If you are registered for GST you may be required to lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) and report GST and other tax obligations monthly, quarterly or annually.
However BAS can be an intimidating and exhausting process if you don’t have the right systems in place.
Lodging BAS reports can be a stress-free experience when you have a system that reminds you of due dates, collates all necessary information accurately and provides a seamless lodgement process.
Monthly, Quarterly or Annual Reporting
The first step is to ascertain whether you are required to lodge BAS statements monthly or quarterly or lodge an annual GST return – as the due dates differ in each case.
Monthly BAS lodgement is the standard for businesses with an annual turnover of at least $20 million or annual PAYG withholding obligations of between $25,001 and $1 million.
Meanwhile, quarterly reporting is ideal for small businesses, as it allows them the time to work out their turnover and GST amount to be paid to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Small businesses also have a third option, which is to pay an instalment GST amount quarterly and report their GST return to the ATO annually. The instalment amount is predetermined by the ATO, then an adjustment is made at the end of the financial year.
Key BAS Due Dates
For monthly reporting requirements, BAS reports are normally due on the 21st day of the following month.
The ATO sets due dates each year for quarterly reporting. For the financial year ending in 2016, the dates are:
- Q1 (July – September): 28 October
- Q2 (October – December): 28 February
- Q3 (January – March): 28 April
- Q4 (April – June): 28 July
Staying on top of your ATO obligations may be a hassle if you use a paper-based account management system. You’ll need to reconcile your accounts, manually feed that information into your BAS report and submit it by the due date. This process can be both time-consuming and an inefficient use of your resources, particularly without third party support.
However, online accounting software have made the BAS process much simpler. The almost automated process enables you to input data and collate it quickly, produce account statements with a few clicks and even submit BAS reports direct to the ATO.
QuickBooks Online allows users to submit BAS reports by setting up GST and BAS accounts and using journal entries. It also enables you to receive reminders and memos so you can keep on track with your GST obligations year-round.
With automatic reminders of your BAS lodgement dates you will have one less thing to think about, whether you report quarterly, monthly or annually.