Saturday, November 17, 2012


on Saturday, November 17, 2012

To avoid inconvenience and delay, Service Tax assessees are requested not to wait till the last date for filing their ST3 returns. So far only about 6,000 returns are being filed per day in ACES in the new ST 3 format for the period April to June, 2012, out of about 16 lakh registered assessees.

ST3 returns for the past half-yearly return filing periods up to March, 2012 can also be filed both through offline and online versions. Please do not wait till the last moment and file your return now to avoid congestion and inconvenience. Assessees can also take the help of the Certified Filing Centres ( CFCs) for filing returns.

Modified version of the Service Tax Return (ST3) for the quarter Apr-Jun,2012 is available for uploading to ACES .It is available in link given below offline version only and not online version. In view of the implementation of the Negative List concept in Service Tax with effect from 1st July, 2012, the return filing cycle of six months (April-September, 2012) has been split  

This new ST 3 Return will be only for the period April-June, 2012, when Negative List was not introduced. This return is available in offline utility only with view and print facility in online mode. The last date of filing the ST 3 return for the quarter Apr-Jun,2012 has been extended by CBEC up to 25th November, 2012 vide Order No 3/2012 dated 15th October, 2012.

1. Regarding filing of return for the period from July-September, 2012, further announcements will be made in due course. 
2. ST3 returns for the past half- yearly return filing periods up to March, 2012 can also be filed now both through offline and online versions. 
3. Please do not wait until the last moment and file your return now to avoid congestion and inconvenience. 

Service Tax
Excel Utilities
Last Updated
XML Schema
Last Updated
Download ST3 Return Excel Utility
(For Filing ST-3 returns for the period upto Oct-Mar 2011)

Download XML Schema for ST3 Return

Download ST3 Return Excel Utility
(For Filing ST-3 returns for the Quarter April-June 2012)

Download XML Schema for ST3 Return


Please Note that return for period (01.04.2012 to 30.06.2012)can not be filled in online mode ,you have to prepare it in offline mode and then xml file can be uploaded  and due date is 25.11.2012.

FAQ About ST-3 is given below

There are few Pre-requisites / Pre-conditions for the Assessee before he begins with Excel Utility: 
  1. The system should have Microsoft Office Excel 2003 or above 
  2. The system should have file compression software to unzip excel utility file 
  3. Ensure that the latest Excel Utility has been downloaded 
  4. Ensure that the Macros are enabled in the Excel 
  5. Ensure that the System Date is correct 
  6. Once utility is saved onto the computer as described above, open the utility and refer the detailed Instructions Sheet embedded within the utility before using the same. 
  7. Use the excel utility to prepare ST3 return and click on Validate & Submit button on the last page to generate XML file. The XML file will be saved in the same folder where the download utility is saved by the Assessee.

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 their online login at aces website under return head.

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-->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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