Whether you are new to having to lodge a business activity statement (BAS) or have been completing them for a long time, it is always good to get some help to make sure you are on the right path.
Let’s start with what exactly a BAS is.
The business activity statement (BAS) is a document generated and issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on either a monthly or quarterly basis depending on what is required of your business. It is used to summarise the amounts of GST payable and receivable by your business during a certain period. It also looks at a range of other taxes that may or may not be applicable such as pay as you go (PAYG) withholding tax. This information is then used to calculate whether you owe more tax or are entitled to a refund.
Here are some tips to help you get it right and to make it less stressful.
Keep accurate and complete records of transactions
In order to be able to complete your BAS correctly, it is important to ensure that you keep complete and accurate records of all business transactions such as:
- And other business costs
One of the keys to keeping accurate and up-to-date records is to spend a little time often to keep them on track. Set some time aside in your schedule and make sure that you stick to this. If you don’t do this regularly you will face a backlog of entries when you do finally get around to it making it feel like a momentous task.
You can read more about the importance of accurate record-keeping in our earlier blog here.
Claiming the right GST credits
A little worried that you are claiming GST that you’re not meant to?
You should only claim GST on the business portion of any purchases, and not on private expenses, such as food or entertainment. If an item is for both business and personal use, make sure to only claim the business portion of the GST.
You also can’t claim GST on purchases that don’t include GST in the price, such as:
- bank fees and charges
- stamp duty
- GST-free items, such as basic foods
Lodge on Time
Even if you can’t pay by the due date, you should still lodge your BAS on time. This shows you’re aware of your obligations and doing your best to meet them as well as letting you know where you stand.
The ATO may also apply a ‘Failure to Lodge on Time Penalty’ so it is best to avoid this and get it lodged by the due date.
Late Lodgement can also hold up refunds if you are expecting one, as the ATO will not process refunds until all outstanding BAS are lodged.
There are a couple of options available with the ATO when it comes time to lodge, you can either do it electronically or by mail.
Lodging your BAS electronically is quick, easy, and secure and means you:
- can lodge at a time that’s convenient to you
- may receive an additional two weeks to lodge and pay your BAS – check out the ATO two-week deferral offer
- may get a faster refund
- get help to avoid mistakes
- can review your BAS before lodging, and check that the amount calculated equals what you expect to pay or receive
Think about using a Registered BAS Agent to lodge for you
If you are finding the looming due date on your BAS stressful or simply having trouble finding the time to lodge and pay by the due date, you can always reach out to a registered BAS agent so they can lodge for you.
Not too sure what to look for in a BAS agent? The most important thing to look for is that they are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as a BAS agent. This means that they have had to pass certain criteria and qualifications in order to be registered and lodge on behalf of your business.
If you feel you could use a hand with your BAS, Sense in Numbers can help. We are registered BAS agents and fully qualified to lodge on your behalf.