Business Activity Statements – How to Take the Sting Out of The Quarterly Payment

Business Activity Statements   

How to Take the Sting Out of The Quarterly Payment

Starting a new year for your business shouldn’t be shrouded in the darkness that can be a looming BAS. But how can you be certain that your business is prepared?

A business activity statement (BAS) is a government form that all GST registered businesses must complete and lodge with the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

This can be done with the help of a registered Tax or BAS agent.
A BAS summarises all the GST you have paid against all the GST you have received during a specific period of time.

BAS’s may be lodged monthly, quarterly or annually.

When lodging your BAS, you need to include these payments/receipts within it:

  • Goods and services taxable payments (GST) – bills paid with GST included
  • Goods and Services taxable receipts (GST) – invoices raised with GST included
  • Pay as you go (PAYG) income tax instalment – where applicable
  • Pay as you go (PAYG) tax withheld – where applicable
  • Fringe benefits tax (FBT) instalment – where applicable
  • Luxury car tax (LCT) – where applicable
  • Wine equalisation tax (WET) – where applicable
  • Fuel tax credits – where applicable

The BAS needs to be lodged with the ATO and payment made by the due dates as follows:

  • For monthly BAS: within 21 days of the end of the month on the form
  • For quarterly BAS:
    • Quarter July – September: Due 28 October
    • Quarter October – December: Due 28 February
    • Quarter January – March: Due 28 April
    • Quarter April – June: Due 28 July

In some instances, you may be eligible to submit an Instalment Activity Statement (IAS).

In the IAS, the ATO tells you every quarter what your GST instalment amount is and where applicable your PAYG instalment amount.
Businesses that are not registered for GST and individuals who are required to pay PAYG instalments or PAYG withholding (such as self-funded retirees) use this form to pay PAYG.
IAS provides a little more flexibility in the arrangement as the instalments are advised by the ATO on what you need to pay to cover your liabilities.
You may vary those amounts if you feel that the instalments are too much or not enough to cover your tax liabilities. You may also be able to pay the amount in one lump sum at the end of the year.

Preparing for Your BAS

The information collected in your IAS and BAS can be used to assist in monitoring your business finances.

Daily tracking of your income and expenses assists in calculating your GST and other liabilities on your BAS, allowing you to ensure that there are no nasty surprises waiting for you.
Some tips on how you can prepare for your BAS or IAS each quarter

  • Keep everything up to date in your accounting software, be it Xero or otherwise, ensuring that all bank feeds are imported, allocated and reconciled.
  • If completing the BAS, yourself, ensure that the reports from your accounting software are printed off every week – this should give you an estimate of what you would have to pay, if your BAS was due right away.
  • Check that your bank account for your business has enough money in it to cover your BAS payment.
  • Create a profit and loss statement after printing your BAS reports to show you what profit or loss has been made in the week (or month) to date
Disclaimer for External Distribution Purposes:

The information contained in this publication is for general information purposes only, professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. The receiver of this document accepts that this publication may only be distributed for the purposes previously stipulated and agreed upon at subscription. Neither the publishers nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication.
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Nikki Bevan

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