If you’re running a business in Australia, you’ve probably heard of the Business Activity Statement, or BAS for short. It’s not just another piece of bureaucratic jargon; it’s a crucial part of managing your finances.
BAS is like a financial report card that Aussie businesses must submit regularly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). In this article, we’ll dive into the world of BAS, unraveling its purpose, how it works, and why it matters to your business.
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, understanding BAS will help you stay on top of your tax obligations and keep your business financially healthy.
Business Activity Statement (BAS): A Brief
Think of a BAS like a report card for your business, but instead of grades, it’s all about your finances.
Depending on how big your business is, you might have to fill it out anywhere from once a year to as many as twelve times. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) takes this info and uses it to figure out if you owe them money or if they owe you. And it’s not just about the GST; it’s also used to calculate other taxes like income tax, employee tax, and even taxes on fancy cars, wine, and fuel.
So, keeping your BAS in good shape is essential for your business’s financial health.
Information You Need To Lodge BAS
Lodging your company’s business activity statement is a task, but an easy one.
You should keep track of the GST you’ve gathered from your sales and the GST you’ve paid on your purchases. While you don’t have to send in your tax invoices when you submit your BAS, it’s important to keep them handy, just in case the ATO wants to check them later.
Since your BAS might be used for various tax purposes, you might also need to share more details about your business, its earnings, and any staff you have onboard.
It is recommended that you read about the business activity statement on the official ATO website.
Am I Eligible For Business Activity Statement (BAS)?
In Australia, most businesses are eligible to lodge a Business Activity Statement or BAS.
If you’re running a business that is registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is generally required if your annual turnover is $75,000 or more (or $150,000 or more for non-profit organizations), you’ll need to submit a BAS.
Additionally, businesses operating as sole traders, partnerships, companies, or trusts are also typically required to lodge BAS. However, it’s crucial to check with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or a tax professional to ensure your specific business meets the eligibility criteria and stays compliant with BAS requirements.
Before you read further on how to lodge for a BAS in Australia, we recommend that you read our guide on the taxes that businesses have to pay in Australia. This will help you get a better understanding of how the taxation system works in the land down under.
How To Prepare Your Business Activity Statement (BAS)
Before we get into how you can lodge your BAS, let’s first see how you can prepare it.
Here’s a simple five-step procedure for preparing a Business Activity Statement (BAS) for a small business in Australia:
- Collect Records: Gather all financial records, such as invoices and receipts, for the reporting period.
- Log In: Access the ATO Business Portal and log in using your credentials.
- Complete BAS Form: Fill out the BAS form sections accurately, including GST, PAYG withholding, and other relevant details.
- Review and Submit: Double-check all figures and information for accuracy, then submit your BAS through the portal.
- Payment (if applicable): If you owe taxes, make the necessary payment by the due date.
Remember to maintain organized records and stay informed about any changes in tax regulations that may affect your BAS reporting. If you have complex financial situations, consider seeking advice from a tax professional or accountant.
Procedure To Lodge BAS In Australia
Making sure you submit your BAS (Business Activity Statement) and pay any outstanding amounts on time is crucial.
Now, you’ve got a few choices when it comes to sending in your BAS and reporting stuff like GST, PAYG installments, PAYG withholding tax, and other taxes to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
If you’re unaware of the PAYG system in Australia, you can refer to our sole trader tax guide, in which we’ve extensively talked about this.
If you’re looking to get detailed instructions on how to pay your business activity statement, it’s recommended that you refer to the official guide on BAS payment by ATO.
What Are The BAS Lodgement Options?
Lodge BAS Online
Many businesses handling their BAS (Business Activity Statement) often choose the electronic path. It offers some clear advantages:
First, it’s flexible. You can submit your BAS when it suits your schedule.
Plus, there’s a handy two-week deferral option. This means you get an extra two weeks to both lodge and pay your BAS, which can be quite helpful.
If you’re due for a refund, going electronic could speed up the process. Who doesn’t want their money faster, right?
Lastly, it’s a great way to avoid errors. You can double-check everything before hitting that ‘submit’ button, ensuring that your numbers match your expectations.
Please go through the official BAS lodgement guide by ATO to know the exact procedure of lodgement specific to your type of business. They have three types of online lodgement options based on the legalities of your company registration type.
Mail Your Business Activity Statement
When it comes to sending in your completed BAS form, you can use the pre-addressed envelope that comes with your BAS package.
If you happen to make a mistake on your paper BAS, don’t fret – you can simply use white-out to correct it.
But, if that pre-addressed envelope goes missing, no worries. You can send your BAS to this address instead:
Australian Taxation Office
Locked Bag 1936
ALBURY NSW 1936
And if you’ve lost or haven’t received your paper BAS in the first place, just give us a call at 13 28 66 to get a copy.
Please keep in mind that mailing isn’t an option if you’re lodging your BAS through an online channel.
Lodge Your Business Activity Statement Via Your BAS Agent
Here’s a useful option: You can have a registered tax or BAS agent handle the lodging, varying, and payment process for you using their preferred electronic platform.
When you go this route:
- Your agent can see any BAS and reminder messages that come your way through their online service.
- You can still check your BAS yourself via Online services for business or myGov, even if your agent is managing it on your behalf.
If you’re interested in finding a registered agent, you can visit the Tax Practitioners Board for assistance.
Lodge BAS By Phone (Especially if you have nothing to report)
If you’ve got nothing to report for the period and need to submit a ‘nil’ BAS, there’s a handy service for that:
You can do it by phone at 13 72 26. It’s automated, so you can call at any time, 24/7.
Just make sure you’ve got your BAS document identification number (DIN) ready when you call.
Wrapping Up: Where’s My BAS?
How you choose to lodge your BAS affects how you receive your statements. If you opt for Online business services, your next statement will be accessible there.
When you use ATO’s online services, we’ll send you an email notification 21 days before the due date, letting you know when your BAS becomes available. Just ensure your contact details are current.
It’s worth noting that a single electronic lodgment can alter the way your next BAS is issued. After your online submission, your BAS will be sent electronically.
Preparing your business activity statement requires a lot of financial tracking, especially keeping track of taxes, invoices, payroll, and much more.
ProfitBooks is a great solution for tracking all your finances in one place!