Once you’ve registered your business for 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
It’s also worth noting that the way you complete your BAS is likely to change. From 1 July 2017, the ATO is introducing Simpler BAS to allow businesses with less than $10 million turnover to report less GST information and still meet their tax obligations in the next financial year.
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.
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.