eReturns: Third Party Quick Reference Guide: Using eReturns

Updated: 19 October 2012

Using eReturns

Main Menu

Once you have logged in you will see the eReturns main menu.

screen shot of 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.

NOTE: Individuals who incur political expenditure and had to create an individual donor account will need to click 'Manage Details' before they can create a Third Party Return of Political Expenditure. This will display the manage details screen.

On the manage details screen is a checkbox titled 'Do you also incur political expenditure separate from your donations to political parties and candidates?' Select this checkbox, and then click 'Main menu' in the top left corner of the screen to return to the main menu. You can then follow the instructions below to complete a Third Party Return of Political Expenditure.

Completing a return

New Return

Click the 'New Return' button to start completing a new return.

screen shot of new return button

Then choose the return which you would like to complete.

screen shot showing return type selection

Click 'Continue' to launch the return wizard. Similar to when you review your account details you can use the 'Next' and 'Back' buttons to navigate through the screens.

Instructions on how to complete the return will appear at the top of each screen.

screen shot showing how each screen has instructions at the top

Progress through the return is tracked down the left-hand side of the screen.

screen shot of progress tracker

As you navigate through the wizard, you will be prompted to enter the information which will make up the return.

Step 1 – Your details

This screen can be used to record your organisation details. By default this information is pre-filled from your account.

NOTE: Individuals lodging a Third Party Return of Political Expenditure will not see this screen, instead they will be taken directly to the Lodging officer details screen.

screen shot of Step 1: Organisation Details which will have been pre-filled with your account details

Once you have checked and updated your organisation details, click 'Next' and you will be taken to the Lodging officer details screen where you can review your details.

screen shot of Step 1 screen where you can update your details

Once you have entered your details as the lodging officer click 'Next' to move to the Political expenditure screen.

Step 2 – Political expenditure

This screen will allow you to record details of political expenditure you have incurred during the financial year.

screen shot of political expenditure screen

Once you have recorded all of your political expenditure in each category, click 'Next' to move to the Gifts received screen.

Step 3 – Gifts received

This screen can be used to record details of gifts received that were used to incur the political expenditure that was recorded at Step 2–Political expenditure.

gifts received screen

To add details of a gift received, click the '+Add' button. This will launch the 'Add a gift received' window.

add a gift received screen

In the 'Add a gift received' window you can fill in the details of each gift received. For each gift that you have received you must include the name and address of the donor, the transaction date and the amount. Once you have finished recording the details of a gift, click the 'Add' button, to add the gift to the list. The 'Add a gift received' window will remain open, allowing you to enter more gifts.

Once you have added all your gifts received, click 'Close'.

You can then click 'Next' to move to the Notes screen.

Step 4 – Notes

The Notes screen allows you to record annotations against the return.

annotations screen

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.

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'.

Step 5 – Review

The next screen is the review screen.

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 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 'Next' and Back' buttons is a checkbox. Checking 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.

Step 6 Sign and Lodge

Once you have reviewed your return you will be able to lodge it with the AEC.

lodge screen

On this screen, you will need to select 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.

lodgement 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.

Lodging a Notice of Incomplete Return

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 Third Parties.

To lodge a Notice of Incomplete Return in eReturns you will need to select the checkbox at the bottom of the review screen.

review screen

Checking this box will take you to the Notice of Incomplete Return screen.

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.

incomplete particulars review screen

Once you have reviewed your Notice of Incomplete Return you can click 'Next' to go to the Sign and Lodge screen. To lodge your return and Notice of Incomplete Return follow the instructions at Step 6–Sign and Lodge of this guide.

Amending a Return

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.

view returns screen

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, the system will generate an amendment form for you to review which will detail the changes. This amendment form can be lodged just like the original return.