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Essential BAS Lodgement Guide for Aussie SMEs – ProKeep

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For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia, compliance with tax regulations is crucial. One essential aspect of this compliance is the Business Activity Statement (BAS) lodgement. 

Understanding BAS lodgement can help businesses avoid penalties and manage their finances more effectively. This comprehensive guide covers everything Australian SMEs need to know about BAS lodgement.

What is BAS?

The Business Activity Statement (BAS) is a form submitted to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by businesses to report and pay several tax obligations, including:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding
  • PAYG instalments
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) instalments
  • Luxury Car Tax (LCT)
  • Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)
  • Fuel Tax Credits

Who Needs to Lodge a BAS?

Any business registered for GST must lodge a BAS. Typically, businesses need to register for GST if they have a GST turnover of $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organizations). 

Even if your business turnover is below these thresholds, you can still choose to register for GST and will then be required to lodge a BAS.

Types of BAS Lodgements

  • Monthly BAS: For businesses with a GST turnover of $20 million or more.
  • Quarterly BAS: For most small to medium businesses.
  • Annual BAS: For businesses with voluntary GST registration or those with specific agreements with the ATO.

Key Components of BAS

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): Report GST collected from sales and GST paid on business purchases.
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) Withholding: Report amounts withheld from employee wages.
  • PAYG Instalments: Prepay income tax based on business earnings.
  • Other Taxes: Depending on the business, you may need to report and pay FBT, LCT, WET, and fuel tax credits.

Steps to Lodge Your BAS

  • Collect Necessary Information: Ensure you have all invoices, receipts, and financial records.
  • Calculate GST: Determine the GST collected on sales and paid on purchases.
  • Complete the BAS Form: Use the ATO’s online services, software, or paper forms.
  • Lodge the BAS: Submit electronically through the ATO’s Business Portal, your registered tax or BAS agent, or by mail.
  • Pay Any Owed Amounts: Make payments through BPAY, credit card, or direct debit.

Tips for Accurate BAS Lodgement

  • Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed and accurate records of all transactions.
  • Use Accounting Software: Utilize accounting software that integrates with ATO systems to streamline BAS preparation.
  • Reconcile Regularly: Regularly reconcile your accounts to ensure accuracy.
  • Seek Professional Help: Consider hiring a registered BAS or tax agent for guidance and to avoid errors.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with any changes in tax legislation and ATO guidelines.

Common BAS Mistakes to Avoid

  • Incorrect GST Calculations: Ensure accurate GST calculations to avoid underpayment or overpayment.
  • Missed Deadlines: Be aware of lodgement deadlines to avoid penalties.
  • Incorrect Reporting: Report the correct amounts for all sections of the BAS.
  • Failure to Reconcile: Regular reconciliation helps in identifying and correcting errors.
  • Ignoring ATO Notices: Address any ATO notices or discrepancies promptly to avoid complications.

BAS Lodgement Deadlines

BAS lodgement deadlines depend on your reporting period:

  • Monthly: Due on the 21st of the following month.
  • Quarterly: Due on the 28th of the month following the end of the quarter (except the December quarter, which is due on February 28).
  • Annually: Due at the same time as your income tax return.

Penalties for Late Lodgement

Failing to lodge your BAS on time can result in penalties and interest charges. The ATO may impose a Failure to Lodge (FTL) penalty, which increases the longer your BAS remains outstanding. Interest charges may also apply to any unpaid amounts.

Benefits of Timely and Accurate BAS Lodgement

  • Avoid Penalties: Timely lodgement helps avoid penalties and interest charges.
  • Financial Planning: Regular BAS lodgement assists in better financial planning and cash flow management.
  • Compliance: Ensures compliance with ATO requirements, reducing the risk of audits and legal issues.
  • Business Insights: Accurate BAS reporting provides valuable insights into your business’s financial health.

Conclusion

BAS lodgement is a critical responsibility for Australian SMEs. By understanding the requirements, maintaining accurate records, and seeking professional assistance when needed, businesses can ensure timely and accurate BAS lodgements. This not only helps in staying compliant with ATO regulations but also supports better financial management and planning.

For more information and assistance, visit the BAS Agent Services page on our website or get a quote today.

At ProKeep We Handle the Numbers, Allowing You to Focus on Your Business

We are a CPA Bookkeeping Specialist firm that uses cloud software, tools and technology to deliver innovative solutions for your accounting and bookkeeping challenges.

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