AAR Online frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Submitting your AAR

Do I need to lodge AAR for administrations where there have been no transactions during the year?

Yes – you are required to lodge AAR for all administrations which were active during the financial year. You will still be required to enter $0.00 in cells where there have been no transactions otherwise an error or discrepancy will be recorded if you leave cells blank.

Who has the responsibility to lodge AAR in the case of joint appointment or transfer of administration between practitioners?

Where there are joint trustees in administration, the administration will only appear in the AAR of the trustee who is the primary trustee. The other trustee (i.e. the secondary trustee) will not see this administration and should not request it from AFSA.

In the case of transfer of administration between practitioners during the year, each practitioner is responsible to lodge a AAR to reflect receipt and payment in the administration for the relevant period the administration was under their control.

The first or outgoing trustee must:

  • Not record a finalisation date.
  • Record any funds transferred to the second or incoming trustee at column 31 ‘Funds transferred to another practitioner’.
  • Ensure the closing balance is nil.

The second or incoming trustee must:

  • Record any receipts from the first or outgoing trustee at column 9 ‘Funds transferred from another practitioner’.
  • Ensure the opening balance is nil.

How should I report funds transferred from other practitioner in my AAR?

If realisations charge has been paid by the former practitioner, the amount can be reported as ‘funds transferred from another practitioner’. This will ensure that the funds will not be included in the calculation of total receipts subject to RC.

If realisations charge is still outstanding on the funds (i.e. the former practitioner has not paid realisation charge), the amount should be reported as ‘other receipts’ to ensure that it is captured in the calculation of total receipts subject to RC. 

What should I do when an administration which was transferred to myself from another practitioner is not showing in my list of matters requiring lodgement of an AAR?

For change of practitioner contact details, missing or incorrect administrations listed as requiring an AAR, overpayment/refund requests, joint trustee payments, amendments to previous year returns, late lodgement, extensions, compliance, and calculations please complete the AAR support form.

How do I amend AAR lodged in prior period and make a payment?

The AAR online facility was introduced for the 2014-15 charge period. For amendments to charge periods from 2014-15 onwards, practitioners can amend their AAR by uploading a new spreadsheet with the relevant amendments.

For amendments to charge periods prior to 2014-15, practitioners will need to amend the opening balance of the AAR for the 2014-15 charge period, closing balance for the 2014-15 charge period and so on. It is also recommended that this be noted in the comments cell to make it easier for AFSA to clarify and reconcile.

Once this is completed the details of the amendments should be sent via the AAR Online support form and an invoice for any unpaid realisation and interest charge, together with any penalty will be sent to you.

How do I make payment of realisations charge liability arising from the amendment of AAR lodged in a prior period?

When an amendment to AAR lodged in a prior period gives rise to a realisations charge liability, the practitioner should make the payment as per the normal process, by generating the ‘Payment Advice’ from AAR Online (further information on how to generate payment advice can be located on Online Services Guide). To ensure that the payment is recorded against the correct financial year, and any relevant penalty is applied, the practitioner also needs to advise AFSA using the AAR support form.

How do I resolve error message ‘Administration type column missing’?

See the common abbreviation used in other matters (i.e. SEQ, DP, S188, PIA, or XI) and complete the cells manually as required

How do I resolve error message ‘finalisation date must be within the AAR period’?

This error message appears when practitioners complete the finalisation date column in the spreadsheet with a date which is outside the current AAR period.

If the administration is not active, and was finalised in a prior period, the practitioner can finalise the administration on AAR online, through the “Forms > Request finalisation” menu.  The administration will then be removed from the list of administrations requiring lodgement. 

Can I enter the date of final payment made by a debtor in a debt agreement as the date of finalisation in AAR Online?

AAR Online does not allow finalisation of administration with a closing balance. Unless all funds held in the administration have been disbursed, AAR online will not allow the administration to be finalised.

How do I complete AAR in administration involving s153A annulment and refund of surplus funds to the debtor?

To complete the AAR online in the case of an annulment by payment in full, the trustee should carry out the following steps to ensure that the correct realisation charge is being paid:

  1. Calculate realisation charge payable in the administration based on the amount of debts and costs for annulment, using the grossing up formula of:
    (Total debts + costs) X RC rate / (100 – RC rate)
    This formula will ensure that the correct RC is also calculated on the gross realisation charge.
  2. Calculate the surplus to be refunded to the bankrupt, and record this in column 29 (refund) AND 18 (receipts not subject to RC). 
  3. Deduct the refund amount from receipt in the administration (i.e. the refunded amount should not be recorded as a receipt)


A Trustee sold a property for $450,000, and paid the secured creditor $350,000.

The Cost of the administration was $10,000, remuneration $20,000, and dividend paid $50,000.

  1. In this administration, the RC payable is calculated to be $6,021, based on the following figures:
    Cost of administration  $10,000
    Trustee’s remuneration  $20,000
    Dividend  $50,000
    TOTAL debts & costs  $80,000
    RC payable = 80,000 X 7/(100-7) =  6,021
  2. The surplus due to the bankrupt in this case is $13,979, which is calculated as follows:
    Net receipt (after payment of secured creditor)  $100,000
    Less debts & costs  $80,000
    Less RC payable  $6,021
    Surplus to be refunded to the debtor  $13,979
    Record the surplus amount in column 29 AND 18
  3. Deduct the refund amount from gross proceeds, and record this in column 10. 
    In this example $436,021 should be recorded in column 10, which is calculated as follows)
    Gross sale proceeds $450,000
    Refund  $ 13,979
    Gross sale proceeds  $436,021

As a summary, the AAR spreadsheet should show the following:

Gross sale price of assets 436,021 (sale proceeds of 450,000 minus refund of 13,979)
Recoveries from antecedent transactions  0.00
Contributions collected     0.00
Sec 73 Composition receipts    0.00
Trading receipts      0.00
Other Receipts      0.00
Total receipts subject to the Realisation Charge  436,021
Interest earned on estate funds    0.00
Other receipts not subject to Realisation Charge  13,979
Total receipts      450,000

Amount paid to secured creditors   350,000
Trading payments     0.00
Costs of administering the estate   10,000
Trustee's remuneration     20,000
Dividends paid to creditors    50,000
Bank fees and charges     0.00
Other payments      0.00
Realisation Charge payments 6,021 (if already paid in full, and reported in column 27)
Interest Charge payments    0.00
Refund of surplus to debtor    13,979
Total payments      450,000

This method is acceptable to ensure the correct realisations charge is paid for annulment under section 153A.

How is my list of administrations requiring AAR lodgement determined?

An administration is shown for a practitioner as requiring AAR submission when the administration:

  • Started before or during the AAR charge period, and if the administration is now finalised or lapsed this occurred during or after the AAR charge period.
  • The practitioner was the primary practitioner during the period.

I have accessed my list of administrations requiring AAR lodgement and noticed there are some missing or additional administrations listed. How do I remedy this?

Practitioners can add additional administrations to AAR spreadsheet when it has been finalised in a previous charge period and reactivated in the new charge period. Similarly, if there are additional estates or estates that may not belong to you or you are unsure why an administration is/is not listed, contact us via the AAR support form.

How is the AAR spreadsheet reconciled?

AAR Online will tally the realisations and interest charge payments as reported for a practitioner’s administrations from the AAR submissions, against the total amount received by AFSA. If, after the due date, an underpayment is identified, AFSA will contact the practitioner to advise payment is required based on the information provided.

Overpayments will be reflected in the practitioners AAR online account and steps should be taken by the practitioner to identify the cause of the overpayment and remedy it. A practitioner can request a refund, see the AAR support form for details, or amend the AAR lodgement, as required.

Is there a history of who has submitted a spreadsheet on a practitioner’s behalf?

Yes, navigate to “View History” in AAR online for the practitioner required to view past AAR submissions by other users authorised to lodge AARs on behalf of the practitioner. The AAR submission history can be searched and filtered by AAR period, status or submission date.

In the past, there has been rounding issues in the spreadsheets. Will this still occur?

AAR Online will accept a reported value of realisation and interest charge for an administration within 10 cents of AFSA’s calculated amount of realisation and interest charge payable. Please submit an AAR support form for any rounding or calculation issues.

What AAR data and submission date is recorded if there are multiple AAR submissions for an administration during the same AAR charge period?

The AAR data and submission date for an administration is the most recent date if the submission is valid. The latest AAR submission for the administration will overwrite all previous submissions in the same AAR charge period. E.g. if a recent lodgement has errors, the most recent previous submission without errors, if any, will be recorded.

Can the AAR spreadsheet be customised?

The downloadable AAR spreadsheet contains the acceptable column layout. AAR Online will accept files (.xls, .xlsx) matching the column and heading layout of the downloadable spreadsheet. This means that practitioners may upload their own spreadsheets or use the downloaded spreadsheet. The downloadable spreadsheet will pre-populate opening and closing balances and any previously deferred realisations and interest charges. A spreadsheet can be uploaded with one row (i.e. one administration) or thousands of rows. Additional columns can be added but they will be ignored when uploaded. Cells should not be merged as the contents may not be read correctly.

Can the spreadsheet that is currently on the AFSA website be used?

Yes, the AAR spreadsheets are available from the AFSA website. Practitioners can commence entering the AAR data for all of their administrations prior to the release of AAR Online.

If there is a joint trusteeship, is the new online service linked to the secondary trustee?

An administration is shown for a practitioner as requiring AAR submission when the administration:

  • Started before or during the AAR charge period, and if the administration is now finalised or lapsed this occurred during or after the AAR charge period.
  • The practitioner was the primary practitioner during the period.

If a practitioner is recorded as the secondary trustee for an administration and an AAR submission is attempted an error will be presented detailing the name of the practitioner recorded as the primary.

For further queries about joint trustees making payments please submit an AAR support form.

Is there a provision for the AAR summary of administrations to be viewed at the practitioner firm level?

No, administrations are only available to be viewed for the primary individual trustee or debt agreement administrator only.

I want to view all of my administrations in alphabetical order. Can this be done?

The ‘Administrations’ list displayed within AAR Online does not sort. Practitioners can download the list of administrations to an AAR spreadsheet to utilise the Excel sorting capabilities. Administrations can be removed or filtered within the spreadsheet to assist with AAR lodgement.

Do practitioners have access to other practitioner’s AAR information?

No, administrations are only available to be viewed for the primary individual trustee or debt agreement administrator only.

Can I print a summary of all of my administrations?

The ‘Administrations’ list or Individual administrations displayed within AAR Online can be printed from the user’s browser.

If I submit an AAR for an administration in November, will I have to submit the AAR again in the following year before the due date (lodgements are due 25 business days after the end of financial year)?

No, if the AAR data (i.e. opening, closing balance, receipts and payments) has not changed since the November lodgement, the administration will not require AAR to be re-lodged. The AAR data for the administration can be viewed and checked by selecting the filter ‘Lodgements to date’ from the AAR Summary screen.


Making realisations and interest charge payments

Do I need to pay realisations and / or interest charge for any amount less than $10 per administration?

Where realisations and / or interest charge liability amount are less than $10 for a charge period in respect of an administration, practitioner can choose whether they will remit the payment. The AAR spreadsheet contains formulas to calculate the amount of realisation and interest charge due. When the calculated amount is less than $10, the spreadsheet formula can be overridden.

If you elect to make the payment of less than $10 for an administration, you do not need to do anything differently, you simply lodge the AAR return and pay the calculated amount as per usual methods.

If you elect not to make the payment of less than $10, follow the steps outlined on page 37 of the AFSA Online Services Guide.

Please note if you elect not to pay RC or IC charges less than $10, but do not override the calculated formula amounts to $0 (as per the instructions outlined on page 37 of the service guide), the AAR Online system will record RC and IC amounts as still payable and you will be liable for those amounts.

Will all of the payments that I have made during the current charge period appear in my AAR online account?

Yes, all interest and realisations charge payments made by practitioners since 01/07/2014 will be available in the AAR Online service. All transactions will be visible in the new AAR Online and practitioners will have the ability to confirm their records against that of AFSA’s. Column 27 ‘Realisations charge payments’ and column 28 ‘Interest charge payments’ should only record realisations and interest charge payments made during the current charge period (i.e. up to 30 June). Realisations and interest charge payments due for the current charge period should be recorded at column 34 ‘Realisations Charge due for current period’ and column 38 ‘Interest Charge due for current period’.

If you have concerns about the accuracy of transactions recorded against you, please submit an AAR support form.

When paying a realisations or interest charge by EFT, must I identify the administration to which the payment relates?

No, all that is required is for you to EFT the funds to the BSB and account number as detailed on your practitioner’s Payment Advice; available to download from the new AAR Online portal. The account number is unique to each practitioner.

Practitioners have the option of supplying the administration number in the reference field when making an EFT payment. The reference will be visible against the EFT transaction in AAR Online.

When paying a realisations or interest charge by cheque, do I use one Payment Advice per cheque or can I attach multiple cheques to the one Advice?

Only one Payment Advice is required to accompany mailed cheques. The Payment Advice allows the practitioner to indicate how many cheques are being lodged and the total amount being paid.

What happens if I pay the realisations or interest charge on the due date (35 days after the end of the financial year)?

Practitioners should allow for sufficient time to ensure AFSA has received payment of realisations and interest charge before the due date. There may be instances where practitioners are contacted regarding underpayments of realisations or interest charge because cheques were not received and processed by the due date. AFSA will consider each instance on a case-by-case basis when determining whether a practitioner has not been compliant with the Act.

For queries about late lodgements and extensions please complete an AAR support form.

When paying an interest charge, can I report and pay at the aggregate level instead of per administration?

Yes, from July 2015 the AAR Online will allow you to report an aggregate interest charge amount. Payments for the interest charge can be remitted as with payments for realisations charge; using Dashboard >>> AAR >>> AAR FY 16/17 Summary >>> Single Interest Charge >>> Report Single Interest Charge.

Can I continue to pay realisations and interest charge payments from my individual estate trust accounts?

Yes, payments can still be made from individual estate trust accounts.

When a payment of realisation and interest charge is made, when will the transaction be visible in my AAR Online?

It depends on the method of payment; however transactions will generally be visible in the AAR Online within 1 – 2 business days of the payment being made.


AAR Accounts

Do I owe AFSA any money?

  1. Log in to AAR Online and select View payment history from the AAR menu item. The Posting Search screen will display.
  2. Click the Accounts link in the breadcrumb to navigate to the Accounts page displaying the four account types.
  3. View your Due account balance to determine if required payments are up to date. If the Due account balance is negative then AFSA is owed money.
    Note: The Current Period liability will be rolled into the Due account on the due date. In the lead up to the due date, it is recommended you check if there is sufficient funds to pay the upcoming AAR liability. This can be done by adding the balances of the Due account and Current Period account together. If the result is negative, then there is insufficient funds and AFSA requires additional payment by the due date.

What are the 4 accounts in AAR?

There are 4 accounts to track your AAR liabilities and payments.

A simple way to understand these accounts is: Due + Current Period + Next Period = To Date Balance

  • Due
    The amount of funds available to pay the Current Period liability. This includes all due RC/IC liabilities, and all payments as they occur.
  • Current Period
    All RC/IC liabilities for the current period, based on AAR lodgements. The current period is from 1 July to 30 June the following year. This excludes payments.
  • Next Period
    All RC/IC liabilities for the next period, based on AAR lodgements. Liabilities will only appear in this account during the reconciliation period 1 July to the due date upon submission of AARs for the new charge period. This excludes payments.
  • To Date Balance
    A running balance of all RC/IC liabilities for all periods, and all payments made, as they occur. Liabilities will only appear in this account during the reconciliation period 1 July to the due date upon submission of AARs for the new charge period. This is useful for reconciling your lodgements and payments.

Why do I have a lodgement requirement?

You will need to lodge an AAR when all of the following conditions are true:

Standard lodgement

  1. The AAR period is open for lodgements
    • That start date of the period has passed (1-JUL), and
    • The period is FY 16/17 or after
  2. The administration was active during the period
    • The start date was in or before the period, and
    • There is no end date or the end date was in or after the period
  3. You were the primary practitioner during the period
    • You must have been recorded as the primary practitioner
    • Your appointed start date must be within or before the period, and
    • You have no appointment end date, or the end date is in or after the period

Non-zero Closing Balance

Secondly, if conditions 1 – 3 above are met and the following then a lodgement is required:

  • You have lodged an AAR in the previous period and the closing balance was not $0.00.