Frequently Asked Questions

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Submitting returns with levy payer information

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What is changing?

The Grains Research and Development Corporation has requested that a levy payer register be created for the Coarse Grains, Grain Legumes, Oilseeds and Wheat levies. From the December quarter return period (due 28 January 2019), grain returns will need to have levy payer information included.

A dated notice, listing all affected collection products, is available on the department’s website.

What is a levy payer?

A levy payer is the person who is liable to pay a particular levy. They are often the producer, i.e. the person who owns the product immediately before it is first sold, processed or exported. Normally a levy payer will pay levy through a collection agent as a part of a transaction involving leviable product(s).

What extra information will I need to provide?

In addition to the information you currently submit, you will need to provide, the:

  1. the name, address, contact details, ABN (if any) and ACN (if any) of the person who has paid, or is liable to pay, levy or charge for the product (the levy payer); and
  2. the amount of levy or charge each levy payer has paid or is liable to pay.

I’m new to Levies, how do I setup an account or get started?

You can register to pay levies by calling 1800 020 619 or emailing Levies management. Once registered, you will be issued with a unique LRS account number.

How to submit your return with levy payer information?

There are three lodgement options available for submitting your return with levy payer information to the department:

  1. Levies Online – data entry
  2. Levies Online – file upload
  3. Manual – hard copy return

Levies Online

To use Levies Online you will need to register through the Levies Online registration page. You will need your LRS Account Number, Australian Business Number (ABN) and email address.

Once registered, navigate to the Levies Online login page and enter your log-in details to access the Levies Online Portal.

When completing your return, you will be given an option to either manually enter or use an upload file template to submit the required levy payer information. An updated Levies Online User Guide will be made available for step-by-step instructions on your preferred option. In the meantime if you require assistance using Levies Online please contact us by calling 1800 022 384 or emailing Levies Online Helpdesk.

The department encourages the use of Levies Online for return submissions as it reduces costs associated with levy administration.

Manual

Download a hard copy return for grains and complete all relevant sections as instructed in the return form. Once completed you can submit your return via:

Email: Levies management

Fax: 1800 609 150

Mail:
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Levies
Locked Bag 4488
KINGSTON ACT 2604

I have a lot of levy payers that I collect from. Do I have to make an entry for each one?

You will need to provide information about all your levy payers. Recognising that this may include a long list of people, the department has developed an upload template for large portions of data. The upload feature supports .csv file and is available for Levies Online users only. An updated Levies Online User Guide will be made available for instructions on how to use the upload template. In the meantime if you require assistance using Levies Online please contact us at Levies online or on 1800 022 384.

Can I provide an upload file with a different file type format?

The upload functionality only supports .csv file types. Other file types are unable to be accepted by the system.

Will I need to make changes to my software to provide this information?

This will depend on the software you use. If you can extract information to .csv, there will be minimal changes that you will need to make. If you don’t utilise a software solution to keep records, and you don’t have a large number of levy payers, you can enter the information directly into Levies Online or submit a hard copy return, with levy payers included.

I don’t collect levy from anyone (I pay my own). How does this impact me?

You will still need to submit your information. In the section where you provide information about levy payers, you will just provide information about yourself.

What if I don’t have information about levy payers?

The Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Regulations 1991 already requires you to keep records about your levy payers. The new process does not change this. We encourage you start addressing the record-keeping requirements prior to the due date for returns (28 January 2019).

Why can’t you collect this information from levy payers themselves?

Prior to the establishment of a levy, majority of levy payers and affected sectors of that industry would have supported the method for how and when returns are collected. Collection agents will in most cases be submitting the return to the department because this is most efficient and therefore cost-effective for cost recovery purposes.

The levies system is reliant on collection agents to identify levy payers as they store levy payer information as a part of their records keeping requirements. Collecting it from them is the most efficient way of managing levy payer registers.

If a levy payer’s details change after I submit a return to the department, do I need to amend my return?

You will need to ensure that the information you include in your return is current at that point in time. You will not need to amend levy payer information unless it has been provided incorrectly. However, you should update your records for future return periods.

Can I choose to opt out of the levy payer register?

No. Collection agents, in accordance with the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Regulations 1999, are liable to submit returns and payments on behalf of levy payers to the department.

All grain returns due by 28 January 2019 (for grain traded between 1 October 2018 and 31 December 2018) and after that date, must include levy payer information.

Who will access and use this information?

The department may disclose information collected in returns to industry bodies, levy recipient organisations and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, provided the disclosure is consistent with relevant laws, in particular the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991 and the Privacy Act 1988.

Please refer to the Levy payer registers page for information about the use of levy payer information, governance and privacy.

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