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Payment of costs certificates

The Attorney-General's Department administers the payment of costs certificates issued by federal courts under the Federal Proceedings (Costs) Act 1981 referred to as the 'Costs Act'.

What do I need to apply?

To apply for the payment of a costs certificate you will need:

  • a copy of the costs certificate, marked with the court's seal
  • a copy of the court orders which granted the certificate
  • copies of itemised accounts for any legal fees recoverable under the costs certificate
  • copies of receipts for any expenses recoverable under the costs certificate.

If you are the recipient of a payment and registered for GST, you must also send a tax invoice addressed to the Attorney-General's Department.

How to apply

Download and complete an application form, then email it to with the required attachments.

If you are applying for a costs certificate under section 6, 7 or 9 of the Costs Act, you should also complete a template statement to confirm that there has been no appeal from the court order that granted the costs certificate. You will need to email this statement to with the required attachments.

If you cannot send your application by email, contact the Financial Assistance Section.

How much can be paid?

A cap applies to costs certificates issued under sections 6, 7, 7A, 8, 9 and 10A of the Costs Act.

This cap is the maximum amount that the department can pay.

The capped amounts, inclusive of GST where applicable, are as follows:

  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal $2000
  • Federal Circuit Court (formally the Federal Magistrates Court) $4000
  • Family Court $4000
  • Federal Court $6000
  • High Court $10 000.

No cap applies to costs certificates issued under section 10 of the Costs Act.

All costs claimed are assessed against the 'scale of costs' for the court that heard the matter, at the time the matter was heard.

More information

More information is available in our assessment policies:

Assessment timeframes

Payment will be made approximately 28 days after receipt of a complete application. Incomplete applications will not be assessed and you will be notified if your application is incomplete.

Contact details

1800 117 995 OR 02 6141 4770
Outside Australia: +61 2 6141 4770