In most cases you have to pay a fee when you apply to VCAT or use some VCAT services.
On 1 July 2016 the Victorian Government changed VCAT’s fee structure. If your case started before then, any fee you may need to pay will be calculated under the new fee structure.
Pay your daily hearing fee
Please pay by 4.30 pm on the day before your hearing.
Fee payer levels
VCAT fees are charged according to three fee payer levels.
When you make an application tell us what type of fee payer you are and provide proof of your status. For example, if you are a concession fee payer you must give us a copy of your Health Care Card or if you are a small business, you need to complete a statutory declaration confirming your turnover is less than $200,000 per year.
The fee payer level applies to all the fees you are required to pay for the duration of the case until it is completed. It does not apply to any other cases you may have at VCAT. You must apply separately for each case.
Concession fee payers
You can pay a concession fee if you hold a current Health Care Card issued by the Federal Government.
The concession fee is capped at at $150 for each fee payable in your case for the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. You can also apply for fee relief.
Other types of concession cards
If you hold another type of concession card, you can apply for fee relief to have fees waived or further reduced. You are not eligible to pay the concession fee.
Standard fee payers
Standard fee payers are defined as:
- individuals (including those who run small businesses as sole traders or in partnerships)
- not-for-profit organisations
- incorporated businesses with a turnover of less than $200,000 in the previous financial year.
Corporate fee payers
Corporate fee payers are:
- businesses and companies with a turnover of more than $200,000 in the previous financial year
- corporate entities and government agencies.
If your company or not-for-profit organisation wants to apply as a standard fee payer, you will need to provide a statutory declaration with your application that states this.
If you become a different type of fee payer
If you become a different type of fee payer during your case, for example if you obtain a Health Care Card, you can advise us in writing and include a copy of any relevant documents.
At VCAT you may need to pay an application fee, a hearing fee or a fee for other VCAT services.
When you apply to VCAT to start a case you may have to pay an application fee. We determine this fee according to whether you are a concession, standard or corporate fee payer, the type of case and the remedy you are seeking.
Fees in cases with more than one applicant
In claims where there are multiple applicants (group application) only one application fee is payable. The fee is based on the highest fee payer in the group, who is also responsible for paying the fee. For example, if the group consists of a corporate fee payer and a concession fee payer, the corporate fee applies.
Find out if you have to pay an application fee by referring to the VCAT fee tables effective 1 July 2016.
You may need to pay a hearing fee if your case is in the Administrative Division, and in all divisions if your case runs for two or more hearing days.
There are no hearing fees for mediations, compulsory conferences, a directions hearings or practice day hearings. In many cases, hearing fees are payable for the first day of the hearing and any subsequent days.
Exemptions from day one hearing fees
There are some cases where a first day hearing fee does not apply:
- in the Residential Tenancies Division
- a case regarding a VicSmart proceeding or reviewing conditions of a planning permit
- most Owners Corporations proceedings
- where you are claiming a sum of money no more than $100,000.
If your case is about a claim for more than $15,000, hearing fees usually apply for the second and subsequent hearing days.
Find out if you have to pay a hearing fee by referring to the VCAT fee tables effective 1 July 2016.
Shared hearing fees
If there are multiple claims being heard at one hearing, the hearing fees are shared equally between the claims. For example, in a case with a claim and a counterclaim, the hearing fees are shared at 50 per cent to each claim.
If there are multiple parties, the percentage of fees that each party pays is split equally – so if there are three parties then each pays a third of the hearing fee. The amount they pay is determined by what type of fee payer they are.
For example, if one party is a corporate fee payer then they pay a third of the corporate hearing day fee. If the other two parties are standard fee payers then they each pay a third of the standard hearing day fee.
VCAT charges fees for other services such as:
- issuing a summons to witness or produce documents
- inspecting a VCAT file by a person who is not a party to the proceeding
- video conferencing
- inspecting the VCAT register
- in planning cases, lodging a statement of grounds if you also want to become a party in the case and take part in proceedings
- making a costs application after the proceeding has finalised
- making a rehearing application
- transferring a proceeding from the Magistrates’ Court to VCAT
- making an application for an injunction to be heard urgently
- issuing a warrant in a proceeding in a residential tenancies matter.
The VCAT fee tables effective 1 July 2016 show the different fee amounts depending on your fee payer level and the type of application.
- If you are experiencing financial hardship you may apply for fees to be waived, reduced or postponed. This also applies to Health Care Card holders.
- We call this fee relief.
- You must meet eligibility requirements to be granted fee relief.
There are some cases where no fee is payable by a concession fee payer. No fee is payable by a concession fee payer in respect of cases that are:
- allocated to the residential tenancies division; or
- allocated to the civil division and is for a claim for a specified sum of money that is no more than $15,000.00; or
- seeking exemption from any provision of Victorian discrimination law.
If you are the holder of a different type of concession or health care card and the payment of the fee would cause you financial hardship you may apply for the fee to be waived, reduced or postponed. This is called fee relief.
How to pay fees
We accept credit card, cheque, bank cheque and money orders if you are paying fees by post or in person at 55 King Street or William Cooper Justice Centre, Melbourne. We also accept cash and EFTPOS if you are paying in person.
Use the Credit card payment form if you want to pay a fee by credit card.
If you have a residential tenancies matter, you can pay online through the Residential Tenancies Hub. Our online forms also accept online payment by credit card.
You can pay your daily hearing fee online with a credit card or pay by any of the methods above. We can accept online payment up to three days before your hearing. To avoid delays, please pay by 4.30 pm on the day before your hearing.
VCAT can refund fees if you have paid a fee more than once or if you have paid a higher fee than the fee you are required to pay. Use the Application to request a refund form.