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Preparing your business activity statement (BAS)

Preparing your business activity statement (BAS)

Here are some handy tips to consider when preparing your business activity statement (BAS).

Once you’ve registered your business for goods and services tax (GST), you’ll need to complete your business activity statement (BAS) monthly, quarterly or annually to meet your tax obligations.

Here are some ways to help you complete your BAS correctly and on time.

Prepare your information

Make sure your numbers are spot-on to help you report your BAS correctly the first time.

  • Double check you’ve included all your transactions
  • Make sure they’re all business expenses
  • Ensure your sales and expenses are for the same dates as your BAS reporting period
  • If you’re using accounting software, make sure you’ve coded items correctly

Complete your BAS

Once you have your numbers ready, you can complete your BAS either online or using a paper form. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has detailed instructions to help you complete the GST section of your BAS.

Some things to remember are to:

  • Enter whole dollars in the boxes
  • Leave boxes blank if they don’t apply to you
  • You’ll only be able to enter positive values in your BAS form

From 1 July 2017, the ATO introduced Simpler BAS to allow businesses with less than $10 million turnover to report less GST information and still meet their tax obligations.

Lodge and pay on time

Submit and pay your completed BAS by the due date to avoid paying any interest or penalties. There are a number of ways to do both, so choose what suits you – for instance, you can submit your BAS online, by mail or through a registered tax or BAS agent.  

If the unexpected happens and you need more time to lodge or pay your BAS, think about:

  • Lodging online – with some exceptions, this could give you a two-week extension
  • Contacting the ATO as soon as possible if you believe you may miss your due dates

Keep your records

Once you’re done with your BAS, you’ll need to keep a copy of it and the supporting documents for a number of years to meet the ATO’s record keeping requirements.

Get help

If you have any questions about your BAS, check out the ATO website or use one of the ATO contact services such as live chat.

Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and you should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. You should consider seeking independent financial advice before making any decision based on this information.