As a small business owner, especially if you are just taking your first steps and still finding your bearings, you may be unaware or unclear on what your BAS or Business Activity Statement obligations really are. Are you wondering “Do I need to lodge a BAS?”, continue reading for a quick small business BAS 101 from the team at Go Figured Bookkeeping.
Do I Need to Lodge a BAS? What Are the Rules for Small Business BAS?
Business activity statements or BAS are forms submitted to the Australian Taxation Office by registered businesses who need to report on their tax obligations (this includes GST), pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and instalments, luxury vehicle tax and wine equalisation tax. Where small business BAS is concerned, if you are a business registered for GST, you need to lodge it.
Business activity statements typically need to be submitted on a quarterly basis. Some business entities may need to report their obligations more frequently however and it is important to know exactly what your circumstances are and how they affect your reporting requirements.
The reporting requirements depend on a business’ GST turnover and they are:
- For GST turnover of less than $20 million, the reporting cycle is quarterly unless advised otherwise by the ATO – the ATO may request monthly reporting at their discretion.
- For GST turnover of $20 million and more, the reporting cycle is monthly.
- For businesses voluntarily registered for GST, where the GST turnover is under $75,000 (or $150,000 for non-profit bodies), the reporting cycle is annual.
For monthly reporting, the due date is the 21st day of the month after the end of the taxable period in question.
The quarterly deadlines are:
- For July, August and September quarter the due date is 28th of October.
- For October, November and December quarter the due date is the 28th of February.
- For January, February and March the due date is the 28th of April.
- For April, May and June quarter the due date is the 28th of July.
If you are required to lodge business activity statements, you will also need some information handy. At the very least, you will need to have a record of how much GST you have collected on sales, and how much you have paid on purchases. You should also hold on to your invoices, even though you do not need to submit them at the time of lodgement, as ATO may request to see your records later.
Who Can Help Me Lodge My Small Business BAS?
Small business BAS lodgement (and Business Activity Statement lodgement in general) can be completed online through various digital platforms provided by the Australian Government, by phone and by traditional mail, but one of the most common methods of lodgement is to get help from a registered tax or BAS agent.