Filing of returns, seeking refund/rebate of taxes, obtaining various permissions and approvals from the Department of Central Excise and Service Tax can now be made online. This follows the introduction of ACES (Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax), a workflow based application software at the Commissionerate of Service Tax and at the Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU) in Chennai on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after launching the project, V Sridhar, Member, Central Board of Excise and Customs, said, this centralised web enabled software would eventually replace the current practice of manual work. Besides obtaining various permissions and approvals from the department, the new software could also be used for dispute resolution by an electronic interface.

Sridhar said ACES was a mission mode project of the Central government under the national e-governance plan. He said the pilot project that was launched in Chennai enabled assessees to obtain registration under Central Excise/Service Tax online, to electronically file statutory returns, claims, and intimations besides track the status of these documents online.

The software also had features to generate business related alerts and messages. The project is one of the important steps taken in the information technology
consolidation undertaken by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Under the IT consolidation project, it is proposed to connect all the Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax offices across the country through a wide area network (WAN) and provide linkages to other stake holders like custodians, banks , Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Income Tax for validation and online clearances, Sridhar further added.

He said that ACES was first launched in the Large Taxpayer Unit at Bangalore in December 2008 and received 100 per cent patronage. Chennai has been selected as the next ACES linked station, considering the active co-operation extended by the central excise and service tax assessees here.

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