What is a Business Activity Statement?

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Mention the word Business Activity Statement to most business owners and they often look as though they’ve just been told their biggest client has gone off with their closest competitor. However, the reality of BAS is that it can actually result in you getting money back from the ATO (yes you read that right). It also provides you with a snapshot of data that can be used to make sure you’re on track to hit your business goals. In this article we look at what BAS is, when BAS is due, how it works in practice and more.

What is a business activity statement?

A Business Activity Statement (or more commonly referred to BAS) is an Australian Taxation Office form issued to all GST registered entities and reports a businesses’ Goods and Services Tax (GST) activity for a specific period.

All businesses registered for GST must lodge a BAS (and pay any outstanding taxes). Where required, some businesses may also have to report PAYG withholding obligations, fringe benefits tax obligations and any PAYG income tax instalments that may apply.

Information submitted via BAS enables the ATO to calculate the tax a business needs to pay.

Does my business need to lodge a BAS?

All GST registered businesses need to lodge a BAS. If the annual turnover of a business is more than $75,000 it must register for GST and lodge a BAS.
If you earn (or expect to earn) less than $75,000 per annum you don’t need to register for GST, and won’t be expected to submit a BAS.

When is BAS due?

Businesses with revenues of over $75,000 per year need to lodge a BAS every three months. Businesses with revenue of over $20 million per year need to lodge a BAS every month.

The due date for lodging and paying is displayed on each BAS that is issued by the ATO. Generally speaking, the due dates are:

Due Date
1. July, August & September
28 October
2. October, November & December
28 February
3. January, February & March
28 April
4. April, May & June
28 July

Note: If you lodge online, you may be eligible for an extra two weeks to lodge and pay your quarterly BAS.

Online BAS Lodgements

Get in touch today to start lodging your Business Activity Statements or call 1300 180 630 to speak to one of our consultants for a no-obligation consultation.

BAS in action

So, a BAS is used to notify the Australian Tax Office (ATO) of how much Goods and Services Tax (GST) you have received in your business income and how much GST you have paid in your business expenses. Here’s how it works in action:

When you have received more GST than you have spent:

If the amount of GST you have received in your income is greater than the amount of GST you have paid in your expenses, then you will need to pay the difference to the ATO.

When you have spent more GST than you have received:

If the amount of GST you have paid in your expenses is greater than the amount of GST you have received in your income, then the ATO will pay the difference to you (yay).

Information you'll need

To complete your BAS, you’ll need a record of how much GST you collected on sales, and how much was paid on purchases. You won’t need to submit tax invoices when you lodge your BAS, but you will need to have them on hand as the ATO may ask to see them later.

Because your BAS may also be used for other tax reasons, you’ll need to be prepared to supply extra information about your business, its income, and any employees (as required).

Lodging your BAS

The ATO provides multiple channels for businesses to lodge their BAS.

Businesses that prepare their own BAS can lodge it either online or via the post. Lodging a BAS online can be done through the ATO Business Portal, the Australian Government – MyGov website, or directly from certain payroll and accounting software systems. Businesses that choose to lodge their own BAS online may also qualify for a two-week extension of the deadlines for lodging and paying their BAS.

BAS can also be lodged on a business’ behalf by a registered tax or BAS agent such a POP Business.

Do it yourself or get help?

Lodging BAS is an essential part of running a business but it can be time consuming for many business owners who choose to do it themselves. It’s also fairly easy to make mistakes when recording GST collections and payments, and some of these mistakes on submission can result in fines and interest charges being levied against your business.

Using a registered BAS accountant will give you the peace of mind that your business is ATO compliant as well as giving you more time back to run your business. Your accountant will:

  • Audit all business transactions to correctly calculate GST.
  • Check that your annual tax return matches your BAS lodgements throughout the year.
  • Help protect you from ATO audits.
  • Ensure your business stays up to date with new legislation and regulations.
  • Organise a payment plan with the ATO if you cannot afford to pay your BAS when it’s due.

Lodge your BAS with POP Business

While BAS can be submitted by business owners, seeking professional advice is highly recommended to ensure you meet ATO obligations and requirements. Need help? Our expert accountants provide expert BAS advice and services for businesses of all sizes. To find out more, call us today – 1300 180 630 or follow the links to get started:

Online BAS Lodgements

Get in touch today to start lodging your Business Activity Statements or call 1300 180 630 to speak to one of our consultants for a no-obligation consultation.

Picture of Patrick Sargent

Patrick Sargent

I am a chartered accountant, registered tax agent and a co-founder and CEO of POP. My passion lies in creating high-performing teams, optimising business processes and leading the strategic direction of the business. I am also a member of Chartered Accountants ANZ and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. My expertise includes helping small businesses with a range of accounting services, including: tax preparation, business advisory, accounting and bookkeeping, and personal tax planning, as well as company, trust and partnership tax returns and more.

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