Latest Service tax return form ST-3 version 1.2

Service tax department issued latest service tax return form ST 3 version 1.2 which will work for the service tax return October 2012 to March 2013 and afterwards.

This excel utility can be used only for the ST3-Return to be filed for the period/s, October 2012 to March 2013 and thereafter. Assessee can file the return for one or more than one service offered from one or more than one premises as well. 

The excel utility can be used for creating a new file in XML format for e-filing of your returns. The e-filing Excel Utility is an Excel Workbook that consists of one worksheet.

e-filing consists of two sub-processes: firstly, generation of XML file of the ST3 Return and secondly  uploading of generated xml file into ACES application.

1. The version of Microsoft Excel in your computer should be Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and above.

2. The computer should have a file compression software to unzip excel utility file.

3. Make sure that you have downloaded the latest ST3-Return Excel Utility from ACES application to your computer.

4. It is necessary to ENABLE the execution of macros in Return-Preparation-Utility in order to enter, validate and generate .XML file for upload. Follow these steps to ENABLE execution of macros depending on the version of [Microsoft Office Excel] being used to open the Return-Preparation-Utility :

i-[Microsoft Office Excel 2003]
Navigate through the following excel menu option to reduce the level of security in executing macros :
Tools --> Macros --> Security --> Low
Tools --> Macros --> Security --> Medium
Save the excel-utility and re-open it.

ii-[Microsoft Office Excel 2007]
Navigate through the following excel menu options to reduce the level of security in executing macros :
Excel Options --> Trust Centre --> Trust Centre Settings --> Macro Settings --> Enable all macros
Excel Options --> Trust Centre --> Trust Centre Settings --> ActiveX Settings --> Enable all controls without restriction and without prompting
Save the excel-utility and re-open it.

iii-[Microsoft Office Excel 2010]
When you open the EXCEL-UTILITY, the yellow Message Bar appears with a shield icon and the Enable Content button.
Click on the Enable Content to enable the macros.

5. Please make sure that your System Date is correct.

6. Though with effect from 1st July 2012, classification of services has been dispensed with, the assessee is required to select the name(s) of taxable service(s).  Assessees, registered or having amended their registration on or after 01.07.2012 with the service description 'Other than in the Negative List' have to amend their Registration online to delete the said description and add the description(s) of relevant Taxable Service(s). 

1. e-filing ST3 consists of one worksheet initially, i.e., "Return" name of which is displayed in the tab at the bottom of the worksheet.

2. The sheets for entering services payable data are added dynamically by the excel utility. The sheets are named as "Payable-Service (1)", "Payable-Service(2)" etc. The Utility will add a new payable sheet when you select 'Taxable Service Provided' from the dropdown on sheet "Return". At the same time, the utility will add new sheets for Paid-Service, Challan-Service, CENVAT, Distributor etc.

I. Fill up the Return data: Navigate to each field of every section in the sheet to provide applicable data in correct format.  (Formats will get reflected while filling data.) 

II. Validating Sheets: Click on the ''Validate this sheet" button to ensure that the sheet has been properly filled in and also data has been furnished in proper format. If there are some errors on the sheet, e-filing utility will prompt you to correct the same.

In such cases, e-filling utility will not allow you to proceed further until you rectify the errors.

There is "Validate Return & Generate XML" button on the last sheet "Distributor" for validating all the entries in your return. If you click on this button, utility will validate all the sheets one by one. In case there is some error identified on some sheet, then it will prompt you about all the errors in your return and will ask to revalidate the sheet.

III. Generate XML: After all the required fields have been filled in properly and validated, clicking on ''Validate Return & Generate XML" button will re-check all the sheets and a new file in XML format will be generated.

Both files will be saved in the same folder in your system where e-filing ST3-Return Excel Utility was saved initially.
Click here for detailed Instructions on Generating file in XML format.

IV. Upload XML file into ACES application: For uploading the XML file generated by the e-filing ST3-Return Excel utility, log into ACES application and access RET > e Filing >  Upload File to upload generated xml file of Return. On Upload screen, provide the required information and browse to select the XML file from the saved location and submit the same.

I. Fill up the return data

1. All Green Cells are areas where data can be entered.

2. You are not allowed to enter any data in the Grey Cells.

3. You can use this ST3 Excel Utility for the ST3 return to be filed for the period/s, October 2012 to March 2013 and thereafter.

4. All the fields marked with asterisk (*) are mandatory. You have to compulsorily provide data for these fields.

5. If any mandatory field is left empty, then the ST3-Return Excel utility will not allow you to proceed further for generating XML file.

6. Data provided must be in correct format, otherwise ST3-Return Excel utility will not allow you to proceed further for generating XML file.

7. Moving through the cells: After you have entered data in the desired cell, you can click on the ‘tab’ button on the keyboard to reach the next green cell of the section for data entry.

8. Moving through the sheets: After you have filled in the data in a sheet, you can move to the next sheet by clicking the "Next" button. On clicking "Next", you will be taken to the next sheet but the utility does not validate the sheet until "Validate" button is clicked.  Once "Validate" button is clicked, in case  of any error in that sheet, utility will prompt you with an error message and will not allow you to proceed further unless the error is rectified.

9. Adding Row: Sections such as "Taxable Service(s) for which Tax is being paid", “Details of Challan” etc., allow you to add/enter as much data as you require in a tabular form. You can click on "Add Service", “Add Challan” etc., buttons to add more rows.

Note: To add more than one row, you must fill data in the mandatory fields in the previous row.

10. Deleting Row: Rows that have been added in the section such as, "Taxable Service(s) for which Tax is being paid",“Details of Challan” etc., can be removed by clicking the button "Delete Service",“Delete Challan” etc.

If you have deleted a Taxable Service, then respective Payable sheet will also get deleted.
e.g., if you have deleted second row, then Payable (2) sheet will be deleted.

11. Filling data for "Return" sheet:

(i) Return Period: The Financial Year should be entered as full year (eg. 2012-2013) and the Return period should be selected from the drop-down. Please note that this ST3 Excel Utility is meant for the period, 2012-2013 October-March and thereafter.

(ii) Registration details: Enter Registration number.  Name need not be entered as the same will be fetched from the database upon uploading the file.

(iii) Option for LTU: If you are an assessee falling under any of the Large Taxpayer Units (LTU’s), then change the option to "Yes" in serial no. A 6.1. The field, ‘name of the LTU opted for’ is disabled for any entry of input as the same will be fetched from system upon uploading.

(iv) Select the constitution of assessee carefully as mentioned in registration.

(v) Taxable Service(s) for which Tax is being paid: Select the name or names of the taxable service/s from the dropdown provided.

There is provision for adding new row for selecting more than one taxable service. For adding new row, fill all the details in previous row and click on ‘Add  Service’ button. The utility will add new ‘Payable’ sheet for every Taxable Service entered on Return sheet.

12. Filling data for "Payable-Service" sheet: Enter the details like ‘value of taxable service’ for Service Provider (amount received) or Service Receiver (amount paid) or both (whichever applicable), education cess payable, secondary and higher education cess payable, exemption/abatement notification details (if applicable), Service Tax rate wise break-up of taxable value. You have to fill 'Payable-Service' sheet for each Service you have mentioned in 'Return' sheet.

(i) If you want to avail exemption, then you must select ‘Yes’ in A11.1 and Exemption Notification No. and Sl.No. in A11.2.

(ii) If you want to avail abatement,, then you must select ‘Yes’ in A12.1 and Abatement Notification No. and Sl.No. in A12.2.

(iii) Tax Rate: The applicable Advalorem and Specific tax rate should be entered in B1.15/B1.16 and/or B2.15/B2.16.  The system will automatically calculate the Service Tax Payable amount in B1.17 and/or B2.17.

(iv) Education Cess: The education cess is calculated at 2% of the Net Service Tax payable (B1.19/B2.19).

(v) Secondary and Higher Education Cess: The Secondary and Higher Education cess is calculated at 1% of the Net Service Tax payable (B1.19/B2.19).
If any of the entered Tax Rates – Advalorem, Specific, Education Cess or Secondary and Higher Education Cess – is incorrect for the given service/period, the return is liable to be rejected by the system.

Note: Throughout the Utility, if Assessee is unable to delete first row like Notification number then assessee can use the DEL(Delete) Button from the computer keyboard after clicking on the cell.

13. Filling data for "Advance-Payment" sheet: Enter the details of service tax & cess paid, if any, in advance along with details of relevant challan numbers.

14. Filling data for "Paid-Service" sheet:  Enter the details of service tax paid, education cess paid, secondary and higher education cess paid, other amount paid (Arrears of revenue paid, interest paid, penalty paid etc.) for the given month/quarter against the different heads i.e., by way of cash, by CENVAT credit, by adjustment of excess amount paid earlier etc. System will compare the  tax paid figures with  tax payable figures and give alert message in case of mis-match.

15. Filling data for "Challan-Service" sheet: You can enter the details of challan/s vide which the service tax, education cess, secondary and higher education cess and other amounts were paid and Source Document (if any). You must mention the challan number if the payments are made in cash. The details of challans entered in Advance-Payment section should be entered in the Challan Section (H1) also.

16. Filling data for "CENVAT" sheet: All the fields are self-explanatory. This is the sheet to enter the details of CENVAT credit taken and utilized for service tax and central excise duty, education cess & secondary and higher education cess.

You must provide the CENVAT details if tax payments are made through CENVAT Credit.

17. "Distributor" sheet: You can enter the Credit details for Input Service Distributor (if applicable) and fill in Self-Assessment Memorandum with name, date and place.

After filling all the sheets, click on the button "Validate Return &  Generate XML" to generate XML file for the Return.

The Excel utility will validate all the basic mathematical and logical validations. All the database level validations will be done only after uploading the relevant XML file. After the required fields in a sheet are filled up, you must click the "Validate this sheet" button to confirm that the sheet has no obvious mistakes or data entry validation errors that can be checked by the utility.

If mandatory fields such as Registration Number etc. are not filled up, then on clicking the "Validate this sheet" button, an alert message to fill up those fields will be prompted.

There is a provision to validate all the entries in your return at once. It is "Validate Return & Generate XML" button on last sheet. If you click on this button, the Utility will validate all the sheets one by one. In case there is some error identified in some sheet, the utility will prompt you about the same and lead you to the sheet having that error.

The errors are generally categorized in two ways: Show stoppers and Warnings.

(I.) Show Stoppers: These are major errors and you cannot proceed without correcting them e.g., Mandatory fields such as Financial Year, Constitution of the Assessee,  etc. left blank.  In such cases, the Utility will not allow you to generate XML file unless you rectify those errors.

(II.) Warnings: These are other major errors in the return pointed out by the system as alert message. These errors can be corrected by the assessee. However, system does not prevent the assesse from filing the return with these errors. On acknowledgement of  the error, assessee can proceed with generation of XML (in offline) or filing of the return (in online).

Utility will list the errors as below and ask you before generating XML file: "Do you want to Submit Return and generate the XML with following errors" If you select ‘YES’, then XML file will be generated with the filled-in data. In case you want to rectify these errors, select answer as "No". The error warnings may appear as below (example) :

1. The amount of Service Tax Payable in B2.17 for month one for the service (Air Travel Agent service) is (Rs.12000).

2.  Service Tax payable (Rs. 12000) does not match with the Tax Paid (Rs. 10000) for month one.

Once all relevant fields of the sheet have been filled up, clicking on "Validate Return & Generate XML" button will again validate data entered in all the sheets and XML file will be generated if data is found OK.

After generating the XML file, the Utility will prompt you about the name and location of the file so saved.

The name format of the XML file generated will be: RegistrationNumber_Date_Time.xml  e.g., TEMPA0054XSD001_31-Jul-1344016PM.xml        

1. Log into ACES application and access 'RET > e Filing > Upload File' to upload generated xml file of ST3 Return.

2. On Upload screen, fill in all the required fields like Financial Year, Return for the period and Return Type.

3. Click on ‘Browse’ to select the XML file, Save and then submit for uploading.

4. After uploading, the application will validate the data. If data are found to be intact, the XML will be successfully uploaded. In case the file is found to be corrupt, Application will reject the XML file at the time of uploading itself.

5. After validating the data, application will process the xml file and upload the XML file data into ACES database. (This may take some time.)

6. You can view the status of your e-filed return by accessing the menu ‘RET > e Filing > View XML Status’. There are three status:
a. UPLOADED: This denotes that the return has been uploaded and under processing. Please view again after sometime.
b. FILED: This denotes that uploaded return is accepted by the ACES Application. You can view your return from following menu "RET-->View Original ST3 Return or View ST3 Return".
c. REJECTED: This denotes that the return could not be processed due to errors. The return needs to be corrected and to be uploaded again. If your Return is rejected, then there will be hyperlink appearing on the Return number on clicking which, you can see the errors.

7. As per the existing provisions, the ST3 return filed can be modified only once by filing a revised return within 90 days from the date of filing the original Return.

(i) If there is a change in the address or any other information as provided by the assessee in Form ST-1 or as contained in Form ST-2 (Certificate of Registration issued by the Department), the assessee should file amendment to ST1 application online in ACES for getting the Amended ST2 issued by the departmental officer. If the assessee has provided / received any additional service for which he is not registered, he should first file ST1 amendment application and after the approval of the same by the departmental officer, he should file the return.

(ii) Reasons for rejection of returns when uploaded, using the Offline Utility:
a) Incorrect selection of return type whether it is Original or Revised return.
         b) Incorrect   Registration Number
         c) If a non-LTU assessee selected as LTU in A6.1 and vice versa
         d) Wrong selection of Constitution.
         e) Incorrect category of Registrant.
         f) Incorrect Rates of Tax / EDU Cess / SHE Cess. 
         g) Higher amount entered in Challan Details Section as against the actual amount deposited.    
         h) Technical Error - Tampering of XML file generated before uploading, use of special characters in the  return, error at the time of generation of XML file etc.

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