What Is a BAS (Business Activity Statement)?

When managing your business, dealing with finances and taxes can sometimes feel like deciphering a foreign language.

We’re here to demystify one crucial term you might encounter- BAS.

What is a BAS?

If your business meets certain requirements, you must submit a Business Activity Statement to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to report related tax obligations.

Let’s break down BAS components to find out if you need to lodge these statements and, if so, how.  

Do I Have To Fill Out a BAS Statement

Do I Have To Fill Out a BAS Statement?

The short answer: it depends on your circumstances.

Think of BAS as a party invitation from the ATO. If you’re registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), you’re on the guest list and required to lodge a BAS. 

What are the requirements for GST registration?

Your business’s annual turnover must be $75,000 or more or expected to reach that threshold.

The BAS reporting period could be monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your business’s GST turnover and what the ATO has instructed.

Even if your business hasn’t made any transactions during a period, you still need to submit a ‘nil’ statement.

That tells the ATO, “I didn’t make any money this time, but I’m still here!”

What is the purpose of BAS? The ATO uses BAS to track what you owe in GST, Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments, PAYG withholding tax, and other business-related taxes and obligations.

What Do I Have To Include on a BAS Statement

What Do I Have To Include on a BAS Statement?

Here’s what you need to include on a BAS:

  1. Goods and Services Tax (GST): Report your total sales, GST on sales, and GST on purchases. 
  2. Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments: These payments are made towards your expected annual income tax liability, essentially pre-paying your tax obligations throughout the year based on your estimated income. You’ll need to report the details of these payments. 
  3. PAYG withholding tax: If you have employees or other workers, you generally need to withhold an amount from payments you make to them, which you’ll report on your statement. 
  4. Fringe benefits tax (FBT) instalments: Details about the payments made towards your expected annual FBT liability, covering the tax on non-cash benefits you provide to your employees throughout the year, must be reported.
  5. Other taxes: Depending on your business, there might be other information you need to add to your BAS, like Fuel Tax Credits or Luxury Car Tax.

Check the ATO’s guidelines or seek advice from a tax professional to ensure you correctly lodge your BAS. 

FAQs About Filing a BAS

FAQs About Filing a BAS

What Form Do You Use To Submit a BAS Statement?

To submit your BAS, use a form specially designed by the ATO, aptly named the Business Activity Statement form.

See the ATO’s list of approved BAS forms here.  

You can submit this form in a few ways: 

  • Through the ATO’s online services.
  • Via a registered tax or BAS agent.
  • By mail if you use a paper form.

What Taxes Will I Have To Pay?

When lodging a BAS, there are typically several types of BAS taxes you need to pay, depending on your business structure and operations.

  1. Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  2. Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments
  3. PAYG withholding tax
  4. Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
  5. Other taxes, possibly including luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax, or fuel tax credits.

Who Can Help Me Fill Out and Correctly Lodge BAS?

Filling out and correctly lodging your BAS can be time-consuming and daunting. But a BAS agent will come to your rescue!

A BAS agent is a professional certified by the Tax Practitioners Board in Australia to correctly fill out your BAS on time and provide advice on GST, PAYG instalments, and other aspects of your BAS obligations.

Hiring a BAS agent will take a weight off your shoulders, leaving you more time to focus on running your business and saving you from potential penalties.

How Do I Find Out How Much I Owe?

To find out how much you owe on your BAS, you’ll need to calculate the sum of all your tax liabilities (like GST, PAYG instalments, etc.) for the relevant reporting period.

If you’re using the ATO’s online services, you can log in and navigate to your account.

Here, you’ll find an option labelled ‘Accounts and Payments’ where you can see your BAS lodgments and the amount owing.

If you’ve enlisted the services of a BAS agent, they’ll help you calculate and confirm the amount you owe.

Do You Need To Understand Your BAS Better

Do You Need To Understand Your BAS Better?

What is a BAS in Australia?

Think of Business Activity Statements as a check-in with the tax office, keeping them updated on your business’s taxable activity.

To ensure your business meets its BAS compliance obligations, talk to the experienced professionals at GeekBooks

We are one of Australia’s leading BAS services, specialising in accurate and expert BAS preparation for small businesses throughout Australia

Complete our online booking form or call us on 02 9158 3591 for a free bookkeeping quote today!

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