ACES stands for Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax. ACES is a centralized, web-based and workflow-based software application. This application was initially rolled-out in the Large Tax Payer Unit (LTU) Commissionerate in Bengaluru in December, 2008. Subsequently, it was implemented across India in phases covering all 104 Central Excise, Service Tax & LTU Commissionerate with all the modules. This application has replaced the applications like SERMON, SACER, and SAPS used in Central Excise and Service Tax for capturing returns and registration details of the assessees.
ACES is a Mission Mode project (MMP) of the Govt. of India under the national e- governance plan and it aims at improving tax-payer services, transparency, accountability and efficiency in the indirect tax administration in India.
The ACES application has two part one is for Central Excise and other for Service Tax. It has automated the major processes of Central Excise and Service Tax – Registration, Returns, accounting, refunds, dispute resolution, audit, provisional assessment, exports, claims, intimations and permissions. It is divided into the following modules:
- Access Control of Users (ACL),
- Registration (REGN) for registration of assessees of Central Excise & Service Tax including on-line amendment,
- Returns (RET) for electronic filing of Central Excise & Service Tax returns,
- CLI for electronic filing of claims, intimations and permissions by assessees and their processing by the departmental officers,
- Refund (REF)for electronic filing of Refund Claims and their processing,
- Provisional Assessment (PRA) for electronic filing of request for provisional assessment and its processing by the departmental officers,
- Assessee Running Account,
- Dispute Settlement Resolution (DSR) for Show Cause Notices, Personal Hearing Memos, Adjudication Orders, Appellate and related processes,
- Audit Module and
- Export Module for processing export related documents.
Benefits of ACES to the Assessees: –
- Online Registration of Central Excise Assessees and online amendments;
- Online Registration of Service Tax Assessees and online amendments;
- Electronic filing of Central Excise Returns;
- Electronic filing of Service Tax Returns;
- Electronic filing of claims, permissions & intimations submitted by assessees in the course of business with the Department;
- Instant e-acknowledgement of documents with an Unique Document Identification Number;
- View, file and track the status of documents filed online;
- Processing of Claims, Permissions & intimations filed by the assessee;
- Online Messages / Alerts to users on business-related matters;
- Automated Generation of various reports
- Audit Module involving selection of units and tracking of audit results
- Online filing of reply to Show Cause Notice
- Online filing of application for Provisional Assessment
- Online filing of Refund Claims
- Online filing of selected Export related documents
- A dedicated ‘ACES Service Desk’ is established and in case of any difficulty in accessing or using the ACES Application, assessees/CFC’s can seek help of service desk by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling up the national toll-free number 1800 425 4251 on any working day from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 7 PM.
System Requirements for ACES
To use ACES following systems requirements are recommended:
- Processor: Intel Pentium III and higher
- RAM: 256 MB and higher
- HDD: 80 GB and more
- Web Browser: IE 6.0 and above, Netscape 6.2 and above
- MS Excel 2003 and above for using offline utilities
- Sound Card, Speakers/Headphones, Colour Monitor for using Learning Management Systems (LMS)
A Learning Management Software (LMS) has been provided on the ACES website, which is a multimedia-based self-learning online tutorial guiding the assessee in a step-by-step processes to use ACES. The downloadable version of Learning Management Software is also provided on the website. Besides, User Manuals, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Power Point Presentation, and a Brochure have also been provided on the website to help the assessees use ACES.
Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES) is also a valuable platform for a smooth and successful transition to the coming GST regime
(The above article is authored by Ganeshan Kalyani and he can be reached via email on email@example.com).