Businesses who are registered for GST must lodge their Business activity statements (BAS) every year with the ATO. To assist you, here is a record-keeping and submission checklist you can follow to help you prepare and lodge your BAS accurately and on time.
You must lodge and pay your BAS on time to avoid incurring any charges or penalties. Most businesses lodge their BAS by the quarterly due date. Although how often you lodge will depend upon your situation, for instance, a business may make a prepayment for an expected bill or lodge and pay monthly when it helps them manage their tax more efficiently.
The due date for your monthly BAS is usually on the 21st of every month and your BAS quarterly due dates are:
- Q1 (July, August and September) is due 28 October
- Q2 (October, November and December) is due 28 February
- Q3 (January, February and March) is due 28 April
- Q4 (April, May and June) is due 28 July
In some cases, businesses can defer the submission of their business activity statement if there’s a valid, eligible reason. It’s best to speak with a registered tax agent (like us) about how this can be done, to avoid submitting after the due dates late and without cause.
You must always maintain accurate and detailed record-keeping by:
- Keeping all sales, fees, expenses, wages and other business costs records.
- Avoiding claiming credits for purchases that did not include GST, such as water bills.
- Holding onto tax invoices and other GST records for five years.
- Putting your GST in a separate bank account.
- Only claiming GST credits from GST-registered suppliers.
- Only claiming business expenses and the business portion of things you purchase (when they are also used for personal use).
Before submitting your BAS, always check:
- You have entered each invoice only once.
- You have entered whole dollar amounts.
- Your expenses and sales are from the same period you are lodging for.
- You have completed the fields that apply to you.
Remember, should you have nothing to report, the ATO still requires you to lodge a nil statement.
Have a question about your business activity statement? Not sure what can be classified as an expense? Speak with our team of highly skilled tax agents for assistance with your business activity statements or to work out how we can help you and your business specifically.