Liquor Returns lodgement guide

Guidance for licensees completing annual liquor returns.

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This lodgement guide provides guidance for licensees completing annual liquor returns.

In accordance with section 146 (1) and (2) of the Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act), the Director of Liquor Licensing requires that an annual liquor sales return be completed by certain licensees and submitted to the department on or before 31 July.

Content and lodgement

The liquor return requires you to submit the total sales (litres and $) for the financial year for each sale that you have made to a WA liquor merchant (holders of their own liquor licences).

The liquor return is required to be lodged electronically via the department’s online portal.

Please sign in to the online account held in the name of the licensee or create a new account if the licensee doesn’t already have one. Note: this account is not the one used to renew an approved managers card, unless the liquor licence is held as an individual.

If you have created a new account please record your username and password for subsequent log in.

On the online portal, data can be uploaded manually or via a spreadsheet saved in the CSV (comma separated value) format.  Manually entered returns are only recommended when entering returns consisting of a few lines of data. Returns over 20 lines of data should be completed via uploading a CSV file.


Low volume liquor (low alcohol content)
As defined under the Act, the concentration of ethanol shall not exceed 3.5%
High volume liquor
All liquor not classed as low volume
Liquor merchant
Means a person who holds a permanent liquor licence under the Act to sell liquor
Litres (must be reported as a whole number)
Is the total amount you received for the sale of that liquor — format as a number not as currency (must be reported as a whole number).


It is an offence to fail to lodge this return by 31 July (penalty $10,000) or to include in the return, information that is false or misleading (penalty $10,000).

Liquor return template

Return lodgement through an account

The licensee's account will be used to submit your return this year and in subsequent years.  It can be used during the course of the reporting period to intermittently enter sales and save your progress or alternatively you can lodge the return in one transaction. 

If you already have an account with the department, sign in with your existing username and password and skip step 1.

1.  Creating an account

First you must create an account. This account will be used to submit your applications, returns and change your address details.

  • Visit the online portal (opens a new window)
  • Select Create Account.
  • Add all required fields and click Register.
    • The username must be in lowercase letters and cannot contain spaces or symbols such as @, !, &.
    • The password must be at least 8 characters long and contain at least 1 number, 1 uppercase and 1 lowercase letter.
  • An email will be sent to the email entered when completing the required fields.
    • Go to your email account and locate the registration email and click on the registration link to complete your account creation.
    • If copying the registration link please ensure you copy and paste the entire link into your internet browser.
  • To complete the account verification, log into your account when prompted by entering your username and password.
  • Click Register to finalise and activate your account.

Once your details have been entered and registered, you will not be required to register your details again. You can amend your details at anytime by logging into your account.

If you experience any issues with the account creation process please contact our department on 61 8 6551 4999.

2. Downloading, editing and uploading your return

  1. Download the example Excel (.xls) document. This helps you with validation and instructions.
  2. Edit this Excel document. This is your master file.
  3.  When you have completed your return, save as a CSV (comma delimited) file.
    File > Save As > CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)
    Screenshot of saving as a CSV file
  4. Ensure you close your newly saved CSV file so you don’t edit this file.
  5. Upload your CSV file in the online portal.
A workflow diagram showing stages of downloading, editing and uploading the file

Downloaded template

This is what the template looks like in Excel. You must complete the header (H) row and data (D) rows with details of all liquor you supplied to a purchaser1. The final (F) row is completed automatically.

A screenshot of the template spreadsheet

  1. Please note that the liquor return only requires details of total sales you made to licensed venues in Western Australian only. We do not require the details of any sales you made direct to the public, to the holder of an occasional liquor licence, or to interstate or overseas customers.

Header (H) row

This identifies your business licence, licence type, year and period.

A screenshot of the header row of the template

Complete the header (H) row:
B1: enter your licence number
C1: select your licence type. E.g. Producer, Wholesaler or Special facility
D1: select the year of return. E.g. 2021 is for 2020/2021 financial year.
E1: select period. i.e., Annual

Add a new row or rows

Select the entire last row “F”. You do this by clicking on the row number on the left. If you want to insert multiple rows, select the number of rows you want to insert.

A screenshot that shows selecting the F row

Right-click and select Insert.

Screenshot of the liquor returns file showing to insert

A new row (or rows) are inserted. Enter a value in each cell until all cells aren’t red. Red cells show you that the cell needs a number. Enter zero (0) if you did not supply that type of liquor.

Data (D) rows

This is the data you are providing for all the liquor you have supplied to each purchaser (liquor merchant).

Liquor returns file showing the different fields on the D row

Complete each data (D) row:

  • A: select D
  • B: enter the purchasers licence number. You can look up purchaser licences in the Purchaser licence worksheet.
  • C: enter beer (high) volume2 in whole litres
  • D: enter beer (low) volume3 in whole litres
  • E: enter wine (high) volume in whole litres
  • F: enter beer (low) volume in whole litres
  • G: enter spirits volume in whole litres
  • H: enter beer (high) value in whole dollars
  • I: enter beer (low) value in whole dollars
  • J: enter wine (high) value in whole dollars
  • K: enter wine (low) value in whole dollars
  • L: enter spirit value in whole dollars
  1. High volume means any beer or wine with more than 3.5% of ethanol by volume
  2. Low volume means any beer or wine with up to 3.5% of ethanol by volume

Final (F) row

The final (F) row tallies all D row values automatically.

Screenshot of the liquor returns file showing the F row

3. Completing an annual liquor return

  1. Login to Your Licence/Business’s Online Account on the department's online portal.
  2. Click New Lodgement.
  3. Select Liquor and Annual Liquor Return then click Submit.
  4. Once you hit submit, it will ask if you wish to review your contact details. If you do not want to, please ensure you select No to progress.
  5. Complete all mandatory boxes and the details entered will be lodged after submitting.
  6. Make sure you click on submit after uploading otherwise the return will not be submitted.
  7. If you need to leave this page before completion, save and take note of the reference number that will be displayed.


For assistance with log in details (forgotten username or password) please contact the department on 61 8 6551 4999 or 

For assistance with your electronic return content please contact the department on 61 8 6551 4980 or

If you need assistance and are advised to send us your file. Please send it as an Excel spreadsheet. We will not be able to provide assistance if it arrives in any other format.


This information is designed to provide authoritative information regarding the subject matter covered, and with the understanding that the Director is not passing legal opinion or interpretation or other professional advice. The information is provided on the understanding that all persons undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its contents.

Page reviewed 27 July 2021