Once you have logged in you will see the eReturns main menu.
From the main menu you can start a new return, continue a return which is partially complete, view historical returns and manage your account details.
Your account details are the details which you reviewed and updated when you logged in for the first time.
eReturns will allow a party agent to create a sub-account for another person (such as an admin person) to log in to eReturns and enter data in to the return. The sub-account holder will be able to add, remove and edit data in the return but they will not be able to lodge the return.
To create a sub-account, you will first need to contact FAD on 02 6271 4552 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for your account to be changed to allow the creation of a sub-account. Once this is done you will need to log in using your credentials. On the main menu click 'Manage Details'. This will bring up the manage details screen.
On this screen click the 'Sub Accounts' tab.
To add a sub-account click the '+ Add' button. This will launch the 'Add a sub account' window.
In the 'Add a sub-account' window you can record the details of the sub-account holder. It is important that the email address is recorded correctly as it will be used to send the sub-account holder their credentials. Once you have finished recording the details of the sub-account holder click 'Add' to create the sub-account. Then click 'Close' to close the 'Add a sub-account' window. You will return to the Sub Accounts screen and you will be able to see the new sub-account in the list like the example below.
Once a sub-account has been added, eReturns will automatically send an email to the sub-account holder's email address like the one below.
This email contains the user name and password for the sub-account holder. It also contains an activation link which the sub-account holder will need to click before they can log in. Once they have activated their account, they will be able to use their user name and password to log in to eReturns.
Click the 'New Return' button to start completing a new return.
Then choose the return which you would like to complete.
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 screen.
Progress through the return is tracked down the left-hand side of the screen.
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 review the party's details. Political party details cannot be edited. If the party details are not correct you will need to contact the Registrar of Political Parties on 02 6271 4552 or by email at email@example.com.
Once you have reviewed your party details, click 'Next' to move to the Party agent details screen.
On this screen you can review the party agent's details. Party agent name and address details cannot be edited. If these details are not correct you will need to contact the Registrar of Political Parties on 02 6271 4552 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other details on this screen may be edited. Once you have finished editing these details click 'Next' to move to the Receipts screen.
Total receipts and gifts-in-kind can be recorded directly into this screen.
To record detailed receipts click the 'Add' button at the bottom of the table on the screen. That will launch the 'Add a receipt' window.
In the 'Add a receipt' window you can fill in the details of each detailed receipt. All required fields must be completed. Once all the information has been entered click the 'Add' button to add the receipt to the list. The 'Add a receipt' window will remain open to allow you to enter more receipts. Once you have finished entering receipts click the 'Close' button to return to the receipts screen.
The import function allows you to upload a spread sheet of transactions into eReturns, eliminating the need to manually enter each transaction. In order to import receipts you will need a spread sheet (either in MSExcel, CSV or XML format) of receipts which contains all of the required information for each receipt. To start importing receipts click the 'Import' button.
This will launch the import screen
From here you can use the browse button to select the spread sheet you wish to upload from your computer.
Once you have selected the spread sheet, click 'Upload'.
Once the system has uploaded your spread sheet it will ask you to match the columns in your spread sheet to the columns in eReturns.
Once you have assigned all the columns, click 'Import Data'.
Now eReturns will ask you to designate some of the values in some of the columns. You will need to assign values that eReturns recognises to some of the data in your spread sheet. See the example below:
Once you have matched the values from your spread sheet to values that eReturns will recognise you can click 'Assign'. eReturns will tell you how many records were successfully imported, and list those which were not successful. You can also export the list of transactions which were not successfully imported from here. To close this window, click 'Close'.
If you choose to export the list of transactions which were not successfully imported you can fix the problems in the data which eReturns has identified and re-import that list. Alternatively, you can use the '+ Add' button to add those transactions manually.
eReturns will now upload the transactions from the spread sheet into the return wizard. Once it is complete you will be able to see the transactions in the list on the screen. Once you have finished on the receipts screen click 'Next' to move to the payments screen.
Enter the 'total payments' amount here.
Note: Political parties are only required to provide the total payments 'amount', no further details are required in relation to payments.
Total debts and details of individual debts greater than the disclosure threshold are recorded here.
To record individual debts that are more than the disclosure threshold use the '+ Add' button and the 'Add a debt' window will appear.
In the 'Add a debt' window you can fill in the details of each detailed debts. All required fields must be completed. Once all the information has been entered click the 'Add' button to add the debt to the list. The 'Add a debt' window will remain open to allow you to enter more debts. Once you have finished entering debts click the 'Close' button to return to the debts screen.
If you have a large number of debts to record you may wish to import a spread sheet. For step by step instructions on importing, refer to the Import receipts section of this guide. Once you have recorded your total debts and all detailed debts click 'Next'.
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. 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'll 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. Selecting this box will allow you to lodge a Notice of Incomplete Return. For more detail on this, go to the Lodging a Notice of Incomplete Return section of this guide.
Once you have reviewed your return you will be able to lodge it with the AEC.
On this screen, you will need to select the box next to the certification. As the agent of the party you will need to 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 automatically.
eReturns will allow you to lodge a Notice of Incomplete Return online. For more information about when it is appropriate to lodge a Notice of Incomplete Return please consult the Financial Disclosure guide for Political Parties.
To lodge a Notice of Incomplete Return in eReturns you will need to select the checkbox at the bottom of the review screen.
Selecting this box will take you to the Notice of Incomplete Return screen.
Here you are required to fill in the fields, detailing the information that is missing from your return, the reason why you were unable to obtain that information, who you believe may have the information which is missing, and why you believe that person has it. Once you have completed all of the fields on the screen, click 'Next' to review the Notice of Incomplete Return.
Once you have reviewed your Notice of Incomplete Return click 'Next' to go to the Sign and Lodge screen. To lodge your return and Notice of Incomplete Return follow the instructions at Step 7–Sign and Lodge of this guide.
Returns lodged using eReturns can also be amended using eReturns. To amend a return click the 'View Returns' button on the main menu.
The view returns screen will display.
Use the 'Amend' option in the drop down list next to the return you wish to amend. Only returns lodged online can be amended online.
This will launch the amendment wizard. The amendment wizard is exactly the same as the return wizard, except it already contains all of the data from your original return. To amend something, simply add, edit or delete as appropriate. Once you have finished working your way through the wizard, eReturns will generate an amendment form for you to review which will detail the changes. This amendment form can be lodged in the same way as the original return.