E-filing of Service Tax Return (ST-3) made mandatory for all Assessees with effect from 01.10.2011 vide Notification No. 43/2011 of Service Tax, dated 25.08.2011. These are the complete steps for Filing Service Tax Return Online. No manual returns could be entertained, filed or accepted. NIL return filing option is not available for ST assessees in Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES). They may enter the value and tax as zero and file the return.
Steps for E-Filing of Service Tax Return
Step1: Visit the website www.aces.gov.in
Step2: In that home page menu click on ‘Downloads’ as shown below.
Step3: Under Service Tax, download ST3 Return Excel Utility for quarter Apr-Jun 2012.
Step4: Save ACES E-Filing ST3 April-June 2012 zip file in any folder of the local computer. Click on the link below to download the Form ST3. The file will be as shown below.
Step5: After saving the file Extract the zip file using Winzip utility.
Step6: The EXCEL file consists of two sheets namely ‘Instructions’ and ‘Return’.
Step7: Go through the instructions before filing the Return. The Return Sheet is only the working sheet in which the Assessee have to enter his/her data.
Step8: To enter, validate and generate XML file it is necessary to enable macros in return preparation utility. Read ‘Before you begin’ of the instruction to enable macros.
Step9: Fill all the mandatory fields in the EXCEL Sheet then click on ‘Validate Return and Submit’.
Step10: Then it will validate the entire excel sheet and generate XML file if the data is found Correctly.
Step11: After generating XML file, the system will prompt for name & location of the file to be saved.
Step12: The file will save as RegistrationNumber_Date_Time.xml. Once the name of the file is generated and saved, don’t try to change the name of the file.
Step13: For uploading XML file into ACES Application the Assessee have to log in to ACES with Username and Password.
Step14: After login click on Access Ret ==> Efiling ==> upload to upload generated XML file of ST3 return.
Step15: In that upload screen fill the details like Return for the period, financial year, etc. Click on ‘browse’ to select XML file and save for uploading.
Step16: After clicking on upload the file will be uploaded and the Application will validate the data.
Step17: If the data is found to be correct then the XML will be uploaded successfully. If it is not correct the application will be rejected. After validating the data the application will process the XML file and upload into ACES database. (This may take some time).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Late Fee and Penalty for Filing Late Return?
The Section 70(1) of Finance Act, 1994 defines that if the returns are filed after the due date or delayed filing of return then a late fee not exceeding Rs. 20,000/- is payable. The late fee payable is given below:
- Delay up to 15 days: Rs. 500/-.
- Beyond 15 days but up to 30 days: Rs. 1000/-.
- Delay beyond 30 days: Rs.1000/- + Rs. 100/- per day of delay beyond 30 days from 31st day onwards. This Rs. 100/- per day continues till it reaches the limit of Rs. 20,000/-.
When to File ST3?
- Returns are filed once in 6 months:
- For the half-year starting from the 1st of April – 30th of September.
- The returns are to be filed by the 25th of October.
- Returns are filed for the half-year:
- Starting from the 1st of October – 31st of March.
- The returns are to be filed by the 25th of April.
- Due date for filing return for the period April – September 2011 was extended up to 20.01.2012.
- Return filing has been made Quarterly for the period April-June 2012 and the due date for the same is 25.11.2012.