The awareness amongst the new generation of taxpayers is far more than those in the last decade. If the systems have to improve, the Government officers are to be more accountable and efficient and if corruption levels are to be curbed, then use of information technology is inevitable. The Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES), is a right step in that direction . ACES is an easy to operate web based software which not only enables service providers and manufacturers / dealers to obtain registration under Central Excise or Service Tax on-line but also enable them to electronically file statutory returns, claims, intimations and view and track their status.
There is always a sad side of the story which overshadows the good deeds of such ventures . The mainstream of the departmental officers are still not Information Technology savvy , though one may technically term them computer literate. The motive is good but as in majority of government ventures , the hang-ups and teething problems persist. The idea that Centralised web-enabled software will eventually replace the current mode of manual filing of returns, seeking refund or rebate of taxes is far from reality as even after launching the same at more than four places , the web site still shows many errors when practically operated upon.
The system developer of ACES seems to be ignorant about the provision of Service Tax Rules as the said online system restricts the Service Provider to file a revised or corrected return in case of any omission or error , only once , whereas there are no such restrictions in Rule 7 of the Service tax Rules . The Board has to look into all such features which are in contradiction to the Current Provision of Law.