An Explainer on Business Activity Statement Preparation
Paying taxes is important to all businesses, no matter the size or industry. Since there's more than one kind of tax a company pays for, a detailed statement is in order. That's what is commonly referred to as a Business Activity Statement (BAS). If a business is registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST), they need to submit one either quarterly or monthly.
The details you (or your accountant) should put in your BAS include, but are not limited to:
Fringe benefits tax (FBT) instalments
Fuel tax credits
PAYG (Pay-as-You-Go) instalments
PAYG withholding tax
Wine equalisation tax
Gathering documents for this and staying organised can be tricky. Even with digital or postal submission options, the multiple layers that go into it could still lead to a submission deadline being missed. BAS fines and penalties will apply accordingly.
Fill the BAS Out Completely
The BAS form comes from the ATO, with both lodging and payment due dates clearly stated for reference. It's usually issued two weeks before a reporting period ends. Due dates that fall on a weekend or public holiday can be lodged and paid the next business day.
Other important things to do include, but are not limited to:
Accomplishing sections relevant to your business only
Cross-checking records against BAS figures to spot discrepancies
Entering whole dollars only in the form since that's what's allowed
Remembering that the form only takes positive values
Reviewing sales and purchases to ensure accurate reporting (inclusion of all financial transactions of the business, records for expenses and sales fall within the same BAS reporting period, etc)
Keep Due Dates in Mind
As previously mentioned, payments can be made either monthly or quarterly. A schedule is in place at the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for lodging statements per period. Make sure you're aware of the dates relevant to you. Write them down on a calendar or calendar app; no matter what method you use, just be sure to take note.
Working with an accountant will be a huge help since they are far less likely to forget. They can also help navigate paperwork, especially if your business is new.
Monthly basis - With this option, your statement has to be in by the 21st day of each month.
Quarterly basis - This option has due dates on the 28th of February, April, July, and October. Extended due dates are available for this but must be done through a registered BAS or Tax Agent.
There's also the annual basis, which is a GST return sent after the BAS of the 4th quarter. The due date for this is whichever comes first between the due date of your business's yearly income tax return or the 28th of February.
The Business Activity Statement (BAS) is a detailed report on taxes payable to the government. This includes the likes of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Other factors include fuel tax credits and Pay-as-You-Go Installments. It's important to keep the due dates in mind and to fill the BAS out completely.
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