Towards improving tax-payer services, transparency, accountability and efficiency in the indirect tax administration, the Commissionerate of Central Excise & Service Tax here on Thursday launched ACES (Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax), a new user-friendly software application for the convenience of trade and industry.

Through the ACES application, the users will by themselves be able to take assessee registration online; electronically file statutory returns, claims, intimations and permissions, and refunds and requests for provisional assessment; view and track the status of their documents online; and also get business related alerts/messages. The ACES application that has been designed to accept digitally signed documents (this provision is yet to be activated) obviates the need for assesses to submit signed hard copy separately.

A Mission Mode Project (MMP) of the Prime Minister under e-governance plan of the Central Government, the application aims to automate all major processes in Central Excise and Service Tax through a work-flow based application.

At the launch function, K.K. Srinivas, Additional Director (Systems), Chennai, made a presentation on the application.

The web-based software application developed by the Central Board of Excise & Customs can be accessed at http://www.aces.gov.in for making assessee and non assessee registrations.

In case of any difficulty in accessing or using the ACES application, assesses can seek help by sending e-mail to aces.servicedesk@icegate.gov.in or dial the national toll free number 1800 425 4251 on any working day from Monday to Friday between 9.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.

The Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax, C.P. Rao, launched the ACES project in the presence of A. Balraj, Principal General Manager, BSNL, Tiruchi, A. Velayutham, Senior Vice-President, M/s. Madras Cements Limited, Alathiyur, and other senior officials of the Commissionerate.

Delivering the key-note address, Mr. Rao said the Tiruchi region has been in the forefront in modernisation and computerisation of processes.

He exuded confidence that industry will respond enthusiastically, while expressing willingness to impart training at the divisional level on basic nuances of the system that brings down the cost of compliance. Trade and industry no longer need to worry about compliance with statutes and can instead concentrate on their businesses.

Offering felicitations, Mr. Balraj observed that the e-governance initiatives nationwide manifesting in common service centres in villages save time and money of the citizens.

Easier compliance mechanism, he said, will attract assessees in large numbers resulting in higher revenue.