for tracking their status. Registered assesses need not register again afresh. They just need to update their emails in the records available with the department.
Procedure for new registrant/assessee: A person/concern desiring to register with the Department needs to register with ACES first on www.aces.gov.in by choosing the central excise or service tax link as the case may be. In the login page click on "New users to click here to register with ACES" to access the registration page where in some basic details are required to be filled in including desired login id. The system checks for availability of the chosen user id and generates a password. The password is then sent to the email address submitted by the registrant. Using the login id and password one can access ACES. After logging in, one can proceed with the statutory registration with central excise or service tax as the case may be, by filling-in forms A-1, A-2 or ST-1. After filing the online application, the registrant has to print the application and send the copy of requisite documents to the concerned Range. Once the documents are received by the Department, the registration certificate shall be issued which shall be sent to the assessee on his email id itself.
Procedure for existing assesses: An existing assessee need not take fresh registration with the Department. He has to only register with ACES. A mail will be sent from email@example.com to the assessee�s e-mail id, as available in the existing registration data base, indicating a TPIN and password. The message will contain a hyperlink to the website. By clicking the hyperlink, the assessee can proceed to register with ACES.