BAS pa­per­work made sim­pler

Money Magazine Australia - - THIS MONTH - MARK CHAP­MAN, DI­REC­TOR OF TAX COM­MU­NI­CA­TIONS AT H&R BLOCK. MCHAPMAN@HRBLOCK.COM.AU

If you run a small busi­ness, the tax of­fice is hop­ing to make your GST com­pli­ance sim­pler. From July 1, 2017, the amount of in­for­ma­tion that small busi­nesses need to re­port on their busi­ness ac­tiv­ity state­ment (BAS) is be­ing re­duced. Ac­cord­ing to the ATO this will “sim­plify book­keep­ing and re­port­ing re­quire­ments”.

From that date, you’ll only need to re­port to­tal sales, GST on sales and GST on pur­chases. You’ll no longer need to re­port ex­port sales, GST-free sales, cap­i­tal pur­chases and non-cap­i­tal pur­chases.

As a re­sult, the ATO hopes that small busi­nesses “will be able to more eas­ily clas­sify trans­ac­tions and pre­pare and lodge their BAS”. The changes ap­ply to small busi­nesses reg­is­tered for GST, which means one with an an­nual GST turnover of less than $10 mil­lion, so in prac­tice the vast ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses will qual­ify.

The fre­quency with which you need to lodge a BAS isn’t chang­ing. How­ever fre­quently you lodged one be­fore July 1, 2017 (for ex­am­ple, monthly, quar­terly or yearly), you’ll con­tinue to re­port on the same ba­sis. Nor will it af­fect how other taxes are re­ported (for ex­am­ple, PAYG in­come tax in­stal­ments or PAYG tax with­held).

And you’ll still need to keep records, such as in­voices and re­ceipts, to prove any claims you make in your BAS and tax re­turns.

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