Australian business owners may hear the term ‘Business Activity Statement’ or BAS almost all the time. Well, the reason is pretty obvious since all businesses registered for GST need to lodge a BAS. But what is it really and what are the BAS due dates?
What is a BAS?
A BAS, or Business Activity Statement, is a government form business owners need to fill out and submit to the ATO if their business is registered for GST. This is a summary letting the ATO know how much tax you need to pay or be refunded.
Your BAS provides information on your:
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments
- PAYG withholding tax
- Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) instalments
- Fuel tax credits
- Other taxes
When is a BAS due?
Knowing the key BAS due dates for lodgement is important to make sure you pay on time and avoid late lodgement penalties or general interest charges for overdue amounts.
To avoid penalties, find out when BAS is due, and refer to the information found on ‘Failure to lodge on time penalty’ by the Australian Taxation Office for more.
Businesses registered for GST need to lodge a BAS depending on their annual turnover. Note that failure to lodge a BAS on time may result in penalties and incur a fine from the ATO.
Monthly BAS due dates
Businesses with an annual turnover of more than $20 million must lodge their BAS monthly. The deadline for lodging is every 21st of the following month.
Quarterly BAS due dates
For businesses with less than $20 million in annual turnovers, your next BAS due date will be the 28th day of the month following the end of the financial quarter. The quarterly BAS due dates for lodging are as follows:
- Quarter 1 (July to September) – 28 October
- Quarter 2 (October to December) – 28 February
- Quarter 3 (January to March) – 28 April
- Quarter 4 (April to June) – 28 July
Annual BAS due dates
Businesses with less than $75,000 annual turnover or $150,000 for non-profits must lodge their BAS annually. The BAS is submitted along with their income tax returns.
How to lodge a BAS
BAS can be lodged online, through a tax or BAS agent, or by mail.
Online lodgement – Lodging online can be done through a myGov account linked to the ATO if you’re a sole trader, the ATO website, or an SBR-enabled software.
Lodging through a tax or BAS agent – Registered tax or BAS agents may lodge, vary, and pay BAS through their preferred electronic channel.
Lodging by mail – Your completed BAS may be mailed using the pre-addressed envelope provided in your BAS package.
How to pay your BAS
You may pay your BAS through BPAY, a credit card or a debit card. You may also pay using a payment reference number (PRN) or EFT code when you pay online. Your PRN is a unique identifier that ensures your payment is credited to the correct account.
It’s ok if you can’t pay your BAS by the due date as long as you lodge on time. You may set up a payment plan with the ATO according to what you can afford based on your circumstances.
How long does a BAS refund take?
Your BAS refund will typically take anywhere between 7 to 14 business days to be processed. However, if your bank details are incorrect, your lodgements are not up to date, or you have a debt with the ATO, it may take longer.
BAS-excluded vs GST-free
Goods or services that are BAS-excluded are outside of Australia’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation, which means they are not subject to 10% GST. These transactions are also called “out of scope”.
Can I pay my BAS in instalments?
You can set up a payment plan with the ATO should you need more time to pay your BAS. However, interest charges may apply and we recommend that you seek professional advice around this before setting up a payment plan.
What is an IAS?
You may instead be eligible to submit an Instalment Activity Statement (IAS). In your IAS, the ATO tells you what your GST instalment amount is and, where applicable, your PAYG instalment amount is every quarter.
Essentially, the IAS is a form that is similar to the BAS, but simpler in that you do not have to be concerned about GST and some other nominated taxes.
We recommend consulting with a registered BAS Agent for additional advice to suit your circumstances.
Do sole traders pay BAS?
Yes, sole traders do have to pay BAS, however, only if they meet the eligibility criteria of their gross income exceeding $75,000.
Consult with a registered BAS Agent
Managing your BAS and ensuring everything is processed by the BAS due dates is an important task for every business. If you need help with your BAS, our Tax Specialists can help. Reach out to us here or call us at 07 3878 9181.