If there is one thing we have come to find here at Auditax Accountants, it’s that the mere mention of the term ‘Business Activity Statement’ (BAS for short) is enough to make business owners break out in a sweat. Not only are they pesky to complete, but they’re an added stress to small business owners if they are required to pay the ATO any Goods and Services Tax (GST).
All businesses that are registered for GST are required by law to lodge BAS. Any anxiety associated with BAS can be more easily managed if you fully understand what BAS is, and when and if it needs to be lodged or paid.
Tell me all about that BAS!
A BAS is a form that businesses must submit to the ATO to report, and pay, their tax liabilities. The ATO uses the information on your BAS to work out your GST refund, or in most cases, your bill.
When you complete a BAS form you are essentially reporting the GST amount you’ve collected on your sales, minus any that you’ve paid on your purchases, with the difference being your refund or what you owe to the ATO.
It’s also used for calculating business income tax, employee income tax, fringe benefits tax, luxury car tax, wine equalization tax, and fuel tax credits.
You can choose whether to lodge your BAS monthly, quarterly or annually, with most businesses opting for quarterly lodgments.
Do I need to lodge BAS?
Here’s a simple checklist to see if you’re eligible –
- Do you own a business that is registered for GST?
If the answer to the above is yes, then yes – you will need to lodge a BAS.
What if I don’t have anything to report during my nominated BAS period?
Even if you have nothing to report for your nominated period, either due to no activity or sales, you will still need to lodge a nil activity statement. You can lodge your nil BAS by selecting the “Prepare as NIL” option on your BAS form.
What do I need to include in my BAS?
You will need a record of how much GST you collected on any sales or purchases. The good news? You won’t need to submit any invoices when you lodge your BAS, but you should keep them handy in case the ATO ask to see them. on hand.
Additionally, depending on your circumstances, you may also be required to provide details on the following –
- Pay As You Go (PAYG) Income Tax Withheld and Instalments
- Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Instalments
- Luxury Car Tax (LCT)
- Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)
- Fuel Tax Credits
What if I miss my BAS due date?
You may be penalised by the ATO if you fail to lodge your BAS before the periodical deadlines without a good reason, and how much for will depend on the size of your entity. You can read here how the ATO calculates your Failure To Lodge (FTL) penalties.
Additionally, failing to lodge also puts you in a position where you may not be able to claim your GST refund, or submit your annual income tax returns. In short – get your BAS done!
Speaking of due dates – when are they?
Depending on your nominated period, you may be required to lodge monthly, quarterly, or annually.
If you lodge monthly, you will need to prepare your BAS within 21 days of the previous instalment.
If you lodge annually, you will need to submit your BAS with your annual tax return.
If you lodge quarterly, here are the quarterly deadlines –
- Quarter 1 (July-September) BAS is due on 28 October.
- Quarter 2 (October-December) is due on 28 February.
- Quarter 3 (January-March) is due on 28 April.
- Quarter 4 (April-June) is due on 28 July.
Righto, got it. So how do I prepare my BAS?
Lucky for you, you have a few options for lodging your BAS online!
- by having a registered tax or BAS agent, like Auditax Accountants, submit it for you!
- through your myGov account
- through the ATO’s online business portal
- via an accounting software, such as Myob or Xero – Ask us at Auditax Accountants about how to set these up!
Still have questions? Feel free to give Auditax Accountants a call on 08 9358 5599 and ask to speak with one of our BAS agents today!