How to File Service Tax Return – A brief Discussion

Before reading this Blog, First Question comes in mind-

Who is required to file Service tax return?“Every Assessee who is registered under Service tax and has allotted a SERVICE TAX REGISTRATION NUMBER is required to file a Service tax Return on Half yearly Basis”.

The main thing is that whether Assessee provided taxable services or not during the year but he is required to file Service tax Return. (This return is Called NIL Return).

Service tax Return is required to be Filed on Half Yearly Basis, the periodicity of filing Returns in as follows:-

Period Due Date
October 2013- March 2014   25 April 2014
April-2014 – September 2014   25 October 2014

Service tax Return is required to filed in Form ST-3/ ST-3A as the case may be

ST-3 ReturnFor all the registered assessee, including Input Service Distributors,

(Ref. Section 70 of Finance Act, 1994 and Rule 7 of Service Tax Rules,1994 read with Notification. No. 14/2007-ST                                 dated 02.04.2007).

ST-3A Return –The assessee who is making provisional assessment under rule 6(4) of the Service Tax Rules, 1994

This Return forms can be downloaded from under the download section.  In this section you will find the the ST-3 offline utility, you have to select the utility for the return period and unzip the file and open the excel file and fill the details in the Service tax Return. After filling the details you have to validate this file and create .xml file. Now this .xml file should be uploaded to ACES after logging into your Account. After successful uploading there is a acknowledgement slip generated for successful uploading.

There is also a ST-3 Online Utility, this can be used after logging into your ACES account in “SERVICE TAX” section by entering your used id & password. When there is successful logging then you select RET menu and select fill ST3 online with correct return period. Once you click then online form is opened and you fill your details in Service tax return and once you filed all the details then submit the return and again acknowledgement slip generated for successful submission.

There is also a provision for REVISED RETURN, if someone wrongly entered data in the original return then as per “As per Rule 7B of STR, 1994 an Assessee can file revised return within 90days from the date of Submission of Original Return.”


Delays in Days                                        Late Fees/ Amount Payable
Up to 15 daysRs. 500/-
16 to 30 daysRs. 1,000/-
More than 30daysRs. 1,000 + Rs. 100/- for each day of Subsequent delay. Max. Penalty Rs. 20,000/-

But if anyone wants to file service tax return then he needs to pay service tax on the due date, Due date of paying Service tax is as follows

Category     Frequency Due dates
In case of Individuals, proprietary Firms & Partnership FirmsQuarterly as mentioned below -1 April -30th June1 July- 30th Sept.1 October- 31st December   1 january-31st March  5th July/6th July(online mode)5Th Oct/6th Oct (online mode)5th Jan/6Th Jan (online mode)   31st March
Others (e.g. Companies,Societies, Trusts etc.)Monthly By 5th of next month immediately following the month. 6th in the case of online payment.