AER Online frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Submitting your AER

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

Yes – you are required to lodge AER 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 AER 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 AER 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 AER 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 AER?

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 AER

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

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

The AER online facility was introduced for the 2014-15 charge period. For amendments to charge periods from 2014-15 onwards, practitioners can amend their AER 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 AER 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 AER 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 AER lodged in a prior period?

When an amendment to AER 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 AER 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 AER 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 AER period’?

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

If the administration is not active, and was finalised in a prior period, the practitioner can finalise the administration on AER 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 AER Online?

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

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

To complete the AER 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)

Example 

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 AER spreadsheet should show the following:

Receipt
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

Payment
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 AER lodgement determined?

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

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

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

Practitioners can add additional administrations to AER 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 AER support form.

How is the AER spreadsheet reconciled?

AER Online will tally the realisations and interest charge payments as reported for a practitioner’s administrations from the AER submissions, against the total amount received by AFSA. If, at 5 August, 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 AER 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 AER support form for details, or amend the AER lodgement, as required.

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

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

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

AER 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 AER support form for any rounding or calculation issues.

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

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

Can the AER spreadsheet be customised?

The downloadable AER spreadsheet contains the acceptable column layout. AER 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 AER spreadsheets are available from the AFSA website. Practitioners can commence entering the AER data for all of their administrations prior to the release of AER 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 AER submission when the administration:

  • Started before or during the AER charge period, and if the administration is now finalised or lapsed this occurred during or after the AER 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 AER 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 AER support form.

Is there a provision for the AER 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 AER Online does not sort. Practitioners can download the list of administrations to an AER spreadsheet to utilise the Excel sorting capabilities. Administrations can be removed or filtered within the spreadsheet to assist with AER lodgement.

Do practitioners have access to other practitioner’s AER 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 AER Online can be printed from the user’s browser.

If I submit an AER for an administration in November, will I have to submit the AER again in the following year before 4 August?

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

Yes, all interest and realisations charge payments made by practitioners since 01/07/2014 will be available in the AER Online service. All transactions will be visible in the new AER 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 AER 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 AER 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 AER 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 4 August?

Practitioners should allow for sufficient time to ensure AFSA has received payment of realisations and interest charge before 4 August. There may be instances where practitioners are contacted regarding underpayments of realisations or interest charge because cheques were not received and processed by 4 August. 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 AER 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 AER 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 >>> AER >>> AER 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 AER Online?

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

 

AER Accounts

Do I owe AFSA any money?

  1. Log in to AER Online and select View payment history from the AER 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 4th of August. In the lead up to 4th August, it is recommended you check if there is sufficient funds to pay the upcoming AER 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 4th August.

What are the 4 accounts in AER?

There are 4 accounts to track your AER 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 AER 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 AER lodgements. Liabilities will only appear in this account during the reconciliation period 1 July to 4 August upon submission of AERs 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 4 August upon submission of AERs 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 AER when all of the following conditions are true:

Standard lodgement

  1. The AER 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 AER in the previous period and the closing balance was not $0.00.