FAQ FOR ST3 RETURN FOR THE PERIOD OCT, 2012 – MAR, 2013
The ST-3 Return for the period, Oct, 2012- Mar, 2013 is a quarterly or half-yearly?
It is a half yearly return.
Is there any change in the Format of ST3 return for the return period Oct, 2012 -March, 2013 when compared to July – Sept, 2012 return?
Yes. July – Sept, 2012 return was quarterly and Oct – March, 2013 is half yearly and accordingly the format is displayed in ACES
What is the last date for filing return for the period Oct, 2012 – March, 2013?
31st August, 2013 is the last date for filing the return for Oct – Mar, 2013 period.
What are the special and additional features available for filing the return for the return period Oct – Mar, 2013 from the Quarterly returns?
a. It is in half yearly format.
b. The return form will guide the user through, by way of more tool tips and messages in the required fields.
c. It can be filed online or using the offline utility.
d. Systems generated e-Mails will be sent to the Assessees on the Status of the uploaded return i.e. whether Filed or Rejected.
e. In case the return is accepted by the system with errors, System generated e-Mail will be sent to the Assessees intimating them to log on to the ACES website to see the list of errors so that they can file revised return within the stipulated time period of 90 days from the date of filing the Original return.
f. There are changes in the internal validations and more checks have been built in at the stage of filling up the return and also while validating the return. This is to prevent filing of returns with serious errors.
g. Time for filing Revised Return continues to be 90 days from the date of filing of the Original Return. The return can be revised only once during this period.
Is the new ST-3 return for the period, Oct – Mar, 2013 available in both online or offline modes?
Yes, it is available in both offline and online format.
What are the different methods of filing ST3 return in ACES?
a. You can file your returns online after logging into ACES www.aces.gov.in using your user-id and password.
b. You can also prepare your return off-line using Excel Downloadable Utility and then uploading the XML file so generated.
c. Return can also be field with the help of XML Schema, the third party software.
I got my Service Tax registration on or after 01.07.2012 with the service description ‘Other Than in the Negative List’. Can I file the return now?
Yes, returns can be filed. However, it is suggested that necessary amendment application should be filed for updating the Registration data. Assessees registered / amended their registration on or after 01.07.2012 with the service description ‘All Taxable Services – Other than in the Negative List’ are required to file amendment their Registration online by deleting the said description and adding the relevant description(s) of Taxable Services available in the drop-down list in the online Amend ST1 Form.
How can I e-file the ST3 return on-line?
a. After logging into the ACES, click on the RET module displayed in the menu item at home page.
b. Select Fill ST-3 to get the Form ST3 on the screen. Select the required option. Navigation path is Login as Assessee > RET> Fill ST-3> Fill.
c. After filling all the details, in the last page, click on ‘Save’ button.
d. A confirmation view screen will display the return in its entirety. Verify the correctness of details entered. Once it is confirmed that the entered details are in order, click on ‘Submit’ button.
e. If any modification is required, click on ‘Modify’ button. The first entry screen will be displayed. Modification can be carried out in all fields. If it is desired that the details are to be entered afresh, click on ‘Cancel’ button.
In case of disruption while entering my return, is it possible for me to retrieve the entered details and complete the return at a later point of time or is it necessary that I have to fill and file the return at one go?
In the online version of ST-3 returns, in the event of disruption or loss of connectivity, there is auto save facility and the data entered in the return are automatically saved up to the page which have been saved by using the ‘Next’ button. But the data entered in a page, which has not been saved will be lost. If the user wishes to complete the return, the auto-saved returns can be retrieved, completed partially/fully using Complete ST3 option under RET> Fill ST3 > Complete ST3.
How to navigate between fields/pages on the screen?
Navigation would be as follows:
(i) Moving across fields: After entry in the desired field, tab key can be used. On pressing tab, you will be taken to the next field of the section for data entry.
(ii) Moving across pages:
a. After you have filled the data in a given page, you can move to the next page by clicking ‘Next’ button.
b. Before moving to the next page, on clicking ‘Next’ button, the system will automatically validate all the entries of that page. If data is not correctly filled in, the errors in the page will be displayed.
c. In case of mandatory validations, the user will be able to proceed only after the errors displayed, are rectified.
d. In case of other minor errors, the user will be alerted about the errors and will be given an option to correct or to proceed without correcting the errors.
e. When ‘Next’ button is clicked, the user will be taken to the next sheet.
f. Similarly, ‘Previous’ button can be used for moving to previous page for the purpose of view or correction.
How to fill up the data in e-return?
a. All the fields marked with asterisk (*) are mandatory and the same have to be filled in each sheet before proceeding further.
b. Wherever required, data must be in correct format. For example, Challan No. should be a 20 digit number consisting of, 7 digit BSR Code, 8 digit date of tender in the format and 5 digit Sl.No. For example “12345670112200812345”.
c. Only whole numbers should be entered in columns where Amount is to be entered
How to Add or Delete Rows in various screens?
The procedure is as follows:
(i) Adding new rows: Sections such as Taxable Services, Notification for Exemption / Abatement availed, Challan Details sections, Tax Rate Tables etc, allow the users to enter multiple rows of data in a tabular form. You can click on ‘Add’ button to add more rows. To add more than one row, you must have filled data in the mandatory fields of the previous row.
(ii) Delete rows: Rows that have been added in the section, can be removed by checking the ‘Select’ box(es) and clicking ‘Delete’. All rows cannot be deleted since at least a minimum of one row of details should be present.
While filling return an error message is displayed by the system, what should I do?
Error messages are grouped into two categories: Mandatory validations and Warnings.
(i) Mandatory validations: These are major errors and you cannot proceed without correcting them e.g. Period of the return is left blank or when both the Original or Revised options, are selected as Yes.
(ii) Warnings: These are also major errors and should be corrected as per the error message. However, the system allows filing of the returns without correcting the errors. The returns containing these errors are marked for Review and correction by the departmental officers and they may contact the assessee for further clarification, information or documents to correct the errors.
What are the comments in red at the top of the confirmation page for my return while filing the return online?
The comments in red at the top of the confirmation page shows the errors found in the Return. These issues should be corrected by assessee by modifying the return details before submission.
What if I am not able to correct the issues as highlighted in the last page of the return?
If you do not correct the issues marked in red, then these returns with errors like ‘Challan Number mentioned does not exist in the database’ or ‘There is difference between Payable and Paid amount of Tax / Cess’ etc. are marked for Review & Correction process.The assessee can also view these errors and subsequently file a revised return to correct these errors.
How will I know if I have filed my returns correctly?
In ACES you can view and verify the return submitted by you using RET-> View Original ST-3.
What is downloadable utility?
Downloadable utility is an offline utility of ST3 return, which can be downloaded to your computer when the same is connected to the internet, but it can be filled in offline, without connecting to the internet. After filling in the relevant data, the xml should be generated. Thereafter, the computer should again be connected to the internet and the XMLfile of the return be uploaded on-line to ACES.
How to download the Excel utility for ST3 return for the period Oct – Mar, 2013?
The Excel utility for ST3 return for the period Oct – Mar, 2013 can be downloaded from http://acesdownload.nic.in. It can also be accessed from ‘DOWNLOADS’ section of ACES website http://www.aces.gov.in or after logging in, under the navigational path RET-> e-Filing -> Download e-Filing Utility.
What are the pre-requisites for filling data in this utility?
Following are prerequisites for filling data in the offline utility:
a. The version of Microsoft Excel in your system should be Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and above.
b. Make sure that you have downloaded the latest Excel Utility from ACES website / application to your computer, applicable for the return period for which you are filling the return.
c. Please enable the Macros (if disabled) as per the following instructions:
1. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Security.
2. Click on either Medium or High to select the ‘Security Level’.
3. On the Trusted Publishers tab, select the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box.
d. Please make sure that your computer system Date is correct.
e. The Computer should have a file Compression software to unzip Excel Utility File.
Do I need to download utility each time I file a return or Can I use the earlier one downloaded?
Yes. It is advisable that you download the latest version of utility from the ACES website before filling the same.
What are the steps for filing Return through offline utility?
The steps are as follows:
a. Fill up the Return data: Navigate to each field of every section in the sheet to provide applicable data in correct format. (Formats will get reflected while filling data.).
b. Validating Sheets: Click on the ‘Validate this sheet’ button to ensure that the sheet has been properly filled and also data has been furnished in proper format. If there are some errors on the sheet, the Utility will prompt you about the same. In such cases, the offline utility will not allow you to proceed further until you rectify the errors.
c. Generate XML: There is ‘Validate Return and Generate XML’ button on the last sheet for validating all the entries in your return. If you click on this button, Utility will validate all the sheets one by one and also perform inter-sheet validations. After validation, an XML file will be generated. In case there is some error identified on some sheet, the utility will prompt you about the same and lead you to the respective sheet(s).
d. Both files are saved in the same folder of your system where Efiling Utility is placed/ saved (while downloading the e-filing utility).
e. Upload XML file to ACES application: For uploading the XML generated by the E-filing Utility, login to ACES application and access menu option to upload generated xml file. On Upload screen provide the required information and browse to select the relevant XML file and submit the form.
How do I file NIL return in offline utility?
There is no NIL Return filing option in the ST3 return. You have to fill up the mandatory fields, generate XML and upload it with the relevant details for the return period like how a normal return is uploaded.
Where do I find the row wise guidance to fill up the return?
The instruction for this is available in the Excel Utility under Instructions Section.
How to generate XML file after filling the sheets in the offline utility?
a. Once all the relevant fields in the return have been filled, click on ‘Validate Return and Generate XML’ button. System will, then, validate all the sheets and generate a XML file.
b. After generating the XML file, the Utility will display the name of the XML file and the location where it has been saved.
c. In case some error is identified on some sheets, the utility will prompt you about the same and lead you to the respective sheet(s).
d. Utility will list the errors as below and ask you before generating XML file: “Do you want to Submit Return and generate the XML with following errors” If you select Yes, then XML file will be generated with the filled-in data.
e. For rectifying these errors, select answer as No.
f. After generating the XML file, the Utility will prompt you about the name and location of the file so saved. The name format of the XML file generated will be:
RegistrationNumber_Date_Time.xml e.g. AAABC7865XSD001_31-Jul-1344016PM.xml
How do I upload my offline return?
a. Login to ACES application and access RET -> e Filing -> Upload File to upload generated xml file of ST3 Return.
b. On Upload screen, fill in all the required fields like Financial Year, Return for the period and Return Type.
c. Click on ‘Browse’ to select the XML file, Save and then submit for uploading.
Premises Code will be auto fetched by the system after uploading and need not be entered in the form
What does the status of return mean?
The Status of XML file implies the status of offline returns uploaded into the system and results thereof, which can be either Uploaded or Filed or Rejected
1. Uploaded: Denotes that return is uploaded and under processing by the system. You should view again after some time.
2. Filed: Denotes that uploaded return is accepted by the system.
3. Rejected: Denotes that the return could not be processed due to errors and is rejected and the assessee return is not filed with the department in this case.
You can view the status of the XML uploaded using offline utility through: RET-> e Filing -> View Status.
How do I check the status of the return or the XML uploaded?
The status of the uploaded XML file (return) can be checked by accessing RET>efiling> View XML status after logging in ACES.
How to ascertain the errors if the return is rejected?
The reasons for rejection can be viewed by accessing RET -> efiling -> View XML status after logging in ACES. A hyperlink is provided on the Return No. by clicking on which, the reasons for rejection can be viewed.
When will I know the status of the XML uploaded?
The result of the acceptance or otherwise of the return filed offline will be known in one business day.
What are the reasons for which the returns get rejected?
There are a few mandatory validations as listed below and if incorrect entries are made, the return would be rejected:
a. Incorrect selection of return type whether it is Original or Revised return.
b. Incorrect Registration Number.
c. If a non-LTU assessee selected as ‘Yes’ in ‘A6.1’ and vice versa.
d. Wrong selection of Constitution.
e. Incorrect category of Registrant.
f. Incorrect Rates of Tax / EDU Cess / SHE Cess.
g. Higher amount entered in Challan Details Section as against the actual amount deposited.
h. Technical Error – Tampering of XML file generated before uploading, use of special characters in the return, error at the time of generation of XML file etc.
What to do when my return is rejected?
When you click on the hyperlink on the rejected Return No., the reasons of rejection are displayed. Please correct the error(s) in the return and after generating a new xml file, upload the same once again.
While uploading the XML file in ACES, an error appeared “File corrupt. Regenerate and upload the file again”. Since regenerating the XML is time consuming task, please help how we can regenerate with less effort?
This error appears only when user has tampered XML file generated by the utility. Please ensure that you upload the original XML file generated by the utility without tampering/opening for modification.
Do I get any intimation in case of rejection of return?
Yes, an e-mail will be automatically sent to the registered e-mail ID available in the ACES registration database. Please ensure that the e-mail ID in the ACES registration database is updated.
Can I view the return, after filing?
Yes, the returns filed can be viewed by accessing RET > View Original ST3.
How do I file Revised return?
You can revise your ST-3 return once within 90 days from the date of filing the original return, by clicking on RET > Fill ST3 > Revise ST-3 from your login. You should also ensure that in the ST3 Return, under A1, it should be correctly selected as Yes under Revised Return option.
Will I get an acknowledgment after filing the return?
On successful submission of the return, an acknowledgement with a number in the format: (Registration Number::Type of return::Month and Year of the return) will be generated. This number becomes a reference number (Source Document number) for subsequent correspondence with the department in respect of the return.
Are the instructions for the return period Oct, 2012 – Mar, 2013 available?
Yes. Please go through the Instruction sheet and Guidelines given in the new excel utility, ‘Whats New’ and ‘Help’ sections of ACES Website. In case of doubts relating to offline utility or the ACES software application, you may e-mail to ACES Service Desk at [email protected] or call toll-free 1800 425 4251. For any other queries on legal/procedural matters, please contact your jurisdictional Central Excise or Service Tax officer.
How do I get the form as an LTU assessee in offline utility?
There is an option for LTU in the first sheet. If you are filing return as LTU (Large Tax Paying Unit), then select the option as Yes.
How do I fill up the LTU City?
The LTU City need not be filled up and will be auto fetched by the system after uploading.
A6 – How to select the LTU option?
Assessees, falling under the jurisdiction of any Large Tax Payers Unit (LTU) must select ‘Yes’ in ‘A6.1’. Also, ‘A6.2 – ‘ will be fetched from the registration database of the Assessee, when the XML file is uploaded, and it will be reflected when the return is viewed. These fields are auto-populated in the online version.
What are the fields which are populated by the system and need not be entered while filling up the offline utility?
The auto fetched fields after uploading are:
a. Name of the Assessee.
b. LTU City in case of LTUs
c. Premises Code.
Is the RC No. field case sensitive?
No. Even if the RC No. is entered in lower case, the same will be automatically converted into Upper case.
When I try to enter Premises Code, I am not allowed. What do I do?
Premises Code will be auto fetched by the system after uploading and need not be entered in the form.
A1 – What is to be selected for the type of return?
One of the options (ORIGINAL / REVISED) can be selected, as applicable to the Assessee, for filing the return.
A3 – Name of the Assessee?
This field is disabled for any entry by the assessee in the offline Utility. Based on the registration number entered, the name will be fetched from the registration database of the assessee, when the XML file is uploaded, and it will be displayed when the return is viewed. This field is auto-populated in the online version.
What A4 & A5 fields are meant for?
These fields are meant for the Financial Year and Period of Return required to be entered/selected by the Assessee.
A7 – How to find out Premises Code?
This field need not be entered by the Assessee. It will be fetched from the registration database of the assessee when the XML file is uploaded and it will be reflected when the return is viewed. This field is auto-populated in the online version.
A8 – Constitution of the Assessee?
The Assessee has to select the appropriate category applicable to them and as already furnished in form ST-1. When ‘, ‘or ‘ is selected in the ” field system will display the ST3 return with payable/paid sheets in quarterly format and for other category of Constitution the payable/paid sheets in monthly format
A9 – List of Taxable Services – How to select many services?
To add more than one service, click on the ‘Add Service’ button. Similarly, if any service has been wrongly selected, it can be deleted by clicking on the ‘Red colour cell’ and then click on the ‘Delete Service’ button.
How to fill up Service wise details?
When the taxable services applicable are selected, the service-wise payable screens will be populated and displayed for filling up the data.
Is there any provision to enter specific rate of Tax?
Yes. Table is available in ‘B1.16 / B2.16’ for entering details of services liable to specific Rate of Tax. The rates applicable can be entered along with the taxable units chargeable, in this table. The system will calculate & populate the Service Tax payable
Is Cess payable on the Tax calculated under specific rate of tax?
Yes. EDU Cess at 2% and SHE Cess at 1% on Net Service Tax payable has to be paid. If the Cess rates are entered by the Assessee, the system will calculate & populate the amount of EDU/SHE Cess payable under ‘B1.20’ and ‘B1.21’.
What is R & D Cess deduction?
Notification No. 14/2012 ST dated 17.03.2012 provides for exemption of R & D Cess payable on import of Technology.
How to enter the value of services imported?
This can be entered under ‘B2.5’.
A10 – Category of Registrant/ Partial Reverse Charge: What is Partial Reverse Charge?
a. The details are available in the Notification No. 30/2012-ST dated 20-06-2012, effective from 01-07-2012, made applicable to certain specified services.
b. Service Provider has to select ‘A10.1’.
c. If the Assessee is liable to pay tax under Partial Reverse Charge as Provider, he will have to select ‘Yes’ under ‘A10.1’ and ‘A10.3’ and select the percentage from ‘A10.5’.
d. Service Receiver has to select ‘A10.2’.
e. If the Assessee is liable to pay tax under Partial Reverse Charge as Receiver, he will have to select ‘Yes’ under ‘A10.2’ and ‘A10.4’ and select the percentage from ‘A10.6’.
*Note: Please refer to latest Notification(s) in this regard.
How to enter the details of exemptions, if any availed, under particular Notification No.?
For entering details of any exemption availed under a Notification and entering the amount of exemption claimed, the below mentioned steps have to be followed:
a. ‘A11.1’ – This field should be selected as ‘YES’.
b. ‘A11.2’ – After selecting ‘YES’ in ‘A11.1’ this field will be enabled. A drop down list of Notification No.(s) / Sl. No will be enabled and displayed in ‘A11.2’, relevant for the selected service. The Assessee can select the Exemption Notification No. / Sl. No. to be availed by him. The assessee should select the Notifications and Sl.Nos. from the drop-down only and should not enter the numbers. Entering of text / No’s is not allowed in these fields.
How to avail abatement?
a. ‘A12.1’ – This field should be selected as ‘YES’.
b. ‘A12.2’ – After selecting ‘YES’ in ‘A12.1’, this field will be enabled. A drop down list of Notification No(s) / Sl No will be enabled and displayed in A12.2, relevant for the selected service. The Assessee can select the Abatement Notification No / Sl No availed by him. The assessee should select the Notifications and Sl.No’s from the drop-down only and should not enter the numbers. Entering of text / No’s is not allowed in these fields.
What to fill up in B1.1 to B1.6?
The texts in the rows are self-explanatory and for further details, you may go through the Instruction sheet available in the notified statutory Form ST-3 vide Notification No: 01/2013-Service Tax dated 06th March 2013. For any further clarification on these fields, the jurisdictional Superintendent/Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner may be approached.
How to fill up B1.8/B1.11?
If the Assessee desires to fill up any amount in these fields, they should have selected the applicable Notifications from ‘A11/A12’. Otherwise ‘B1.8/B1.11’ cannot be filled.
How to fill up B1.15 / B2.15, Service Tax Rate-wise Break up of NET TAXABLE VALUE for ADV rate?
When various Tax Rates are filled up in this table against certain taxable value, the total of such rate-wise values should be equal to the ‘NET TAXABLE VALUE’ arrived in ‘B1.14’. For further details, the illustrations pasted in ACES Website under Help section, may please be referred.
‘B1.15/B2.15’ is meant only for filling up ad valorem rates of Tax applicable only
How do I fill up specific rate of Tax as a provider of ‘Foreign Exchange Broker Service’ / ‘Lottery Ticket Selling Agents’?
Specific illustrations are given for the said services and are available in ACES Website under Help section.
How Cess payable amount has to be calculated on Service Tax payable whether before deducting R&D cess or on Net Service Tax payable after deducting R&D cess?
EDU Cess and SHE Cess are calculated @ 2% and 1% respectively, on the Net Service Tax payable amount arrived at ‘B1.19/B 2.19’ after deduction of R&D Cess.
If my tax liability is to the extent of 25% of the Value and tax rate is 12%, can I pay tax at 3% for the full value?
No. The extent of tax liability on certain specified percentage of value is prescribed in the Notifications issued for computing the Taxable value. This does not change or modify the % of tax liability. The Rate of Tax remains the same as 12% only. If an incorrect rate is entered by the user, the return will be rejected on uploading, during the XML processing.
If I am eligible to avail abatement from the value to the extent of 60% and liable to pay tax on the 40% of the value, can I pay tax @ 4.8% on the unabated value instead of 12%, as the ultimate tax payment amount is going to be the same?
No. The law provides for abatement from Value. However, tax is liable to be paid only at the prescribed rates. In the issue in question, 40% of the value should be computed and tax should be paid on that abated value @ 12%. If an incorrect rate is entered by the user, the return will be rejected on uploading, during the XML processing.
IV. ADVANCE PAYMENT SECTION
Where do I enter the advance amount of Tax deposited?
It should be entered in the table under part ‘C’ meant for Service Tax payable in advance. Any Challan No. entered in this section should be entered again in ‘H1’ also.
What is meant by book adjustment in the case of specified Govt. Departments?
This is meant for those Central Govt. Departments who are liable to pay Service Tax for the services provided by them but the payment of the same is effected by way of ‘Adjustment of entries’ and not by Cash.
How to enter the amount of late fee paid for delayed filing of returns?
A separate row no. ‘G10’ has been provided for this purpose in the return.
How to calculate the late fee for delayed filing of the return?
New provision has been made in ACES to identify the delayed filling of returns, no. of days of delay beyond the due date and the late fee payable. After the returns are successfully filed, these details will be populated and displayed in the view option for Assessee, as provided in Rule 7C of Service Tax Rules, 1994.
Can I enter the payment of Arrears by CENVAT adjustment?
Yes. This amount can be entered in PART ‘G’.
How to enter multiple Challans in ST-3?
Multiple Challans can be entered in the Challan Details Section in ‘H1, H2’ and Advance Payment details in Section C with Add Challan facility available therein.
What Challan details have to be entered in H1?
If any payment of Tax / Cess / Other Payments have been made by cash, all relevant challan nos. shall be entered in this table with their amounts which is mandatory. Even if they are entered in their respective sections, all Challan No’s should be entered in ‘H1’.
What is the restriction for entering an amount in I220.127.116.11 /I18.104.22.168/I22.214.171.124 and such other specific fields?
If any amount is entered in these fields, the details of the same should be given in the text field provided therein.
Can I enter EDU Cess and SHE Cess combined together in CENVAT section?
No. Separate tables have been provided for entries of credit taken and utilized on EDU Cess& SHE Cess.
Can I enter EDU Cess and SHE Cess combined together in CENVAT section?
No. Separate tables have been provided for entries of credit taken and utilized on EDU Cess& SHE Cess.
Can I add ISD as new category of registrant at the time of filling up the return?
No. Such Assessee will have to file amendment application in ACES to add ISD as a category and only after that they can file the return.
What is CFC?
CFC refers to Certified Facilitation Centres. For more details on this, Click here – https://www.aces.gov.in/CFC.jsp
Is there provision to enter the details of Certified Facilitation Centre (CFC)?
Yes. This has been provided at ‘PART L’ in the Distributor sheet of the ST3 return.
Where to find the FAQs on CFC?
The FAQs on CFC are available in the ACES homepage under CFC menu option. Click here – https://www.aces.gov.in/CFC_FAQ.jsp