Election donor returns should be completed by donors who have made donations above the disclosure threshold directly to a candidate or Senate group during the disclosure period in relation to an election.
A donation made by a donor to the campaign committee of a candidate who has been endorsed by a registered political party is considered to be a donation to the registered political party and not to the candidate. Such donations should be disclosed on an annual disclosure return and not an election donor return.
Click the 'New Return' button to start completing a new return.
Then choose the return which you would like to complete. The actual list of returns that will appear will be dependent on whether you are an individual or organisation donor and whether you have lodged any returns previously. The example screen below is for an organisation donor.
Click ‘Continue’ to launch the return wizard. Similar to when you review your account details you can use the ‘Back’ and ‘Next’ buttons to navigate through the screens.
Instructions on how to complete the return will appear at the top of each page.
Progress through the return is tracked down the left-hand side.
As you navigate through the wizard, you will be prompted to enter the information which will make up the return.
On this screen you can update your organisation details. These details have been automatically pre-filled from your account.
NOTE: Individual donors will not see this screen, instead they will be taken directly to the Lodging officer details screen.
Once you have updated your organisation details click 'Next' to move to the Lodging Officer details screen.
On this screen you can review and update your details. Once you have reviewed your details click ‘Next’ to move to the Donations made screen.
This screen will allow you to record details of donations you have made to a candidate or Senate group during the disclosure period for an election.
To record donations, click the '+ Add' button at the bottom of the table on the screen. This will launch the 'Add a donation made' window.
In the ‘Add a donation made’ window you can fill in the details of each donation. For each donation you must include the amount, transaction date and name of the candidate or Senate group the donation was made to. Once you have finished recording the details of a donation, click the ‘Add’ button, to add the donation to the list. The ‘Add a donation made’ window will not disappear, allowing you to start entering the next donation.
Once you have recorded all donations, click ‘Close’. Then click ‘Next’ to move to the Donations received screen.
This screen will allow you to record details of the donations you have received. These are donations from other people, that you have used (wholly or partly) to make donations to a candidate or Senate group that you recorded at Step 2–Donations made.
To record donations you have received, click the '+ Add' button at the bottom of the table on the screen. That will launch the 'Add a donation received' window.
In the ‘Add a donation received’ window you can fill in the details of each donation received. For each donation that you have received you must include the name and address of the donor, if relevant the ABN and/or ACN, the transaction date and the amount. Once you have finished recording the details of a donation, click the ‘Add’ button, to add the donation to the list. The ‘Add a donation received’ window will remain open, allowing you to enter more donations.
Once you have recorded all donations received, click ‘Close’. Then click ‘Next’ to move to the Notes screen.
The Notes screen allows you to record annotations against the return.
These annotations will be presented on the return as footnotes.
To add an annotation, click the '+Add' button at the bottom of the table on the screen. This will launch the 'Add an Annotation' window.
Enter the text of your annotation and click 'Add' to save it. Click 'Close' once you have entered all your annotations.
When you have finished recording annotations, click 'Next'.
The next screen is the review screen.
Here you will be presented with an image of what the data in your return will look like. Use the scroll bar on the right of the screen to view all of the pages of the return.
You will notice that there is nothing in the signature or date fields on the front of the return. These fields will only be populated once you have completed the lodgement screen and will appear on the final version of your return.
If you need to make changes to the data in the return, click ‘Back’. Once you have reviewed the image of your return and all data is correct, click ‘Next’ .This will take you to the Sign and Lodge screen.
NOTE: At the bottom of this screen, above the ‘Back’ and ‘Next’ buttons is a checkbox that relates to lodging a Notice of Incomplete Return.
Where a donor is unable to obtain all the information required to fully complete a return, a Notice of Incomplete Return may be completed and lodged with the Election Donor Return. While it is unlikely that an individual donor would find themselves in circumstances where they would need to complete a Notice of Incomplete Return, an organisation donor may be unable to obtain all the information required to fully complete their return and therefore in those circumstances may need to complete a Notice of Incomplete Return. Should you find yourself in circumstances where it is necessary for you to lodge an incomplete return, checking this box will allow you to lodge a Notice of Incomplete Return.
For more detail on how to complete a Notice of Incomplete Return in eReturns, go to the Lodging a Notice of Incomplete Return section of this guide. For more information about when it is appropriate to lodge a Notice of Incomplete Return please consult the Financial Disclosure Guide for Election Donors.
Once you have reviewed your return you will be able to lodge it with the AEC.
On this screen, you will need to tick the box next to the certification. Type your name into the Signature box and type your password into the Password box.
Once you have done this, click 'Lodge' to lodge your return.
Upon lodging your return you will be presented with a confirmation screen.
From this screen you may save a PDF copy of your return. The AEC recommends that you save a copy of your return in case you need to print or refer to it at a later date. The unique reference number presented on this screen is also recorded on the return form in the bottom right hand corner. eReturns will also email you a copy of your lodged return by default.