Our Easy Guide to a Business Activity Statement (BAS)

What is a Business Activity Statement (BAS)?

A Business Activity Statement (BAS) is a form used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to gather information from businesses about their taxes and other government obligations to the ATO on a regular basis. The form is designed to simplify the reporting process by allowing businesses to report multiple obligations on a single form including Goods and Services Tax (GST), Pay as You Go (PAYG) income tax instalments, PAYG withholding tax and other tax obligations. A BAS is generally submitted quarterly, but businesses may also be required to submit it monthly or annually, depending on their turnover and other factors. 

This system was introduced in 2000 by the ATO as a way to streamline the reporting process for businesses. Prior to the BAS, businesses were required to complete a range of different forms to report on their various tax obligations.

Does my business qualify to lodge a BAS?

Most businesses operating in Australia will need to lodge a BAS. Generally, if a business is registered for GST, it will need to submit a BAS. Additionally, businesses that are required to pay PAYG instalments, such as those that pay salaries and wages, will also need to lodge a statement. As outlined by the ATO, if your business has an annual turnover of $75,000 or more, then a statement must be lodged. 

What do I include in my BAS?

When it comes to writing a BAS, the ATO provides a range of tools and resources to help businesses get it right. The form is available to download from the website, and there are a number of software programs available that can help businesses complete the form accurately. 

The report requires businesses to provide details of their total sales, GST payable and GST credits for the reporting period. It also requires businesses to report their PAYG instalments and PAYG withholding tax for their employees. Businesses must also report any other tax obligations that they may have, such as fringe benefits tax, luxury car tax or wine equalisation tax. 

It’s essential to ensure that all the information you provide on your report is accurate and up to date. The ATO may audit your report, and if they identify any error or discrepancies, you may be subject to penalties and fines. 

How do I lodge a BAS?

Once you have completed your report, you will need to lodge it with the ATO. There are a number of ways to lodge your BAS, including online through the ATO Business Portal, by phone, or by mail. Online lodgement is the most common method of lodging a BAS, as it is the quickest and easiest way to submit your report. 

Lodging your report online will require you to create an account on the ATO Business Portal. The Business Portal is a secure online platform that businesses can use to manage their tax affairs, including lodging their BAS, making payments, and viewing their tax account balance. Once a business has registered and set up an account, they can access the Business Portal and complete the statement online. The Business Portal provides guidance on how to complete each section in the form and ensures that businesses provide all the required information. 

Alternatively, if you prefer to do your lodgement via mail, you will need to print a copy of the form and complete it manually. You can then mail the form to the ATO at the address provided on the form. 

It’s important to note that the reports must be lodged and paid by the due date to avoid penalties and interest charges. The due date for lodgement and payment will depend on your reporting period, but generally, businesses are required to lodge and pay their BAS reports on a quarterly basis.

Legal Advice

In conclusion, a Business Activity Statement (BAS) is an important tool for businesses operating in Australia to meet their tax obligations and comply with tax laws. Most businesses registered for GST will need to lodge a BAS, and the specific requirements for lodgement will vary depending on a range of factors.

Managing a business can be tricky and exhausting, but we are here to make it easier. Check out Business Kitz subscription service today to access our full range of legal, commercial and employment documents to begin your business with a solid foundation that ensures compliance. If you are unsure about how to best protect yourself and your future business, our sister company, Legal Kitz can assist you. To arrange a FREE consultation with one of their highly experienced solicitors, click here today, or contact us at info@legalkitz.com.au or 1300 988 954.

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