Keeping track of GST and other obligations to lodge your Business Activity Statement (BAS) or Installment Activity Statement (IAS) on time is an important part of operating a business in Australia. When cash flow is tight, no one wants to pay Failure to Lodge (FTL) penalties in addition to other expenses.
To make this process easier we have redesigned the GST centre in QuickBooks Online to give small businesses complete confidence to remain compliant with their BAS reporting needs.
These improvements include:
- Support for monthly activity statements (Monthly IAS)
- An all-new easy to use BAS lodgement workflow
- Enhanced backend bookkeeping changes based on customer feedback
This new experience has been available to new customers since February 2018, and are pleased to announce that existing customers will be able to opt-in and update their GST centre over the coming months.
We are also pleased to announce that we will also be enabling BAS e-lodgement capabilities in QuickBooks, which will be rolling out gradually over the coming months as well.
We anticipate many questions around how the update will work and have created this article to provide those answers.
When can I update? When your QuickBooks file is eligible to update, you will see a green Update Button in the upper right-hand corner of the GST centre.
I want to update but I don't see the update button. When can I update? To create the best customer experience we are radically testing all migration scenarios before making it available. Most of our customers will have the option to migrate by mid July, and we will continue rolling out the migrate option to more files over the coming months. To see if your file qualifies for migration, and to request an early upgrade, please contact Customer Success directly via e-mail, chat or phone.
How does the update work? Upon clicking the upgrade button, QuickBooks will automatically make all the necessary changes to support the new Tax Centre, including renaming the BAS Suspense account to ATO Clearing Account and creating new liability accounts based on the settings chosen.
Do I have to update? We know change can be challenging, especially near the end of financial year, so we've made the update optional for now - but don't let that stop you from upgrading, as we think you'll love the changes. We will end up migrating all customers eventually and will notify all customers in advance prior to any changes.
I've been updated already. How can I go back to the old experience? We have done extensive testing with current and new users for our new tax experience, and we are confident the benefits gained vastly outweigh the current experience. That being said, once the upgrade has taken place, you cannot go back. We are always interested in feedback related to our product experience, so if there is something needed or missing that our updated experience does not provide, please share that directly via in product feedback.
Where did all of by previous BAS lodgements go? Historical BAS lodgements will now show on the History tab when there are no outstanding payments on a lodged activity statement.
Where did my BAS reports move to? All BAS/IAS/GST related reports have been grouped together for quick reference at the top right-hand side of the GST centre. Period specific lodgement reports (BAS Summary, BAS Details, BAS Amendment reports) can also be run from the History tab.
Why does it say IAS under to Lodge? I need to lodge my BAS QuickBooks will always default to the shortest period that is next to be filed next based on GST settings in the updated GST dashboard. When monthly IAS for PAYGW or PAYGI is setup, with Quarterly GST obligations, you will need to lodge monthly IAS in months 1 and 2, and then BAS in month 3 of a quarterly period.
Say you are ready to catch up on Q4 BAS (April to June), and have monthly PAYGW and quarterly GST obligations enabled. The GST centre will show the April period as outstanding first, with Prepare IAS as the button, and you will only input your payroll related obligations (no GST). After you lodge April IAS, the GST centre will now show the May period outstanding, and Prepare IAS again. After you lodge May IAS, QuickBooks will now finally show April through June as the period outstanding and Prepare BAS as the button. The BAS lodgement will include GST obligations for the full quarter, but only PAYGW obligations for June.
What happens if I Un-lodge my BAS? If you need to un-lodge a BAS period, the un-lodgement made by our Customer Success team will reverse the lodgement journal made in the old tax centre. However, now that you are on the new tax centre, when you go to re-lodge the re-opened period, the new lodgement journal will follow the new workflow. Please contact Customer Success if you have any questions about BAS un-lodgement.
The earliest date I can lodge in QBO is 2013 but I have transactions dated before that... In the updated tax centre, the first BAS you lodge will automatically lock all prior periods beforehand - so if a you have transactions in QBO before 2013, lodging your first BAS in QBO will lock all transactions dated prior. You will still need to manually adjust the BAS Liabilities payable account balances via a journal to establish the correct balance, but the prior post migration task of lodging and then reversing the journal to track amendments no longer applies.
How do I create a new tax rate or separate Tax agency for my special tax obligations (ie WET)? In order to create the best tax experience for the majority of Australian small businesses, we have worked really hard to nail the most common tax types that are required. For this reason there are some tax calculation capabilities that QuickBooks will not be able to support at this time, including WET tax calculation and the ability to create a custom tax rate other GST.
How do I enable BAS e-lodgement in QuickBooks? E-lodgement capabilities are currently in an early phase roll-out, and is only available to customers on our updated GST centre. If you are interested in being a pilot e-lodgement filer, please contact our Customer Success team via e-mail, phone, or chat.