Citizens' Issues
Helpdesk set up to assist e-filing of service tax returns

The authorities are trying to iron out the chinks in the current electronic tax payment mechanism; a dedicated toll-free number has also been provided for resolving problems

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is setting up a new helpdesk for addressing the issues faced by assessees while filing service tax returns online. According to Dr Dhananjay Samant, director and chief economist, Indian Merchants' Chamber, "The new helpdesk information should be released in one or two weeks. In the meantime assessees finding any difficulty in using the Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES) application can seek help of the ACES service desk by sending an
email to [email protected] 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."

Dr Samant was speaking after an interactive meeting on service tax organised by the Indian Merchants' Chamber (IMC) and the Bombay Chartered Accountants' Society (BCA) with B Ravichandran and KK Sharma, Commissioners of Service Tax, Mumbai.

The meeting covered administrative and other issues concerning service tax arising from recent amendments and notifications, including in particular, issues and difficulties relating to e-filing and e-payments. Assessees are facing problems, but the department is willing to extend all the help to move towards e-governance.

Dr Samant told Moneylife, "KC Johny or Rishi Goel will be the contact persons at the Churchgate (south Mumbai) office of CBEC."

CBEC had issued Notification No. 01/2010-Service Tax, dated 19 February 2010, making e-filing of service tax return (ST-3) mandatory, effective from 1 April 2010 for assessees who have paid total service tax of Rs10 lakh or more (including the amount of tax paid by utilisation of CENVAT credit) in the preceding financial year. Such assessees would have to file the half-yearly return (ST-3), electronically under sub-rule (2) of Rule 7 of the Service Tax Rules, 1994 and deposit the service tax liable to be paid, electronically, through Internet banking.

Even though 97% of payments are electronically carried out, only 1% of ST-3 returns are filed electronically. ST-3 returns are due from 1st October to 25th October. There are over 1.5 lakh registered service tax assessees of which more than 80,000 are active assessees. Most of the taxpayers face problems while filing their tax at the last minute. This practice leads to overloading of the system at the tax authorities' end and ultimately results in technical glitches. The department concurs that there are a few technical snags and there will be teething problems till the systems mature like the excise e-filing system that is working fine now.

The facility of e-filing of returns on the website (, as provided in the CBEC Circular No.791/24/2004-CX. dated 1.6.2004, has been withdrawn and the assessees are required to file their returns online or by uploading the downloadable off-line return utilities to the new ACES website (   

Further, to make it easy for the assessees to file returns in ACES, an XML schema has been hosted on the ACES website. By suitably modifying their own software application and using this schema the assessees can also generate an up-loadable form of return directly from their own database without the need to make a fresh data entry. Details for e-filing of returns are available in the 'Help Section' of this website under 'Learning Management Software' (LMS), 'User Manual' and FAQs and in the 'Download Section'.

There were non-technical issues like inability to get filing of an
e-acknowledgement if there was some missing/invalid data. The request was to provide e-acknowledgement so that it protected assessees from late filing. It is likely the department will consider this request. The other request was to allow 90 days from due date instead of filing date to submit any missing/invalid data. It is unlikely the department will allow the same as 90 days was considered a long enough period for any correction to e-filing.

There are issues relating to lack of identification for valid access to the system. Some assessees have not provided basic information like email addresses and phone numbers that the department requests from assessees. There are issues arising from system migration from SAP software to Wipro. There are cases where the branch information was not added to SAP software and hence was missing in the new system. The assessees having missing branch information on the new system are requested to submit branch address proof. There are issues like while deletion of a particular category of service, other categories except for the last also get deleted.

Department officials questioned why assessees registered for a particular category that was not related to their business. Assessees are requested to enter 'Nil' if no service was rendered for a particular category. The technical problem of deletion of categories will be looked after by the department, officials said.



sushil kumar gupta

6 years ago

st-3 return filed and rejected due to reason that premise code does not exist for the mentioned registeration no. please advise how to solve this problem

AB Karnik

6 years ago

My brother having valid letter confirming PAN based assessee code when used for e-payment flash msg that no database code. When checked at ST office it gave invalid PAN based code for his details. What can be solution

Sajjan Jindal elected to Executive Committee of Worldsteel Association

Mumbai: JSW Steel's vice-chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal has been elected to the executive committee of Worldsteel Association for the next one year, ending October 2011, reports PTI.

The board of directors of Worldsteel met on 4th October in Tokyo during its 44th annual conference to elect the new office bearers of the committee, a press release issued here today stated.

Mr Jindal is the second Indian elected to the executive committee after London-based ArcelorMittal's chairman Lakshmi Mittal, the release said.

The president and CEO of Japan's JFE Holdings, Hajime Bada, was elected as the association's new chairman.


Gold inches close to Sept high on global cues

New Delhi: Gold prices today climbed by Rs90 to Rs19,480 per ten grams, little short of the Rs19,500 level scaled on 30th September, on buying spree at home for the coming festival and marriage season amid firming global trend, reports PTI.

The precious metal regained strength on hectic buying amid reports that gold in London had touched a high of $1,329.60 an ounce.

Trading sentiment was bolstered by a rally in overseas markets after Japan decided to cut key interest rates and step up asset purchases to tackle a fast-appreciating yen against a weakening dollar. This boosted gold's demand as safe investment alternative.

Besides, silver held steady at Rs33,700 per kg on restricted buying by traders and industrial units at existing higher levels.

Gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity rose by Rs90 each to Rs19,480 and Rs19,380 per ten grams respectively.

Sovereign held steady at Rs15,400 per piece of eight grams in restricted buying activity.

On the other hand, silver ready maintained previous levels of Rs33,700 per kg, while silver weekly-based delivery lost Rs35 to Rs33,190 per kg, on lack of necessary buying support.

Silver coins continued to trade around previous levels of Rs35,400 for buying and Rs35,500 for selling of 100 pieces.


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