Businesses registered for GST must lodge business activity statements (BAS) every year with the ATO. To assist you, here is a record-keeping and submission checklist you can follow to help you prepare and lodge your BAS accurately and on time.

You must lodge and pay your BAS on time to avoid incurring any charges or penalties. Most businesses lodge their BAS by the quarterly due date. Although how often you lodge will depend upon your situation, for instance, a business may make a prepayment for an expected bill
or lodge and pay monthly when it helps them manage their tax more efficiently.

The due date for your monthly BAS is usually on the 21st of every month and your BAS quarterly due dates are:

  • Q1 (July, August and September) is due 28 October
  • Q2 (October, November and December) is due 28 February
  • Q3 (January, February and March) is due 28 April
  • Q4 (April, May and June) is due 28 July

You must always maintain accurate and detailed record-keeping by:

  • Keeping all sales, fees, expenses, wages and other business costs records.
  • Avoiding claiming credits for purchases that did not include GST, such as water bills.
  • Holding onto tax invoices and other GST records for five years.
  • Putting your GST in a separate bank account.
  • Only claiming GST credits from GST-registered suppliers.
  • Only claiming business expenses and the business portion of things you purchase (when they are also used for personal use).

Before submitting your BAS, always check:

  • You have entered each invoice only.
  • You have entered whole dollar amounts.
  • Your expenses and sales are from the same period you are lodging for.
  • You have completed the fields that apply to you.

Remember, should you have nothing to report, the ATO still requires you to lodge a nil statement.

Important tax dates

22 OCTOBER

September monthly activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment.
Annual PAYG instalment notice – final date for payment and, if using the rate method or varying the instalment amount, final date for lodgment.

29 OCTOBER

Quarter 1 (July–September) activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment.

31 OCTOBER

Annual GST return or Annual GST information report – lodgment and payment.

*** This publication is for guidance only, and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publishers nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication. Publication date October 2018

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