If you own a business, you have obligations to the government. One of the requirements is paying income tax, but every registered business is also required to submit a Business Activity Statement (BAS) detailing its taxes. The statement is submitted on a monthly or quarterly basis, so it’s vital for business ownres to keep their ledgers in check.
Accomplishing your BAS can be complex and daunting, especially for first-time submitters. With the right guidelines, it’s not an impossible feat to overcome.
To make sure you don’t miss the deadline, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
1. Use Accounting Software
If you’re going to be filing your BAS on a regular basis, use accounting software. It will help you keep track of your money, and you won’t have to worry about missing the return dates.
If you need to prepare a BAS, you must use the Australian Business Register (ABR) Interface on your accounting software of choice. This can be done through an online service or in person. Make sure your software has this feature before you begin preparing your BAS.
2. Take Note of Your Deadlines
You’re required to submit your BAS on the 21st day monthly or the 28th day of the last month of the quarter. You can download the forms from the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website. Each form is different, depending on your industry, so be sure to check the website for what form you'll need. If you want to employ a business accountant, ask them for the correct form for your industry.
3. Report Sales and Purchases Accurately
The biggest mistake new business owners make when preparing their BAS is not reporting the correct figures. This can be a result of inaccurate invoices and receipts or not recording all sales. Avoid this problem by always checking your receipts and making sure you record everything accurately.
Be sure to add cash sales as well. They should be recorded as sales, and if you’re selling at a market or roadside stall, it doesn’t matter if the sale is made in cash or by check.
4. Lodge Your Statement with a Registered Agent
Once you’ve prepared your BAS, lodge it with a registered agent. You can do this yourself, but if you’re unsure of the correct procedures, you might want to hire a professional. They will help you with your BAS and assist with other filings required to do business in Australia.
5. Keep Your Records
Your BAS may be audited by the ATO, so keep your records. Even if you have an accountant prepare your statement, you have to be able to prove your income and purchases. If you’re audited, you’ll need to show receipts or other records to back up your income and costs. If you keep good records, your business will be in good standing with the ATO.
Preparing your BAS can be intimidating, especially if you’re a new business owner. If you keep good records, though, the process should be relatively simple. Be sure to follow the 21st or 28th-day submission rule with accurate details, and you shouldn’t have any problems at all. To learn more about filing, visit the ATO’s website.
If you’re in need of an accountant for your online business, contact us today! Our licensed professionals will help you manage your bookkeeping and your statements, so you can have a smoother process overall.