BAS Return FAQs
General BAS Questions
What is a BAS Return?
- The difference between GST Collected (for customers) and GST Paid (to suppliers)
- PAYG withheld from employees
- Where required, an advance on your income tax (called PAYG income tax)
When Are My BAS Returns Due In?
- 1st Quarter – July, August, September due 28th October
- 2nd Quarter – October, November, December due 28th February
- 3rd Quarter – January, February, March due 28th April
- 4th Quarter – April, May, June due 28th July
Extensions apply if you are using a BAS agent or tax agent.
I have just registered for GST, what should I do next?
- Business Bank Account. If you don’t already have it, set up a separate bank account for your business. Run all income and expenses through that account.
- Bookkeeping System. Decide what Bookkeeping System you want to use. Your choices are a spreadsheet or bookkeeping software like Xero or MYOB.
- Providing your information. Some BAS or Tax Agents insist on the financial information being in a certain format (eg “must be a spreadsheet or MYOB”). If you decide now that you want to get help at BAS time, then you can know what that provider requires.
- Put All Income and Eligible Expenses Through the Account. Get clear on all the expenses that you are incurring in running your business and take them out of the business bank account. If these expenses include GST – and most do – then you will reduce your GST payable by the amount of the GST included in the purchases. (If you have incurred the expense personally – eg out of another account or on credit card – just reimburse the business portion of the expense out of the business account).
- Save For BAS Time. Assuming your revenue exceeds your expenses, you will need to pay money at BAS time. To make sure that you have the money, put a little aside each week. A second or reserve business bank account is a good idea for this purpose.
How can I calculate the amount of GST that I need to pay or that will be refunded to me?
- PAYG on employees
- PAYG for your own income tax (ie paying your income tax upfront)
If you are a new business without employees, you only need to worry about the GST component. In that case, your payment (or refund) is calculated as follows:
- Sales that include GST
- GST included in above Sales (take 1/11th of the total)
- Purchases that include GST
- GST included in above Purchases (take 1/11th of the total)
- Subtract 2 minus 4
If the above figure is positive, then you owe that amount to the Tax Office. If it is negative, then you are entitled to a refund of that amount.
Do all purchases have GST included in them?
- Non prepared food (eg milk and instant coffee but not take away coffee or biscuits)
- Some government charges, such as ASIC fee, MV registration fee
- Residential rent
If I don’t make any sales or purchases in a quarter, do I still need to lodge a BAS return?
Lodging Your First BAS Return
Where do I get the first blank BAS return from?
After lodging my BAS return, do I need to pay money?
What if I owe BAS but don’t have the money to pay?
What is bookkeeping and how does it fit in with BAS?
What is Xero?
- Less bookkeeping costs – due to auto transfer of information from your bank account and rules
- 24/7 access to your accounts – with internet access
What other services BAS agents can provide?
- Single Touch Payroll (digital way of reporting salary and wage, tax withheld and super)
- A super guarantee charge (SGC) statement – quarterly form
- A taxable payments annual report
- Payment summaries, employee termination payments, gross wages, allowances, PAYG withholding and other taxable and non-taxable payroll items
- A tax file number declaration on behalf of a client
- An application to the Registrar for an Australian business number on behalf of a client.