If you are reading this guide, you may have learned that you must do a BAS statement, and this guide will help you prepare and lodge your statement.
The business activity statement BAS is a form submitted to the Australian Taxation Office ATO by registered business entities to report their tax obligations, including GST, pay as you go withholding, pay as you go instalments, fringe benefits tax, wine equalisation tax and luxury car tax.
WHY do I need to do a BAS statement?
If you are a small business that exceeds $75,000 turnover or provides taxi or ride-sharing services, you must register and charge for GST. You need to lodge a business activity statement.
Your Business Activity Statement will help you report and pay your:
- goods and services tax (GST) – See our essential guide on GST.
- pay as you go (PAYG) instalments – is a withholding tax that requires you to pay incremental amounts of your business income to the ATO. These payments accumulate towards your expected end of year income tax liability.
- PAYG withholding tax – You withhold this tax on behalf of your employees. They will get credit at the end of the financial year as part of their personal income tax return.
- other taxes including wine equalisation tax, fuel tax credits, and luxury car tax.
WHAT do I need to Complete a BAS statement?
The fields you need to complete in your BAS will depend on your business structure and whether you’re completing a quarterly or monthly report or a monthly BAS if turnover is above $20 million.
The ATO will automatically send you a Business Activity Statement when it is time for you to lodge.
When completing your BAS statement, the ATO states:
- Enter whole dollar amounts – leave cents out and don’t round up to the next dollar
- Enter each invoice once only
- If you account for GST on a cash basis your expenses and sales must fall within the period you made or received payment
- Only complete the fields that apply to you – if you have nothing to report, enter zero
- If you’re doing your BAS manually, double-check your figures and calculations
- You can always correct a mistake made on an earlier BAS
The ATO runs webinars on completing your activity statement, and bookings can be made here.
Visit the ATO website for help completing other fields in your BAS:
- goods and services tax (GST) – including changes to GST reporting for small businesses
- pay as you go withholding (PAYGW) – if you have employees
- pay as you go statements (PAYGI)
- wine equalisation tax (WET)
- fuel tax credits
- luxury car tax (LCT)
HOW do I lodge?
The due date for lodging and paying is displayed on your BAS. Lodge and pay on time to avoid any penalties.
|BAS due by Quarter||Due date|
|1. July, August, and September||28 October|
|2. October, November, and December||28 February|
|3. January, February, and March||28 April|
|4. April, May, and June||28 July|
You can lodge:
- For Sole traders and individual, you may do this on MyGov
- ATO Business Portal
- Directly through your accounting software if it supports SBR (Standard Business reporting)
- Lodge though your tax or BAS agent. Ensure you have a registered agent. https://www.tpb.gov.au/registrations_search
- Nothing to report (‘nil’ BAS). You can only use this service if you have nothing to report for the period and need to lodge your BAS as ‘nil’.
- Lodge by mail to the ATO
- Full details on each option can be found on the ATO website. https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Business-activity-statements-(BAS)/How-to-lodge-your-BAS/
You may pay your BAS with BPAY, credit, or debit card, and you will need to quote your Payment Reference Number (PRN) if doing online. If you are concerned about managing your business’s available cash, you can pay ahead, which will be credited against your next Quarterly BAS liability.
- Reconcile the BAS figures with your records
- Check your purchases and sales are reported in the correct period
- Only complete the sections that apply to you
- Keep good records as part of your normal accounting practices
- Ensure your sales reconcile with your bank statements (if reporting on a cash basis)
- Keep all your tax invoices and GST records for 5 years
- All claims must be in Australian dollars
- You cannot make credit claims for invoices that do not include GST
- Further GST and BAS tips can be found on the ATO website https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Business-activity-statements-(BAS)/BAS-and-GST-tips/
SUMMARY – BAS is your report on tax to the ATO
Lodging a Business Activity Statement is required if you turnover more than $75,000. Your reporting method is to the Australian Tax office for GST collection, PAYG income tax collection, and business income tax instalments. If you use an Australian designed accounting package, your administration will be greatly reduced. Ensure you accrue and do not spend the money you owe quarterly to the tax office.