Subject: - Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES): Implementation of Pilot project w.e.f 18/9/2009.The Committee formation of Task Force and Help Desk in respect of ACES.
TRADE NOTICE No.18/2009
Members of the trade and public are hereby informed that the Central Board of Excise & Customs has developed a new software application called Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES), which aims at improving tax-payer services, transparency, accountability and efficiency in the indirect tax administration. ACES is being rolled-out in phases from 18.09.2009 in Ahmedabad-I Commissionerate. ACES aims to automate all major processes in Central Excise through a workflow-based application. It will replace the current applications of SERMON, SACER, SAPS, STREMS, used in Central Excise and Service Tax for capturing returns and registration details of the assessees. Using the ACES application, the users will themselves be able to take assessee registration online, electronically file statutory returns, claims, intimations and permissions, refunds and requests for provisional assessment, view and track the status of their documents online. Besides, they will also get business related alerts/messages.
The ACES application has four interfaces for:
Ø Central Excise Assessees
Ø Service Tax Assessees
Ø Central Excise Departmental Officers and
Ø Service Tax Departmental Officers.
In the beginning following modules of ACES are being made available:
(a) Central Excise Registration (REG)
(b)Central Excise Returns ( ER 1, 2, 3,4,5,6 and Dealer return) (RET)
(c) Claims, Intimations & Permissions (CLI)
ER 7 Return and other modules namely Provisional Assessment (PRA), Refunds (REF), Export (EXP), Dispute resolution (DSR) and Audit (AUD) will be made available in due course.
To transact business on ACES a user has to first register himself/herself with ACES. This registration is not a statutory registration as envisaged in Central Excise rules. Such ‘Registration with ACES’ will have to be done separately for Central Excise as well as Service Tax. Described herein below are steps for taking registration by a new Assessee, existing assessee and non-assessee.
(i) The user needs to log onto the system, through internet at http://www.aces.gov.in
(ii) He/she chooses the Central Excise or Service Tax module as the case may be, for which the registration is required.
(iii) Submits the form “Registration with ACES”, by furnishing a self-chosen user ID and e-mail ID.
(iv) The system will check for availability of the chosen User ID and then generate a password and send it to him by e-mail.
(v) The user then re-logs-in and proceeds 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. For security reasons, he has to change his/her password immediately.
(vi) ACES provides assistance of ‘Know your location code’ for choosing correct jurisdictional office.
(vii) The system instantaneously generates a RC number after which the registration request goes to AC/DC. After due processing, the AC/DC generates the RC and a message to this effect is sent to the assessee electronically.
(viii) Depending on the option chosen by the assessee, the RC can be sent by mail or can be collected in person.
(ix) Wherever the assessee had made a wrong choice of jurisdictional Commissionerate/ Division/ Range while submitting registration form, ACES provides a facility to the AC/DC to forward the application to the correct jurisdictional officer to issue registration.
(x) The registration number will be same as the current 15-digit format with minor change such as
For-PAN based Assessees
1-10 digits – PAN of the Assessee
11-12–EM (Excise Manufacturer) or ED (Excise Dealer)
13-15–Systems generated alphanumeric serial number
For Service tax, instead of ST the 11th and 12thdigits will be SD.
For non PAN based assessee
1-4 digits TEMP
5-10 Systems generated alpha numeric number
11-12 EM (Excise Manufacturer) or ED (Excise Dealer)
13-15–Systems generated alphanumeric serial number
(b) Existing Assessee
(i) The existing assessees will not have to take fresh registrations. They have to only register with the ACES application. This will be done in the following manner :-
(ii) ACES application will automatically send mails to the e-mail IDs of the assessee, as available in the existing registration data base, indicating a TPIN number, and password. The mail will contain a hyperlink to the website.
(iii) Assessee clicks on the hyperlink and is taken to ACES application.
(iv) Assessee submits the form after filling the requisite information including the password provided in the e-mail, a new User ID and new password.
(v) On successful registration with ACES, the assessee can transact business through ACES.
(vi) After introduction of ACES if any assessee does not receive any e-mail from ACES he/ she should contact the jurisdictional range officer to confirm/modify his e-mail ID in the system after which the system will generate a new mail communicating the TPIN and password.
(c) Non Assessee
(i) This category of registration is given in ACES to any individual, firm or company which requires to transact with the Central Excise or Service Tax Department, though not an assessee such as (a) merchant exporter, (b) co-noticee, (c) refund applicant, (d) persons who have failed to obtain CE/ST registration as required under the law and against whom the Department has initiated proceedings and (e) persons who are required to tender any payment under CE/ST Act /Rules. The Non assessees are not required to file any tax returns.
(ii) Where such persons desire to seek non-assessee registration they follow same steps as in case of new assessee except that while choosing the registration form in step (v) they have to choose and fill in the Non assessee form.
(iii) While giving the PAN the non assessee should note that in case the assessee is taking such registration for claiming any refund or rebate only valid PAN should be given or else their claims will be rejected by the system.
(iv) A Non-assessee registration can be given by the designated officer of the Commissionerate also.
The assesses can electronically file statutory returns of Central Excise and Service tax by choosing one of the two facilities to be offered by the department at present: (a) they can file it online, or (b) download the off-line return utilities which can be filled-in and uploaded to the system through the internet.
Steps for preparing and filing returns
(i) Assessee downloads the Offline return preparation utility from one of the websites:
(ii) Prepares the return offline using this utility. The return preparation utility contains preliminary validations which are thrown up by the utility from time to time. Certain corrections are mandatory while certain may be over looked by the assessee, if required.
(iii) Assessee logs in using the User ID and password in the respective module of Central Excise or Service Tax as the case may be.
(iv) Selects RET from the main menu and further chooses required activity such as e-filing/ amending/Revise return as the case may be and upload the return.
(v) Returns uploaded through this procedure are validated by the ACES before acceptance into the system which may take up to one business day. Assesse can track the status of the return by selecting the appropriate option in the RET sub menu. The status will appear as “uploaded” meaning under process by ACES, “Filed” meaning successfully accepted by the system or “Rejected” meaning the ACES has rejected the return due to validation error. The rejected returns can be resubmitted after corrections.
(vi) Returns can also be prepared and filed on line by selecting the appropriate option under RET module after logging into the ACES.
(vii) All validations are thrown out during preparation of return in this mode and the status of the return filed using the online mode is instantaneously shown by ACES.
(viii) Once the Central Excise returns are filed online in ACES or uploaded to the system using the off-line utility, the same can not be modified or cancelled by the assessee.
(ix) Self-assessed CE returns after scrutiny by the competent officer may result into modification which can be viewed by the assessee online as ‘Reviewed’ return.
The ACES application is designed to accept digitally signed documents. However, in the beginning this functionality is not going to be activated. Pending its activation the electronic returns will be filed into ACES without digital signatures. Hence, wherever the returns are submitted through ACES there will not be any requirement to submit signed hard copy separately.
System Requirements for ACES:
To use ACES following systems requirements are prescribed:
In case of any difficulty in accessing or using the ACES Application, assessees 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 6 PM.
( BINOY KUMAR )
Central Excise, Ahmedabad-I.
F. No. IV/16-4/Comp/LAN/08-09-II Date 15.09.2009.
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