statement – what, who, when and how?
Whether you’ve recently started a small business or have just registered for GST, you may be wondering how to lodge your business activity statement (BAS) correctly. Luckily, completing your BAS is relatively simple compared to other tax-related rules and obligations. Read on to understand more about lodging your BAS and staying on top of your business finances.
What is a BAS?
A BAS is a sales report that every GST-registered business must submit to the ATO. Your BAS will tell the ATO how much GST you collected on sales, how much GST you paid on purchases, and what your total GST bill or refund will be.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need to include other information in your BAS, such as any PAYG tax details and extras including luxury car tax or fuel tax credits.
It is essential that you lodge and pay your BAS on time. Most small businesses are required to lodge their BAS quarterly, but you may need to lodge yours monthly or annually depending on your turnover (more on that later).
Every business that’s registered for goods and services tax (GST) needs to report their sales to the ATO via a BAS.
If your turnover is less than $75,000 per year, you do not need to register for GST, but you can if you wish. If you choose to do so, you will also need to lodge a BAS.
To avoid penalties, you must lodge your BAS on time. Most small businesses with a GST turnover of less than $20 million have to lodge and pay their BAS quarterly.
BAS quarterly deadlines
|Financial quarter||BAS due date|
|Q1: July – September||28 October|
|Q2: October – December||28 February|
|Q3: January – March||28 April|
|Q4: April – June||28 July|
If your GST turnover is $20 million or more, you will have to lodge your BAS monthly. For businesses with a turnover of less than $75,000 that is voluntarily registered for GST, an annual statement is required.
It’s important to remember that even if you have no sales to report for the quarter, you still must submit a BAS. In this instance, you can lodge your BAS as ‘nil’, either online or over the phone.
How do I lodge a BAS?
There are a number of ways to lodge your BAS. The quickest and easiest way is to prepare and lodge online. In some cases, you may even receive an extra two weeks to pay if you choose to lodge your BAS online. You’ll also receive the added benefit of automatic reminders sent to your chosen email address every time your BAS is due.
There are different ways to lodge your BAS online depending on your circumstances and preferences:
- If you’re an individual or sole trader, you can lodge your BAS through myGov.
- If you’re a larger business, you can use the ATO’s Business Portal to manage your tax and super needs.
- Alternatively, you may choose to lodge securely and directly from your SBR-enabled accounting software.
You can also choose to lodge your BAS by mail or through a registered tax or BAS agent.
How much will my BAS be?
The amount of your BAS bill or refund will be the total value of GST collected on your sales for the eligible period, minus the GST you paid on any expenses incurred during the same period.
GST is approximately 10% of your sales value, so it’s wise to stay on top of it to ensure you don’t get caught short by the BAS deadline. To help you keep track, make sure your customer invoices are up-to-date and reflect your additional GST amount. You may also wish to put that amount aside on receipt of payment.
It’s also important to stay up-to-date with your expenses to ensure you’re only paying the amount you owe and not missing out on any refunds or deductions you may be eligible for. If you do not track your expenses, you won’t be able to reflect those deductions in your activity statement.
Finally, if you receive a bill after lodging your BAS, you can pay by credit or debit card, BPAY, or in person at an Australia Post store. However you choose to lodge and pay, just make sure you do it before the due dates – penalties and fines apply for late or missed payments.
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