E-filing of excise, service tax returns mandatory

Aswathy.Nandakumar (Article Assistant ) (100 Points)

08 October 2011  


The finance ministry has made it mandatory for taxpayers to file their central excise and service tax returns electronically from October 1. E-filing through the Centre’s online tax payment application ACES (Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax) will be a must not only for returns due after October 1, but also for returns of past periods which have not been filed yet or are to be revised.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said the returns would have to be filed electronically by all assesses, including export-oriented units, small-scale industries or those availing of certain exemptions, irrespective of the duty paid by them in the preceding financial year. 

CBEC has also asked taxpayers to file various other documents on the electronic mode, such as the annual financial information statement and the annual installed capacity statement

The steps are being taken to make the transition to GST smooth. The finance ministry has set the next financial year as the target to introduce the indirect tax regime, which will subsume most of the taxes levied by the Centre and the states on sale of goods and supply of services. 

The government wants to strengthen its information technology backbone before switching to GST. It is designing a single portal for registration, filing returns and payment of taxes under GST. The system, called GST-N, will automatically segregate the data that needs to go to the state system. Payments will be done through RBI clearing accounts for states and the Centre. A pilot project is being undertaken in 11 states. States are expected to move to this IT platform even before the introduction of GST. The new platform would provide a common PAN-based taxpayer identification, a common return, and a common challan for tax payment. This will have the facility of reconciliation of transaction across different taxes value added tax, income tax and central excise resulting in detecting tax evasion and plugging loopholes.

Sub: Mandatory e-filing of Central Excise Returns in ACES-regarding 
It has been decided to make it mandatory for the assessees to submit the prescribed Central Excise Returns electronically w.e.f. 1st  day  of  October,  2011.    In  this  regard, the Central Excise (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2011 has been issued vide Notification No. 21/2011-CE (NT) dated 14.09.2011, amending Rule 12 and Rule 17 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002.  Similarly, the CENVAT Credit (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2011 has been issued vide Notification No.22/2011-CE (NT) dated 14.09.2011, amending Rule 9A of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004.  The above mentioned changes will come into effect on 01.10.2011. 

The following amendments have been made in Central Excise Rules, 2002 and CENVAT Credit Rules,

ER-1 Return, filed under Rule 12(1) of the Central Excise Rules, 2002, will have to be electronically filed irrespective of the duty paid in the preceding financial year. 

ER-2 Return, filed by 100% EOUs under Rule 17 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002, will be required to be filed electronically irrespective of the duty paid in the preceding financial year. 

ER-3 Return, filed under the provisos to Rule 12(1) of the Central Excise Rules, 2002, will be required to be filed by the concerned assessees including SSI units electronically irrespective of the duty paid in the preceding financial year. 

ER-4 Return (Annual Financial Information Statement), filed under Rule 12(2) (a) of the Central Excise Rules, 2002 will continue to be filed electronically by the assessees who are not exempted from filing such statement by a notification. 

ER-5 and ER-6 Returns, pertaining to principal inputs filed under Rule  9A  of  the  CENVAT  Credit  Rules,  2004,  will  continue to be electronically filed by the assessees who are not exempted from filing such declaration/return by a notification. 

ER-7 (Annual Installed Capacity Statement) filed under Rule 12(2A) (a) of the Central Excise Rules,2002, has to be filed by all assessees electronically. 

ER-8 Return, to be filed under the proviso to Rule 12(1) of the Central Excise Rules, 2002, by assessees availing the exemption under Notification No.1/2011-CE dated 01.03.2011 has to be filed electronically. 

3. As a large number of assessees may be required to file Central Excise Returns electronically as a result  of  the  above  changes,  it  is  requested  that  they  may  be  provided  all  assistance  so  as  to  help them in adopting the new procedure. 

4. Field Formations and Trade may also be informed suitably. 
5. Hindi version will follow