Tax form, coffee and a pen BAS

How to complete a BAS

by Angus Jones
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If you are reading this guide, you may have worked out that you must do a BAS statement. 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.
(Source Wikipedia)

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 and 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?

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 ,if turnover is above $20 million, a monthly BAS.

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:

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 QuarterDue date
1. July, August, and September28 October
2. October, November, and December28 February
3. January, February, and March28 April
4. April, May, and June28 July

You can lodge:

You may pay your BAS with BPAY, credit, or debit card.  If doing online you will need to quote your Payment Reference Number (PRN).  If you are concerned about managing your businesses available cash you can pay ahead and this will be credited against your next Quarterly BAS liability

HINTS

  • 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 a requirement if you turnover more than $75,000.  It is your reporting method to the Australian Tax office for GST collection, PAYG income tax collection and business income tax instalments. If you are using 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.

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