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GST Chart of Accounts and Lodgement Journal Overview (Australia only)

In March 2018 QuickBooks will start rolling out a new GST experience. This will happen gradually over a period of time. If you can see View reports, you are in the classic experience or if you can see Run Reports, you are on the new experience. Please follow the relevant steps below based on the GST experience you are in.

Classic Tax Centre

Chart of Accounts Overview

Upon setup of the current tax centre, there are two system generated accounts created:

  • BAS Liabilities Payable
  • BAS Suspense

The BAS Liabilities Payable account is where the GST Collected and GST Paid amounts are posted when transactions include GST.

The BAS Suspense account is like a clearing account; once you lodge your BAS in QuickBooks Online, the amount payable or refundable will be posted to this account.

These two accounts can be renamed if you prefer. From your Chart of Accounts.  

If KeyPay is enabled in QuickBooks Online, a 3rd account related to BAS will be created during Payroll Setup called PAYGW liabilities payable, but in the current experience that is triggered when you turn on KeyPay, not by GST setup.

Lodgement Journal Details

If FTC is enabled, a Fuel Tax Credit Income account is created, which a CR is posted to when BAS is lodged. Upon lodgement, a three-line journal entry will move what you owe (or what you are owed) from the BAS Liability account to the BAS Suspense account, and if any PAYG Withholdings are included, moves that of the PAYG control account and into the Suspense account as well.

  • DR to BAS Liabilities
  • DR to PAYG Withholdings Payable (if applicable)
  • CR to BAS Suspense (assuming GST is due and payable to the ATO)

Only GST Liabilities and PAYGW liabilities are automatically debited on the current tax centre - any liability adjustments for FTC, FBT, LCT, PAYG-I etc have to be accounted for separately via direct journal entries and tax line adjustment transactions directly on the BAS form.

New Tax Centre

Chart of Accounts Overview

In the updated GST centre, chart of accounts are created automatically based on the tax liabilities enabled during setup, and can include:

  • GST Liabilities Payable - GST (all files)
  • ATO Clearing Account - formerly BAS Suspense (all files)
  • PAYG Withholdings Payable - Payroll Withholdings (optional)
  • PAYG Instalment Liabilities - Income Tax Instalments (optional)
  • Luxury Car Tax Liabilities - Other Taxes (optional)
  • WET Liabilities - Other Taxes (optional)
  • FBT Liabilities - Other Taxes (optional)
  • Fuel Tax Credit Income - Other Taxes (optional)

The GST Liabilities payable account is where the GST Collected and GST Paid amounts are posted when transactions include GST.

The ATO Clearing account is where the amount payable or refunded from the ATO will be posted when once you lodge your BAS or IAS.

The PAYG Withholdings payable account will now be created during GST setup, in addition to the BAS-W1 and BAS-W2 tax codes, to be ready if customers enable KeyPay OR if they process payroll outside of QuickBooks.

The PAYG Instalment liabilities account will be created if enabled in settings and posted to if a user inputs an instalment amount in the lodgement flow.

For other taxes, Luxury Car Tax, WET, and FBT Liabilities accounts will now be created if enabled in GST settings. In the absence of adjustment transactions previously used in the existing BAS centre to include these figures on the BAS form, users can input the figures directly into the lodgement flow, and QBO will write a journal against the respective liabilities account when the BAS is lodged.

Separate expense transactions for accruing each of the other tax liabilities will need to be manually created against the appropriate expense account.

Lodgement Journal Details

The updated Tax Lodgement Journal has been expanded in several ways in our new tax centre experience.

When marking a BAS or IAS as lodged, the journal entry will move what is owed (or what you are owed) from all of the respective liability accounts reported on the activity statement to the ATO Clearing Account (formerly called BAS Suspense) based on the tax liabilities enabled within the lodgement form.

  • DR to GST Liabilities (when lodging includes GST)
  • DR to PAYG Withholdings Payable (when lodging includes payroll withholdings)
  • DR to PAYG Instalment Liabilities (when lodging includes income tax instalment)
  • DR to Luxury Car Tax Liabilities (when lodging includes Luxury Car Tax)
  • DR to WET Liabilities (when lodging includes Wine Equalisation Tax)
  • DR to FBT Liabilities (when lodging includes Fringe Benefits Tax instalment)
  • CR to Fuel Tax Credit Income (when lodging includes Fuel Tax Credits)
  • CR to ATO Clearing Account (all lodgements)

There are a number of other aspects to the journal entry that may apply due to rounding or other scenarios, but the basic and most common structure is described above.

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