BAS statements are important for every Australian business, but many business owners find themselves driven into a state of anxiety when it’s time to complete them, especially if they haven’t set enough money aside to make a payment. What is a BAS statement and what do you need to know heading into the payment process? Find out more with our definitive guide.
What is a BAS statement?
BAS stands for Business Activity Statement. If you’re registered for GST (Goods and Services Tax), you’ll need to lodge a BAS statement on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. BAS statements allow you to let the government know how much money you’ve collected and how much you’ve paid out. It covers a wide range of payments, including GST, pay as you go (PAYG) income tax instalment, fringe tax benefits (FBT), fuel tax credits, PAYG tax withheld, wine equalisation tax (WET), luxury car tax (LCT), and so on.
Lodging a BAS statement
There are a couple of different ways to lodge a BAS statement:
Lodging online – If you choose to complete your BAS statement form online, you can do so via the ATO’s Business Portal, your myGov account (if you’re a sole trader), or through SBR-enabled financial, accounting, or payroll software.
Lodging by mail – It’s also possible to lodge by mailing your completed BAS statement form with the pre-addressed envelope included in your BAS package.
Lodging through a tax or BAS agent – If you’ve got a registered BAS or tax agent, they can lodge or pay on your behalf.
Nothing to report (nil BAS) – If you don’t have anything to report for the period, you can lodge your BAS as ‘nil’ over the phone or online.
How to do a BAS statement
After you’ve decided how to lodge your BAS statement, it’s time to complete the form. Want to learn how to do a BAS statement? It’s relatively simple:
Prepare your information – First, you should make sure you’ve got all the information you need to proceed. Double-check that you’ve included all your transactions, sales and expenses match up with the dates of your reporting period, and everything you’re including is a business expense.
Prepare your BAS statement form – Next, you’ll need to complete your BAS statement using your chosen lodgement method. Be sure to enter whole dollar amounts (no cents), only complete the fields that apply to you, and enter each invoice only once.
Lodge your BAS statement on time – Then, you need to lodge and pay your BAS statement, making sure to do so before the BAS statement due date.
BAS statement due dates
Your BAS statement due dates will be displayed on your BAS statement. BAS statement dates are determined by your business’s reporting and payment cycle:
If your company’s GST turnover is below $20 million, you’ll need to report quarterly. The BAS statement due dates for each quarter are as follows:
Quarter 1: July, August, September – 28 October
Quarter 2: October, November, December – 28 February
Quarter 3: January, February, March – 28 April
Quarter 4: April, May, June – 28 July
If your company’s GST turnover is $20 million plus, you’ll need to report monthly. The BAS statement due date for monthly reporting is the 21st day of the month at the end of the taxable period. For example, the BAS statement date for January would be 21 February.
If you’re voluntarily registered for GST and your GST turnover is less than $75,000 (or $150,000 for non-profit organisations), you’ll need to report annually. The BAS statement date for annual reporting is 31 October.
How to pay your BAS statement
There are several options for paying your BAS statement, although in most cases, businesses choose to pay with BPAY, credit card, or debit card. Furthermore, you can make voluntary early payments to reduce the amount you need to pay for your next BAS statement. So, if you’ve had a particularly good financial quarter, it could be a good idea to get a head start on next quarter’s BAS payment.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.