So you’re about to start your first month operating.
The signs look promising so far: you’ve got a good cushion of cash, your new team gels well together and your stock is the best in the biz.
With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, you’ll be in business for a long time to come.
Of course, being good at what you do is only part of any new business’ success. Even the best products, customer service or prices don’t mean much if your business is rotten “under the hood”.
What are BAS lodgements?
Standing for Business Activity Statement, BAS an essential bookkeeping statement that every business in Australia, big or small, has to lodge.
Officially, it’s mandatory for GST-collecting businesses. This tells the ATO how much GST your business has collected from customers - from a bookkeeping standpoint, that money isn’t yours.
Rather, it belongs to the ATO, and you’re collecting it on their behalf.
It’s not just GST, either. Essentially, a BAS is a form that records all of your tax obligations, including:
- GST (both GST owed and GST credits)
- Pay as you go (instalments, withholding)
- Fringe benefits tax (tax on employee benefits)
BAS need to be lodged at the end of every quarter - for bigger businesses with a GST turnover in excess of $20 million or more, that frequency increases to every month.
Click here for more information regarding due dates, and other conditions.
Why BAS lodgement matters to your business
Businesses that meet the criteria are required by law to make BAS lodgements. As such, if you meet the criteria and you don’t lodge a BAS, you’ll be subject to fines.
The penalty for a late lodgement is $170 for every 28 days overdue. If your statements are chronically late however, you might be hit with an even higher rate.
The only way to avoid this? Do your BAS lodgement on time, and do it accurately!
Do I need to lodge a BAS?
If your annual income exceeds $75,000, yes.
If you’re only just starting up, you’ll want to keep tabs on your annual income. The moment you crack the $75,000 ceiling, we recommend registering with the ATO as a GST-registered business.
And if you have a bad year and drop below $75,000, you’ll still have to reach out to deregister yourself. The ATO doesn’t do that automatically - the onus is 100% on you. Forget this step, and you’ll still be chased up for statements.
We’ve seen many clients visit our bookkeepers in Melbourne to us with a backlog of BAS that they didn’t know they still owed - don’t let your business be one of them!
How to lodge your BAS
When it comes to lodging your BAS, you have four main options:
- Snail mail
- By phone (only for businesses with nothing to report)
- Online using MyGov
- Lodging with an approved BAS agent
If you’re just starting out, we strongly recommend going option 4. Why?
1) Let our bookkeepers in Melbourne save you time
As a soon-to-be business owner, you won’t have much spare time on your hands. According to Gallup, the average workweek for a business owner is 52.1 hours.
Long hours and a heavy workload are to be expected, especially in the early days when you’re still laying the groundwork. That doesn’t leave you much time to do BAS lodgement.
So leave it to our bookkeepers in Melbourne - we’ll get it done accurately and on time. Always.
2) BAS lodgement with a bookkeeping pro helps you avoid mistakes
Not everybody is a trained bookkeeper. There’s no problem with that.
However, there is a problem when you take on the task of BAS lodgement when you don’t quite know how to.
In addition to late fees, the ATO also punishes BAS that are inaccurate or wrong. It doesn’t matter if it was a mistake - you’re still on the hook.
Avoid this risk altogether by getting a professional to do yours for you!
Make BAS lodgement easy with Xero
At Maximum Business Solutions, we’re big fans of Xero. In fact, we were also named as a finalist at this year’s Australian Accounting Awards.
This cloud accounting program has changed the face of bookkeeping, making it easier than ever to keep on top of your finances.
One of the biggest strengths of Xero is how it integrates with your existing accounts. Bank accounts, payroll, ordering systems… all of that, collated into the one platform.
And that includes BAS lodgement! Get in touch with a Xero partner in Melbourne like Maximum Business Solutions for a more information.
Need more help? Rely on our bookkeepers in Melbourne
So, there you have it. That should just about cover the basics.
Obviously, BAS lodgement isn’t that simple (is it ever with anything tax-related?!)
That said, there are some things you can do to lighten the load - chief among them, leaving your business activity statements to a professional!
Based in Melbourne’s beautiful Bayside, Maximum Business Solutions is dedicated to making bookkeeping easy for small and medium businesses.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking for ways to make your business more efficient, our team of qualified bookkeepers in Melbourne can help you make your BAS lodgements more timely, accurate and most importantly, easier.