Account by Administrator frequently asked questions
Get answers to common questions we receive about completing an Account by Administrator (ABA).
When can I start an ABA?
What is the due date for the ABA?
What if I don't lodge the ABA and/or pay the annual fee?
What is the Annual Administration Fee?
How do I pay the Annual Administration Fee?
What if I can't pay the Annual Administration Fee?
Are there any other fees?
How do I log in to the ABA form?
What if I forgot my password?
Can I save my progress on the form?
What is the Administrator Reference Number?
What if I don't have my Administrator Reference Number?
What is the accounting period for the ABA?
How do I calculate the represented person's fortnightly income?
What supporting documents do I need?
How do I provide supporting documents?
How do I get advice about my role as an administrator?
How do I get legal advice?
Can I get any other assistance in my role as an administrator?
What if I don't have a computer to submit the ABA online?
What if I want to complete an ABA on paper?
What if a represented person has more than one administrator?
What if my financial summary information doesn't balance?
Should I keep a copy of the ABA?
Do I need to give a copy of the ABA to anyone else?
What if I need to change my details but already submitted the ABA?
What happens to the ABA?
What if I have already lodged the ABA and need to provide more supporting documents?
Does State Trustees Limited charge an examination fee?
Do other administrators charge fees?
What if the represented person has passed away?
Once you receive your VCAT letter in July, use our online form to submit an ABA for the 2019-20 financial year.
You need to wait until your VCAT letter arrives as it has your new Administrator Reference Number. This reference number changes every year.
You should gather documents containing financial information to help you complete the form. Also see: What supporting documents do I need?
If you don't receive the letter by the end of July:
Contact us if you are looking to lodge an ABA for the previous financial year.
VCAT must receive your ABA and fee payment by 30 September 2020.
Contact us if you cannot complete it by the due date.
You need to tell VCAT your reasons for seeking a time extension.
As an administrator, you are legally required to lodge an ABA each year.
If VCAT does not receive your ABA or fee payment by 30 September 2020, we may reassess the administration order, revoke it or appoint another administrator.
If the represented person's average fortnightly gross income from all sources is $844 or more, government regulations require you to pay an administration fee each year to VCAT.
The Annual Administration Fee is $133.30.
If you represent a person with another administrator, only one fee must be paid. Joint administrators must decide among themselves who will arrange for payment.
The annual fee is paid from the represented person's funds.
You can pay the fee with any of the following options:
- Securepay – enter your credit card details in the online ABA
- BPAY – via Internet or telephone banking
- POST billpay – pay in person at any post office or outlet
VCAT does not accept the payment of annual fees by personal cheque and AMEX or Diners Club cards.
VCAT can waive or reduce the Annual Administration Fee if the fee would cause financial hardship to the represented person.
Apply by completing the fee waiver section in the online ABA.
If we gave you permission to lodge a paper-based ABA, you need to complete the fee waiver section of the form.
Include your reasons and your supporting documents.
State Trustees Limited (STL) must independently examine ABAs submitted by private administrators. You need to pay a fee directly to STL for this service. VCAT cannot waive this fee.
If we appoint a professional administrator (for example, a trustee company, a lawyer or an accountant), we will specify the remuneration in the orders appointing them as administrator.
First time users
To use the online form, select Create an account.
Enter your email address and choose a password.
You will need the VCAT Reference Number and Administrator Reference Number printed on your VCAT letter.
If you have started completing the online form, you can retrieve your application.
If you have already submitted your application and have been asked to provide more information, you can lodge additional supporting documents
If you have submitted an ABA in previous years
Enter the same login details as you used to submit an ABA in previous years.
You will need the VCAT Reference Number and Administrator Reference Number printed on the letter we sent in July 2020.
Some fields will be pre-populated based on information submitted last year. Check and update details that are not correct.
Select Reset my password on the login screen.
You will be sent an email with a link to change your password.
Yes, you can save your progress. Complete all fields on the current screen you are on before selecting Save and next.
You can then quit at any time and resume later.
Make sure you complete and submit the form by 30 September 2020.
It is a 16-digit number that VCAT assigns to your ABA. You need to enter this number at the start of the ABA form.
A new Administrator Reference Number is assigned to your ABA each year.
We send you the new number in a VCAT letter in July. Make sure you enter the new number.
Call us on 1300 01 8228.
Usually this is the previous financial year, 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
Check the VCAT Administration Order for the accounting period.
The online form automatically calculates this figure for you.
If you have permission to lodge a paper-based ABA, you must calculate the fortnightly income yourself.
Divide the total gross income amount (from all sources) by 26 weeks.
Income ÷ 26 = Fortnightly income
You must support monetary amounts you enter in the form with evidence.
It is better to provide as much documentation as you can.
Documents you could use to support your ABA include:
- bank statements for the whole accounting period – these must include the full name of the account holder, BSB and account number
- Centrelink PAYG statement
- receipts for single expenses or purchases over $1,000
- receipts for large combined expenses totalling more than $500 but less than $1,000 (e.g. holidays, education or respite care)
- dividend or trust statements
- Statement of Adjustments (i.e. property settlement for sale or purchase of property)
- invoices or statements for accommodation or nursing home residence
- mortgage statements, loan agreements or credit card statements
- sale or purchase contract notes for shares and investments
- superannuation account summaries or statements.
Do not attach or send receipts for small items under $500, such as food, shopping, entertainment, pharmacy or transport receipts.
Upload your files on the online form under Supporting documents.
You must follow these guidelines to upload files correctly:
- use PDF, DOC, DOCX, CSV, XLS, XLSX, JPG or PNG file extensions
- each file must be under 3MB in size.
- do not provide links to cloud-based platforms such as OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive
- do not upload documents that are protected with passwords or security codes.
Contact us by email or by post for advice about:
- sale of property
- purchase of a car
- gifts or loans or
- any other major purchase or expense.
We must get your questions in writing. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to VCAT Guardianship List, PO Box 13193 Law Courts VIC 8010.
Do not lodge your request for advice as part of lodging your ABA.
VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following information and services may be able to help you:
- free or low-cost and paid legal services
- find a private lawyer
- customer support at VCAT
- Office of the Public Advocate
Information sessions for new administrators
VCAT holds regular information sessions for new guardians and administrators.
These free information sessions are an opportunity for new guardians and administrators to ask questions about:
- responsibilities of an administrator or guardian
- reporting requirements
- changes in circumstances
- what to do when organisations won't accept your authority to make decisions.
During the session, we cannot discuss individual cases or give legal advice.
Unfortunately due to restrictions imposed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we currently cannot run information sessions in person. Instead we are developing a series of training videos and an FAQ section to help new administrators understand their roles and responsibilities. This content will be available on our website soon.
Lodging an ABA
VCAT holds ABA workshops each year in July, August and September.
We give you technical assistance and the facilities to lodge your ABA online.
Each workshop runs for 2 hours and will be facilitated by a VCAT staff member. We cannot enter information for you or lodge the online ABA on your behalf.
Bring all required and relevant supporting documents with you to the workshop.
Ensure that your figures and supporting documents are ready and in order before the workshop.
If you are unable to finalise lodgement of the ABA at the workshop, VCAT staff will explain the steps you need to take to finalise the ABA in your own time from any PC or mobile device.
Public computers or tablets are available at local libraries and community centres.
We recommend using the online form because they are processed faster and calculate whether you need to pay the Annual Administration Fee.
If you want to submit a hard copy (paper-based) ABA form, you need to ask VCAT for permission.
If VCAT allows you to lodge a paper-based ABA you will need to calculate the fortnightly income of the represented person. This figure will be the represented person's annual income from all sources (excluding proceeds from the sale of property or assets) divided by 26.
If the represented person's fortnightly income from all sources is less than $844, you must complete the payment slip on the back of the VCAT letter (sent to you in July 2020) and return this with the ABA to confirm no fee is payable.
Do not send the payment slip without the ABA.
When completing the form, you will need to manually calculate the represented person's total pensions. Add each pension payment for the 2019-20 financial year as they appear on the represented person's bank statements. The figure stated on Centrelink PAYG statements is understated for ABA purposes.
Details of all appointed administrators must be provided.
But only one ABA must be submitted and one fee to be paid.
Joint administrators must discuss among themselves who will arrange for payment.
If we give you permission to lodge a paper-based ABA form, all administrators must sign the Acknowledgement section.
A 5% margin applies if the ABA doesn't balance.
If the margin is over 5%, go back and check all financial information you have entered.
If the ABA still does not balance, you must explain why in the form.
Yes, keep a copy of the ABA and all supporting documents for a period of five years.
If you use our online form, you can save or print a copy of the ABA before submitting it.
Only if the VCAT Administration Order directs you to provide a copy of the ABA to someone else.
If you use our online form, you can save or print a copy of the ABA before submitting it.
Notify VCAT of changes in writing by either:
- email – email@example.com
- post – VCAT Guardianship List, PO Box 13193, Law Courts VIC 8010
- VCAT checks your ABA. If there is missing information or documents, we contact you.
- We forward your ABA to State Trustees Limited (STL) to examine. It may take up to six months after you submit for STL to complete their examination. Every year they examine thousands of ABAs.
- Once STL completes their examination, they advise VCAT that the ABA is accepted for the accounting period or they need further information to finalise your ABA. We notify you of the outcome in writing.
- If further information or documents are required to finalise the ABA, we send you a copy of the STL report together with a letter outlining the steps you need to take and a due date.
- We can also schedule a VCAT hearing where we discuss the examination report with you. A VCAT member will decide if the ABA can be accepted and finalised based on further information or evidence you provide. VCAT will notify you of the member's decision in writing.
Use a separate online form to upload further documents.
Enter the same login details you used to submit your ABA, including the Administrator Reference Number in your VCAT letter from July 2020.
Yes, pay the fee directly to State Trustees Limited (STL).
STL are legally appointed by VCAT to conduct independent examinations of ABAs submitted by private administrators.
STL examination fees are mentioned in the VCAT Administration Order. This fee must be paid from the represented person's funds.
The examination fee depends on the value of the estate of the represented person. STL will let you know the exact fee in writing.
VCAT cannot waive an STL fee. If you need help to pay the STL fee contact STL directly.
If we appoint a professional administrator (e.g. trustee company, lawyer or accountant), the administrator will charge a fee for the services they provide. This is stated in the VCAT Administration Order.
Most private administrators do not receive payment for being an administrator. If there are exceptional circumstances, we can order payment.
Administrators are legally required to advise VCAT in writing.
We need a death certificate to prove the represented person's death.
We will advise you if you still need to submit the ABA.
Keep a copy of the ABA and all supporting documents for a period of five years.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or post to VCAT Guardianship List, PO Box 13193, Law Courts VIC 8010.
- Title Account by Administrator frequently asked questions
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