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What is a Business Activity Statement (BAS)?

What is a Business Activity Statement (BAS)?

What is a Business Activity Statement (BAS)? Read this to learn what is included in a BAS and whether your business will need to lodge one.

17th January 2020

A Business Activity Statement (BAS) is a form which a business submits to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to report on its tax liabilities. All businesses that are registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) need to lodge a BAS. The ATO will send a BAS form to your business if it needs to lodge one.

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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 lodge a BAS. For most businesses a BAS needs to be lodged each quarter. If your business is registered for GST the ATO will send a BAS form prior to the due date.

What is Included in a Business Activity Statement?

A Business Activity Statement states the amount of revenue received, tax withheld, and various payments made by a business so that the ATO can calculate the tax the business needs to pay. The ATO uses the information in the BAS form to calculate the tax liabilities of the business. The BAS form sent to a business and the information that is required will vary depending on the tax obligations of the specific business. Tax obligations which are calculated using information in a BAS include:

  • GST;
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) Installments;
  • PAYG Witholding Tax; and
  • various fringe benefit and other tax obligations.

Because the information in the BAS is used to calculate tax liabilities, it is very important to ensure that the information lodged is accurate. If the information is not accurate the business may face fines or additional costs.

While it is important to make sure the information on a BAS form is accurate, mistakes can happen. If you make a mistake when lodging a BAS for your business, you may need to lodge a new one. This means your business will need to waste additional time and resources preparing a new BAS. Some mistakes can also result in fines and interest charges being levied against the business. It may be worth consulting a registered tax or BAS agent for help with lodging your business’ BAS so that you can avoid these additional costs. The Tax Practitioners Board maintains a list of registered tax and BAS agents.

How To Lodge a BAS

The ATO provides multiple channels for business 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.

A BAS can also be lodged on a business’ behalf by a registered tax or BAS agent. Because making mistakes on a BAS can result in fines and additional costs, this option may be preferable for businesses with complex tax liabilities or large revenue.

Conclusion

A Business Activity Statement is the way your business notifies the ATO of its tax obligations. If your business needs to lodge a BAS the ATO will send a BAS form to the business. It is important to ensure that the information on your business’ BAS is accurate in order to avoid fines and additional costs. It is worth considering engaging a registered tax or BAS agent so that you can ensure your BAS is accurate.

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Author
Eamon Fraser-Crooks

Eamon is a legal intern at Lawpath. He is completing a Bachelor of Laws with a Bachelor of Environmental Management at Macquarie University. He is interested in disruption in the legal industry through the use of innovative technology.