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  • Duty-free operator return and instructions

    These instructions will help you complete your Duty-free operator return (NAT 10405, PDF 1.44MB)This link will download a file.

    The return can be completed online. If you can't open the form, save it to your computer first and open it from there. Once you have completed your return, follow the instructions at Lodging your return to send it to us through the Business Portal.

    Find out about:

    When to use this return

    Use this return if you operate a duty-free store:

    • at an airport – to report stocktake shortages or surpluses of excisable alcohol goods
    • outside of an airport – to report missed or found dockets and stocktake shortages or surpluses of excisable alcohol goods
    • and you also hold a licence to store excisable alcohol goods at a site that is not a duty-free store – to report any shortages or surpluses of stock at your storage site.

    If you're unsure whether you need to pay excise or customs duty on alcohol goods you have in stock, check the permission you use to move the alcohol goods to your duty-free store for details.

    You need to lodge a return every month, within 21 working days after the end of each month, even if you have nothing to report.

    Make sure you keep records, including any information you receive from Duty Free Security Company Limited.


    Your details

    Question 1

    Provide the legal name of the person or business liable to pay excise duty. Do not provide a trading name if it's different to the legal name.

    Question 2

    It's not compulsory to provide the Australian business number (ABN) for the person or business that is liable to pay excise duty. However, this will help us to process your return quickly.

    If the business is a trust, enter the ABN of the trustee in its capacity as trustee for the trust.

    Question 3

    Your client account number is a three-digit number (for example, 001) that is linked to your ABN. This number is used to identify your excise account with us.

    Return details

    On this return, you need to report shortages, surpluses, missed or found dockets for:

    • alcohol goods that are produced or manufactured in Australia and are subject to excise. For more information, go to alcohol excise
    • imported alcohol goods that have undergone a process of manufacture or production in Australia. For example, high strength imported whisky which has been reduced by adding water (in Australia) before it is bottled, constitutes manufacture or production for excise purposes. Vodka imported in bulk and repackaged in Australia, does not constitute manufacture for excise purposes.

    You don’t need to report on this return for:

    Question 5

    If you have done a stocktake during the month, report the results of your stocktake on Attachment 1 on the return or you can provide your own documentation.

    If you provide your own report, you need to include the following details about any short or surplus stock:

    • product type (for example, bottles)
    • product brand name
    • package size of the product (for example, 1 litre)
    • quantity of goods short or surplus.

    Note: If you have surplus stock after reconciliation of your stock records, it must be taken back into to your stock records.

    Question 6

    If you have stock shortages from your stocktake, complete Attachment 2 on the return or provide your own documentation to report the shortages.

    You can off-set any stock surpluses against your stock shortages on a dollar ($) duty basis. To work out the excise shortfall or surplus, use the excise rate that is current at the date of your calculation.

    Note: Excise duty can't be off-set against GST or customs duty.

    If you provide your own report for stock shortages and any surpluses for off-setting, you need to include the following details:

    • product type (for example, rum or brandy)
    • product brand name
    • quantity short or surplus in litres
    • quantity short or surplus in litres of alcohol (LALs)
    • excise duty on the quantity short or surplus.

    Question 7

    You need to complete Attachment 3 on the return or provide your own report for any:

    • missed dockets
    • dockets found after they were reported as missed.

    The tariff code and excise rates are available at excise rates for alcohol. When you fill in the form online, the excise payable is calculated for you.

    If you provide your own report, include the following details about the traveller's missed or found dockets:

    • docket number
    • traveller's departure date
    • traveller's name
    • description of the goods
    • measurement unit of the goods (for example, bottles)
    • bottle or pack size
    • excise tariff code applicable to the goods
    • quantity in litres of alcohol (LALs)
    • excise rate for the goods when they were delivered to the traveller (this is the rate you use to calculate the excise amount payable)
    • excise amount payable for the goods.

    Excise duty summary

    This section only applies if you have stock shortages or any missed or found dockets.

    If you report your details online in the attachments we have provided, any excise duty that you owe or have overpaid will be calculated for you. If you use any of your own reports you'll need to enter in the amounts.

    Total amount owing or overpaid

    If there is an overall debit, the amount shown as the total amount is the amount you must pay to us.

    If there is an overall credit, state which of the following payment methods you would prefer:

    • refund the amount (by cheque or electronic funds transfer [EFT])
    • apply the amount to an existing or future liability.

    The amount you receive may differ from the total amount calculated. This will occur when it is necessary to make adjustments for other tax debts or some Australian Government debts.

    Bank account details

    Complete this section if you expect to receive a refund of excise duty. The bank account must be held in the name of the person or business that paid the excise duty.


    You, or a person who is authorised to act on your behalf, must sign the declaration. If you are an entity, only a primary contact or a person authorised by a primary contact to act on your behalf (an authorised contact) may sign the declaration.

    If you lodge this return via the Business Portal your AUSkey will be accepted as your electronic signature. You will not need to sign the declaration on the return.

    See also:

    Lodging your return

    You can lodge your return online using the Business Portal. Simply follow these steps:

    1. Fill in the return form
    2. Save the completed return as a PDF to your system
    3. Log in to the Business Portal
    4. Select the MailExternal Link service
    5. Create a New messageExternal Link
    6. Select Excise returns from the Excise subject list
    7. Attach the return and any attachments to report missed dockets, or stocktake shortages or surpluses
    8. Select Send.

    You will receive a receipt number once you've lodged your return.

    Tracking progress of your return

    You can track progress of your return using the 'Your dealings with the Tax Office' function of the Business Portal.

    You can also view your accounts to see the financial outcome of your return.

    Service commitments

    Our commitments to service set out the timeframes you can expect when you deal with us.

    More information

    Last modified: 26 Mar 2018QC 20086