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I got ST registration on/after 01.07.2012 with the service description, ‘Other Than in the Negative List’. Can I file the return now?

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 to 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. Only after approval of the amendment by departmental officers, these assessees will be able to file their returns for the period from July, 2012 onwards.

The ST-3 Return for the period, July-Sept., 2012 is quarterly or half-yearly?

It is a quarterly return.

Is the new ST-3 return for the period, July-Sept., 2012 available in both online or offline modes?

It is available in offline mode only as of now.

How to download the new Excel utitlity for ST3 return for the period July-Sept 2012?

The new Excel utitlity for ST3 return for the period July-Sept 2012 can be downloaded from ‘DOWNLOADS’ section of ACES website, or after logging in, under the navigational path RET-> e-Filing -> Download eFiling Utility.

Are there any changes in the new format of ST-3 return for the period, July-Sept., 2012?

Few modifications have been carried out to overcome the difficulties in entering certain details such as R & D Cess, Specific Rate of Tax etc.

Any new instructions as the ST-3 format are modified?

Please go through the instruction sheet and guidelines given in the new excel utility, ‘What?s 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 or call toll-free 1800 425 4251. For any other queries on legal/procedural matters, please contact your jurisdictional Central Excise or Service Tax office.

Are there any built in validations which may result in rejection of return?

Yes. There are a few mandatory validations and if incorrect entries are made, the return would be rejected. Some of them are listed below.

a) Registration Number does not exist in the database.

b) If a non-LTU assessee selected ?Yes? in A6.1.

c) Wrong selection of Constitution resulting in display of payable/paid sheet in quarterly format instead of monthly format and vice versa.

d) Entering text in fields having drop-down values

e) Technical Error – tampering of XML file generated before uploading, error at the time of generation of XML file etc.

How to ascertain the errors if the return is rejected?

When the return is rejected, the reasons for the same would be displayed under the ?status of xml upload? view facility.

Do we get any mail in case of rejection of return with possible reasons?

Yes. Mail will be automatically sent by the system to the Assessee?s e-mail ID mentioned/available in the registration data. Hence, it must be ensured that the e-mail ID in the ACES registration database is updated. You may also check the spam folder.

Instructions for filling up the new ST-3 offline return

A1 – What is to be selected?

Only one of the options (ORIGINAL / REVISED) can be selected as applicable to the Assessee.

A2 – What to enter in this field?

digits PAN-based or Temp-based RC number should be entered.

A3 – Name of the Assessee

This field is disabled for any entry by the assessee. 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.

A4 & A5

As this return is meant for the specific period, July – Sept. 2012, this field is auto-populated by the system and need not be entered by the assessee

A6 – How to select the option?

Assessees, falling under the jurisdiction of any Large Tax Payers? Unit (LTU) must select ?Yes? in A6.1. A6.2 – ?Name of LTU Opted for? 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.

A7 – How to find out Premises Code?

This field need not be entered by the Assessee. This field 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.

A8 – Constitution of the Assessee:

There are more categories compared to the old version of form ST-3. The Assessee has to select the appropriate category applicable to them and as already furnished in form ST-1. When ?Proprietorship/Individual?, ?Limited Liability Partnership? or ?A Firm? is selected in the ?Constitution of the Assessee? field system will display the ST3 return with payable/paid sheets in quarterly format and for other values 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 clicking 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.

A10 – Category of Registrant/ Partial Reverse Charge: What is Partial Reverse Charge?

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.

Service Provider has to select A10.1

Service Receiver has to select A10.2

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 A10.4.

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.

How to enter the details of exemptions, if any availed under particular Notification/s?

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 Notification No. / Sl. No. to be availed by them. The assessee should select the Notifications and Sl.Nos. from the drop-down only and should not enter the numbers.

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 Nos /Sl No will be enabled and displayed in A12.2, relevant for the selected service. The Assessee can select the Notification No / Sl No availed by them. The assessee should select the Notifications and Sl.Nos. from the drop-down only and should not enter the numbers.

How to avail mega exemption notification?

Gist of the mega exemption Notification No 25/2012 ST dated 20.06.2012, effective from 01.07.2012, is made available in the excel utility in the Instruction sheet. This contains the serial no and the description of various services covered therein.

How to fill up the details of Provisional Assessment, if any, in the return?

In A13.1, when Yes is selected, A13.2 will be enabled to enter the Provisional Assessment order number and date.

What to fill up in B1.1 to B1.6?

The text 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 Boards Order No: 01/2013-Service Tax dated 06th March 2013. For any further clarification on these fields, the Jurisdictional SP/AC/DC 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 claim other deductions in B1.12?

For entering any amount in this field the Assessee should also fill up the details of such deductions claimed, in the text field provided there in. If this field is filled, the Return will be marked for R & C.

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.

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 to Tax in this table and the system will populate the Tax payable.

Is Cess payable on the Tax calculated under specific rate of tax?

Yes. EDU Cess at 2% on the tax payable and SHE Cess at 1% on Tax payable has to be paid. If the Cess rates are entered by the Assessee, the system will populate the amount of EDU/SHE Cess payable under B1.20 and B1.21. Please also refer to the Ilustration for entering Specific rate in ST3 return is given at the end.

What is R & D Cess deduction?

In term of notification no 14/2012 ST dated 17.03.2012, it provides for exemption of R & D Cess payable on import of technology from the tax payable on the services provided.

How to fill up B2.1 to B2.21?

This is similar to what is explained for Provider section from B1.1 to B1.21.

How to enter the value of services imported

This can be entered under B2.5.

How to fill up Partial Reverse Charge under B1.6 & B2.7?

For filling up any amount in these fields, A10.3/A10.4 should have been selected as ‘Yes’ and A10.5/A10.6 should be enabled with the appropriate percentage, selected from the drop down list.

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.

For Illustration click here

What is meant by book adjustment in the case of specified Govt. Departments?

This is meant for those Central Govt. Departments who are liable for 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.

Where do we enter the advance amount of Tax deposited?

They should be entered in the table under part ‘C’ meant for Service Tax payable in advance.

Can I enter the payment of Arrears by CENVAT adjustment?

Yes. This amount can be entered in PART ‘G’.

What Challan details have to be entered in H1?

If any payment of Cash / Cess / Other Payment have been made by cash all relevant challan nos. shall be entered in this table with their amounts.

How to enter details of multiple challans?

Any number of challans can be entered by clicking the ?Add Challan? button in the Challan details section.

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.

What is the restriction for entering an amount in I3.1.2.6 / I3.2.2.6 / I3.3.2.6?

If any amount is entered in these fields, the details of the same should be given in brief in the text field provided therein.

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 have to file the return.

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.

Is there provision to enter the details of Certified Facilitation Centre (CFC)?

Yes. This has been provided under PART ?L? of 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 and departmental officers.

FAQs on filing of returns using web-form (on-line)

How can I e-file the return on-line?

After logging into the ACES system, click on the ?RET? module displayed in the menu item at home page. Select ?File return? option. Sub-menu for different types of returns namely, ?ER-1?, ?ER-2?, ?ER-3?, ?ER-4?, ?ER-5?, ?ER-6?,?Dealer return? OR ST-3 will be displayed. Select the required option. Navigation path is

Login as Assessee –> RET –> File Returns –> ER-1

Login as Assessee –> RET –> Fill ST-3 –> Fill

After filling all the details, in the last page click on ?SAVE? button. A ?confirmation view? screen will display the return in its entirety. Verify for the correctness of details entered. Once it is confirmed that the entered details are in order, click on ?SUBMIT? button.

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 case of Central Excise Returns (ER-1), the return will get partially saved in case of disconnection (there is no explicit save button for partial save). The return partially saved can be retrieved and completed using ?Complete return? available in ?RET? menu.

In case of ST-3, there is a provision to save the return explicitly (before submission). The returns can be completed partially/fully using ?Amend return? option in ?RET? menu.

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 next field of the section for data entry.

(ii) Moving across pages: After you have filled the data in a page, you can move to the next page by clicking ?Next? button. On clicking this button, the system will validate all the entries on the page and lead you to the next sheet (if the data is filled properly on the page or when you want to proceed despite warnings in case of minor errors). Similarly, ?Previous? button can be used for moving to a 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 are to be filled before proceeding further.

b) Wherever required, data must be in correct format. For example

(i) Challan no to be a 20 digit number consisting of, 7 digit BSR code, 8 digit date of tender in the format ?ddmmyyyy? and 5 digit challan no. For example, ?12345670112200812345?

(ii) Wherever columns are available for providing Quantity, decimals upto two places only are allowed.

(iii) Columns where Amount is to be provided, only whole number is allowed.

In Dealer Return, after completing all information and clicking on Next button, an error message appears ?MONTH YEAR WHICH YOU ARE FILING RETURN, RECORD ALREADY EXISTS?. Please help.

This error will occur if the user has already submitted the Return for the mentioned month and year. In ACES, once user has submitted return for a particular month and year, he will not be able to submit the return again for the same month and year.

How will I know if I have filled my returns correctly?

In ACES you can view and verify the return submitted by you using

RET–> List Original Return (in case of Central Excise)

RET–> View ST-3 (in case of Service Tax)

How do I amend my saved ST-3 Return?

You can access saved ST-3 Return for amendment by clicking on Amend ST-3 option of Fill ST-3 submenu under RET menu. Once ST-3 Return is submitted in ACES the return cannot be amended.

How do I revise my ST-3 Return?

You can revise your ST-3 return once within 90 days after filing the original return, by clicking on Revise ST-3 option of Fill ST-3 submenu under RET menu.

Will I get an acknowledgment after filing the return?

On the successful submission of a return, an acknowledgement with a number in the format ?registration number_Type of return_Month and Year of the return? will be shown. For example, for the ER-1 return filed for the month of December, 2009 by an assessee having registration no AAABC7865HXM001, the number ?AAABC7865HXM001_ER1_122009? is generated as acknowledgement. This number becomes a reference number (Source Document number) for subsequent correspondences with the department in respect of the return.

FAQs on filing of returns using EXCEL downloadable Utility

What is downloadable utility?

In ACES the Assessee can file his returns online by filling up the web-form or by using downloadable utility available in ACES website. Downloadable utility is an offline utility which can be downloaded, filled off-line and submitted on-line. The generated XML file should be uploaded into ACES.

What are the pre-requisites for filling data in this utility?

Following are prerequisites for filing data in offline utility:

        1. The version of Microsoft Excel in your system should be Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and above

        2. Make sure that you have downloaded the latest Excel Utility from ACES website / application to your local system

        3. Please enable the Macros (if disabled) as per the following instructions:

                – On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Security.

                – Click on either Medium or High to select the ‘Security Level’.

                – On the Trusted Publishers tab, select the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box.

        Please make sure that your System Date is correct.

Do I need to download utility each time I file a return or 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:

1. 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.)

2. 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.

3. Generate XML: There is “Validate Return and Submit” button on last sheet “Challan” 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 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).

4. Both files are saved in the same folder of your system where Efiling Utility is placed/ saved (while downloading the e-filing utility).

5. 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 of Return. 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 an Option for NIL Return in the first sheet. In case you are filing a NIL Return then change this option to “Yes”. On selection Yes, utility will ask you to freeze the option and then delete all the sheets that are not applicable.

In ST-3 Offline Utility when I enter premises code, an error appears ?Premises code Number accepts only 10 digits alphanumeric characters?. Please help.

Please ensure that you enter 10 characters premises code. System does not allow less than or more than 10 characters code. This code can be alphanumeric (all numeric, all alphabetic or alphanumeric). The structure of 10 characters premises code is [Location Code of 6 characters + 4 alphanumeric characters]. User can check the premises code through RET—> Fill ST-3 –> Fill (Check premises code here).

How to generate XML file after filling the sheets in the offline utility?

Once all relevant fields of the sheet have been filled up, clicking on “Validate Return and Submit” button will again validate all the sheets and XML will be generated if data is found OK.

1. After generating the XML, the Utility will prompt you the name and location of the files saved

2. The name of the XML file that has been generated by the system will be the Registration Number_Date_StampTime.xml e.g. AAABC7865HXM001_131200834021PM.xml or AAGPI2894EXD001_24-Jun-0910603PM.xml

How do I upload my offline return?

You can browse and upload offline return (XML file) by logging into ACES with your user-id and password and navigating in the ACES website in the following manner:

RET–> eFiling for Returns –>Upload File (In case of ER-3)

RET–> eFiling–>Upload File (In case of ST-3)

What does the ?status of returns? mean?

Status of returns implies the status of offline returns uploaded into the system. Status of returns submitted through offline utility can be either Uploaded or Filed or Rejected. You can view the status of your return submitted using offline utility through:

RET–> eFiling for Returns–> View Status (In case of CE)

RET–> eFiling –> View Status (In case of ST)

When will I know whether my uploaded return is accepted or rejected by ACES?

Returns submitted through offline utility can have follows status:

Uploaded: Denotes that return is uploaded and under processing by the system. You should view again after some time

Filed: Denotes that uploaded return is accepted by the system

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

The result of the acceptance or otherwise of the return filed off line will be known within one business day at present.

When are offline returns rejected?

Returns would not be accepted due to some technical errors validated by the system. For example, such errors may be wrong mention of premise code, mismatch of registration numbers, mismatch of period of return filed etc.

What to do when my return is rejected?

Errors due to which return is rejected are displayed when you click on hyperlink on rejected return. Please also look into the error the systems shows for the rejection of the return and correct the error. If required, returns can be corrected and then new xml file generated and uploaded 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.

While clicking on “Validate & Submit” button on worksheet on eFiling Dealer Return, it says ‘Compile error in hidden module: Module 5’ and system does not generate the XML to be uploaded?

This error will not occur if the user is using Microsoft Office Excel 2003 version or above

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