How To Manage Your Business Activity Statement (BAS)

How To Manage Your Business Activity Statement (BAS)
Completing and submitting your business activity statement (BAS) is an essential part of being a business owner. Here is some key information to get you started.
by Square Feb 24, 2021 — 4 min read
How To Manage Your Business Activity Statement (BAS)

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, accounting, or tax advice. The information contained herein is subject to change and may vary from time to time in your region. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

Completing and submitting your business activity statement (BAS) is an essential part of being a business owner. As with most administrative and reporting tasks, it can be a big job if you’re not organised; but if you stay on top of your accounts throughout the year, preparing and submitting your BAS should be a breeze.

If your approach to bookkeeping is a little hit-and-miss or you’d like some support with lodging your activity statement, you can ask your accountant or bookkeeper to take care of your BAS obligations, as long as they’re registered to do so.

What is a business activity statement (BAS)?

If your business is registered for GST (goods and services tax), you need to lodge a business activity statement (BAS). Your BAS is a summary of your business’s revenue and key expenditures over a period, and helps you to report and pay taxes including:

What kind of businesses need to lodge a BAS?

Any business that’s registered for GST must lodge a business activity statement (BAS). You must register for GST and submit a BAS if:

If your annual income is less than $75,000 (or $150,000 for not-for-profit organisations), you don’t need to register for GST, but you can if you choose.

When do I need to lodge my BAS?

The due date for lodging and paying your BAS is displayed on each BAS statement. Your GST reporting and payment cycle might be:

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

You can lodge your business activity statement yourself, or work with a registered tax agent or BAS agent. You should check that anyone doing your BAS is a registered agent with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). Different submission dates might apply if you use a registered tax or BAS agent.

How do I lodge my business activity statement?

Business owners have a number of choices when it comes to lodging their activity statements. Most businesses who lodge their own BAS do it online, which gives them an extra two weeks to lodge and pay.

If you lodge your BAS online, you can use:

What if I submit my BAS late?

If you’re finding it difficult to lodge and pay your business activity statement by the due date, you should contact the ATO as soon as you can. They may be able to work with you to set up a payment plan that lets you pay by instalments, rather than all at once. You still need to lodge your activity statement on time, even if you’re not able to pay by the due date.

Are there penalties if I submit my BAS late?

A failure to lodge (FTL) on time penalty might apply if you don’t lodge and pay your BAS on time. The ATO will warn you by phone or in writing if you’ve failed to lodge your activity statement and send you a penalty notice with your penalty’s details if you don’t rectify the situation.

What if I make a mistake on my BAS?

If you realise you’ve made a mistake on an activity statement that’s already been lodged, you can fix the mistake on your next BAS or revise the original BAS. Conditions will apply depending on whether you’ve made a credit or debit error. The ATO website has more information about fixing BAS mistakes or making adjustments.

Whether you submit your BAS monthly, quarterly or annually, keeping your accounts up to date should be a priority. Diarise to complete your activity statement at least a week before the due date to ensure you have enough time to submit it on time. (While it’s not a particularly lengthy task, many business owners will attest that it’s a tempting job to push to the following day’s to-do list!)

If you need help with your BAS, speak to your accountant or bookkeeper, or reach out to the Australian Tax Office directly by calling 13 28 46.

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