BAS Preparation Tips For Small Businesses In Australia

April 19, 2021    accountantinperth

Maintaining a time-specific BAS record is crucial for businessmen to meet tax commitments. BAS is an acronym for business activity statement and the Australian Tax Office regulates BAS submissions. It is a necessary obligation for all businesses registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Failing to lodge a BAS within the mentioned deadline consequently results in penalties. That’s the reason that businesses have to take care of BAS filings on time.

Preparing a Business Activity Statement

BAS requires accurate payment details reporting for maintaining proper tax records and access. BAS includes the following taxes, and here are the terminologies that you need to know:

  • GST – Goods and Services Tax
  • Pay As You Go Withholding Tax or PAYGW
  • Pay As You Go Instalments or PAYGI
  • Fringe Benefits Tax or FBT
  • WET – Wine Equalisation Tax
  • Luxury Car Tax or LCT
  • Fuel Tax Credits
  • Instalment Notice (GST and PAYG instalments)

BAS Preparation can be time-consuming and complicated at first. Here are a few tips that can help to manage the process easily:

  • Assemble – Organise your receipts and invoices before preparing your BAS record to save time. Ensure the numbers are accurate. Keep account updates periodically to cut down on the potential hassle. Use accounting software, if necessary. The record should include information about the date, transaction type, description and GST.
  • Categories – Sort out transaction details based on specific categories for later use. Assorting helps to fill in details easily. Maintain the accuracy and helps with easy access. Using relevant software might aid in streamlining records.
  • Lodge – Post filling the BAS with precise information; submit it online, offline or through a BAS agent. Know your BAS lodgement dates and submit the BAS on time to avoid penalty. In case of doubts or confusions, contact the Australian Tax Office for lodge dates.
  • Back up – After submission, keep a digital or hard copy of the record for personal use and Australian Tax Office requirements. The Australian Tax Office instructs to keep the copy safe for five years.

A systematic approach makes lodging quicker and accurate. Once you learn the basics of how to prepare a BAS statement, filing it in will be easy.

Hiring a BAS agent to lodge a BAS

Small Businesses in their early stage of growth do not need to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). However, it is a legal obligation to apply for GST within 21 days of crossing the GST turnover threshold. BAS can be filed using software, hiring an agent or by self. If you are running a small business that is struggling to keep up with BAS records, fret not. Read on to know why opting for a licensed BAS accountant can be a great option for you.

  • Safe Harbour Provisions – A licensed BAS agent can serve as a safeguard when it comes to BAS lodging. You would not be held liable as a customer if your representative makes a mistake on your BAS claim due to safe harbour clauses. However, self-lodging can account for penalties on a fault.
  • Code of Conduct – The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) is a national body that regulates the accounting agents. They keep a check to ensure that the agents operate following a certain code of conduct. This results in the integrity of work, honesty, knowledge updates and fair fee demands. Code of conduct helps to establish confidence.
  • Registration ObligationBAS accountant has registration requirements such as completing higher education. Pursuing specialised GST and BAS courses is also another requirement for them. A minimum experience of 1400 work hours for 4 years before registration is necessary.
  • Educational Requirements – BAS agents are required to complete their education while they are working. To renew their registration with the TPB, they have to complete 45 hours of CPE activities. These activities need to be taken up every three years. The CPE primarily includes tertiary courses, research papers, presentations, workshop and the like.
  • Deadline Extension – BAS accountants enjoy certain privileges such as lodgement date extension. In the case of a self-lodge, there is a penalty for a submission failure within the deadline. However, if you lodge through an agent, you can get an extension date which enables more time for lodging.

Choosing a BAS accounting agent

BAS is essential to a business and often keeping track becomes difficult. This is when a BAS accountant is much needed. Now, let’s read through some pointers on how to choose a good BAS accounting agent.

  1. Qualifications – Know the agent, discuss his/her qualifications. Get to know their interest area. Discuss your accounting requirements and see how well-equipped they are. Higher the qualification, the higher the knowledge base.
  2. Services – Get to know what services they have to offer. Find out if their services are regular or possess any unique factor. Check if their services match your work demands.
  3. Client Base – An agent or company’s reputation is the most vital deciding factor. Look for performance records. Check client bases in case of similarities. Visit their website and go through the portfolio. Check for reviews and feedbacks to get a better understanding. A diverse client base indicates an accountant’s dynamic characteristics and expertise.
  4. Cost – Discuss and negotiate fees. If the fee structure is reasonable and the services are world-class, that’s your right fit. An agent with expertise, qualifications and knowledge asking for a higher price quote is a huge disappointment. Always compare price rates to choose the best.
  5. Work Procedure – Once you are on talking terms with the desired accountant, discuss how things are to be done. This will give you an estimate of the time required. Effective communication is the key. Be clear on your part when talking about the work demands. Do not go for someone until you are convinced.
  6. Location – An accountant’s location is vital to figure out expertise. If an accountant is located near you, it’s a plus. They can provide you with location wise specifications, rules and regulations (if any).
  7. Criticism – To ensure communication, confidence and trust, an agent who can take the heat is the best option.

If you are a small business owner searching for the right BAS or small business accounting service in Perth, business accounting service in Perth, now you are well aware of the factors that will help you decide better. Research and communication are the prime aspects that will help you run your business right with timely BAS lodging.

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