Information about application fees

Application fees

When you apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review of some kinds of decisions, there is no application fee. For the review of other decisions, a fee must be paid.

If a fee is payable, the full application fee is $816 if paid before 1 July 2014 and $861 if paid on or after 1 July 2014. In certain circumstances, this fee can be reduced to $100.

If your application will be dealt with in the Small Taxation Claims Tribunal, the application fee is $81 if paid before 1 July 2014 and $85 if paid on or after 1 July 2014. This fee cannot be reduced.

Your application cannot proceed until you pay the application fee. The AAT may dismiss your application if you do not pay the application fee within six weeks of lodging your application.

If you have paid a full application fee and the application is resolved in your favour, most of it will be refunded. There is no refund if you paid the reduced application fee or if your application was dealt with in the Small Taxation Claims Tribunal.

 

When do you not have to pay an application fee?

In certain circumstances, you do not have to pay an application fee.

  1. No fee is payable if the decision to be reviewed is listed in Schedule 3 to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulations 1976 (see list below). This includes decisions about Commonwealth workers' compensation, family assistance and social security payments and veterans' entitlements.

  2. No fee is payable if the decision was made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 in relation to a document which relates to a decision under Schedule 3 to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulations 1976.

When are you eligible to pay a reduced fee?

If a full application fee is usually payable for an application, you can pay a reduced fee of $100 instead of the full application fee if you fall into one of these groups:

  • you are receiving legal aid for your application;

  • you hold a health care card, a pensioner concession card, a Commonwealth seniors health card or any other card issued by the Department of Social Services or the Department of Veterans' Affairs that certifies entitlement to Commonwealth health concessions;

  • you are in prison or lawfully detained in a public institution;

  • you are under 18 years of age; or

  • you are receiving youth allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY.

If you fall into one of these groups, please inform the AAT and provide proof as soon as possible. The AAT can advise you about what type of proof you should provide.

You can also ask the AAT to reduce the fee you have to pay, if paying the full fee would cause you financial hardship.

Reduced fee because of financial hardship

The Registrar, a District Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the AAT can order that a reduced fee of $100 must be paid instead of the full application fee, if he or she decides that paying the full fee would cause you financial hardship.

In making a decision about whether paying the full fee would cause you financial hardship, a Registrar will take into account your financial circumstances.  This includes a range of factors, such as the amount you earn, your living expenses, your assets and debts.

What will a Registrar take into account?

A Registrar will take into account:

  1. How much money you and your partner earn.

  2. Whether payment of the application fee will affect your ability to pay the following expenses for yourself, your partner or your children:

  • food and clothes;

  • rent or mortgage payments;

  • health care;

  • education;

  • any other basic needs;

  • or any special needs (for a serious illness or disability).

  1. Whether you own any assets, such as a car or house. Assets also include:

  • investments;

  • money in the bank;

  • cash on hand for short term expenses; and

  • money for special needs.

  1. Whether you have any debts.

How do you apply for a fee reduction on the grounds of financial hardship?

An application for reduction of an application fee must be made in writing to the AAT. You can fill out an Application by an Individual for Fee Reduction form in either PDF (84 KB) or RTF (699 KB) versions. Once you have completed the form, you should lodge it with the AAT. If you have difficulty doing this, please contact us.

You will need to give a Registrar as much information as possible about your financial circumstances, as asked for in the Application by an Individual for Fee Reduction form. The information that you give in this form is confidential and will only be seen by a Registrar and AAT staff who are involved in processing your request for a fee reduction.

When will a Registrar make a decision?

After you have lodged your application for a fee reduction and given the information needed, a Registrar will consider your financial situation and then make a decision. You will receive a letter telling you whether or not your application has been successful. The Registrar will endeavour to make the decision within three working days from the time you applied for a fee reduction or have responded to a request from the Registrar for further information.

What happens to your application for review while the application for fee reduction is being considered?

There is a time limit for making an application for review to the AAT. The time limit may run out while a Registrar is considering your request for reduction of the application fee.

Generally, an application to the AAT must be made within 28 days from the date that you received the decision. However, this time limit can change depending on the type of decision that you have asked to be reviewed. Check with us if you are unsure about the length of time you have to make your application.

If the time limit will run out while your request for a fee reduction is being considered, you may apply for an extension of time to lodge your application or you may pay the full application fee so that your application for review can be accepted. The AAT can only proceed with your application for review once the application fee is paid.

We can answer any questions you may have about an extension of time and how you can apply for it.

What if you have more than one application for review?

If an application fee is payable, you must pay an application fee for each application for review that you make to the AAT. However, if you make two or more applications for review of decisions that can be dealt with together, a Registrar can make an order that you only have to pay one fee.

If you think that you should only have to pay one fee, ask the AAT staff about this when you lodge your application.

Can you appeal if your request to pay a reduced fee or to pay only one fee is refused?

If your request for a fee reduction or to pay only one fee is refused, you have a right to appeal the Registrar's decision. The Registrar must give you written reasons for the decision and information on how to appeal against the decision. If you decide to appeal, you will have to pay a fee. A member of the Tribunal will then hear the appeal.

If you do not appeal within 28 days or if you do appeal and it is unsuccessful, you must pay the required fee if you want your application for review to proceed.

Can an application fee be refunded?

If you paid a full application fee, most of it will be refunded if the application is resolved in your favour. The refund amount is the difference between the fee you paid and $100. So, if you paid $816, you get back $716 and if you paid $861 on or after 1 July 2014, you get back $761. There is no refund if you paid the reduced application fee or if your application was dealt with in the Small Taxation Claims Tribunal.

Decisions which do NOT attract an application fee under Schedule 3 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulations 1976

Decisions under the following Acts or enactments:

  • Any determination under section 58B of the Defence Act 1903;

  • A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999, Schedules 5 and 6 to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance and Related Measures) Act 2000

  • Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Act 1973;

  • Defence Service Homes Act 1918;

  • Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986;

  • First Home Owners Act 1983;

  • Home Deposit Assistance Act 1982;

  • Homes Savings Grant Act 1976;

  • Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004;

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013;

  • Subsection 40AA(8), 40AA(10), section 40AB, 40ABA or 40AC of the National Health Act 1953;

  • Subsection 4(7) of the Nursing Homes Assistance Act 1974;

  • Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973 and Papua New Guinea Staffing Assistance (Superannuation) Regulations;

  • Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988;

  • Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992;

  • Social Security Act 1991, Social Security (Administration) Act 1999; Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999;

  • Section 33 of the Social Services Act 1980 of Norfolk Island;

  • Superannuation Act 1976;

  • Student and Youth Assistance Act 1973, other than Division 6 of Part 4A;

  • Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

Fees summary and flowchart

A summary of information about fees, including a flowchart, that the AAT uses to assist in deciding what fee an applicant must pay and when an applicant is entitled to a refund is available to download:

More information

Contact us by mail, phone, fax or email for more information.