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Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES) is the e-governance initiative by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. It is one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMP) of the Govt. of India under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). It is a software application which aims at improving tax-payer services, transparency, accountability and efficiency in the indirect tax administration in India. This application is a web-based & workflow-based system that has automated all major procedures in Central Excise and Service Tax.
( In case of any difficulty in accessing or using the ACES Application, assessee can seek help of the ACES Service Desk by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling up ACES Toll Free customer care toll free number 1800 425 4251 on any working day from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 7 PM and on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2.30 PM.)
In the post-independent era of Indirect Tax administration in India, ACES is the most significant IT-based initiative undertaken that has transformed the way about 18.20 lakh indirect taxpayers transact their business with the department of Central Excise and Service Tax. Being an innovative reform initiative in the indirect tax department, ACES had benefited members of trade, industry and commerce.
The ACES application was initially rolled-out in the Large Tax Payer Unit (LTU) Commissionerate in Bengaluru in December, 2008. Subsequently, it was implemented across India in phases covering all 104 Central Excise, Service Tax & LTU Commissionerates with all the modules.
The ACES application has resulted in a major change in the way the Central Excise and Service Tax field formations conduct their regular business vis-a-vis the Trade & Industry. e-filing and e-processing of documents has started replacing manual filing and handling of paper documents.
The main purpose of the initiative was to re-engineer the business processes and transform the existing tax administration into a modern, efficient and transparent system. Its objective was to strike an optimal balance between trade facilitation and enforcement and to promote a culture of voluntary compliance. It aims at reducing physical interface of the business community with the departmental officers and to provide a transparent and paper-less business environment with improved taxpayer services delivered through an automated process.
To provide services to taxpayers who may not have requisite IT infrastructure/resources to use ACES, CBEC has entered into MoU's with Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) for setting up ACES Certified Facilitation Centres (CFC's) by their Members. These Centres are set up by eligible Members of ICAI/ICWAI/ICSI holding valid Certificates of Practice issued by the Institutes. The services would be available to the assessees on payment of prescribed service charges for various services such as digitisation of paper documents, on-line filing/uploading of documents such as Application for Registration, Returns, Claims, Permissions and Intimations etc. in ACES.