You know how most small business owners hate paperwork and tax?
Well, what we do is help them reduce both.
In fact, we recently met a small business owner who used to have to allocate a whole day each quarter to doing his BAS. We showed him how to do it in 5 minutes AND got him a two week extension to pay.
I’m about to show you the simple tools you need to be able to lodge your BAS in 2 minutes.
Firstly, you need to choose the right option for reporting your GST. Choose GST option 3. (See sample BAS ). This allows you to pay a GST instalment, or downpayment, each quarter. But no calculations are required. So you tick the box, pay the amount, and you’re done.
You do all your GST calculations at the end of the year, when you lodge your tax return.
Secondly, you need to register for an Auskey on the ABR website. An Auskey lets you access the ATO’s online services. It’s a one off process and it’s free to register.
So those two simple tips should mean your BAS takes two minutes each quarter. You can watch a step by step demonstration on YouTube.
Each quarter, log on to the ATO business portal. This can be accessed via the ATO website (switch to). You can also run the Auskey browser on a USB drive.
Once you’re logged in, there are various options on the left of screen. One of these is activity statements. Click on the new activity statement.
The electronic activity statement has exactly the same boxes as the paper form. You just click through, choose GST option 3, and you’re done. No calculations, no receipts, no hours of re-doing GST codes in your ledger software.
If you are paying employees, you still need to complete W1 and W2 on the BAS as normal.
How to get an extension to pay your BAS
The easiest way to get a BAS extension is to get an automatic extension. The due date listed on your BAS isn’t necessarily the due date that applies to you. The actual due date depends on when
and how you lodge.
Lodgment due dates are generally as follows:
- Paper lodgment: 28 days after the end of the quarter (e.g. for September, the date is 28 Oct)
- Online lodgment (self preparer): 42 days after the end of the quarter (11 Nov)
- Tax agent lodgment: 56 days after the end of the quarter (25 Nov)
So by simply registering for a free Auskey at www.auskey.abr.gov.au you give your business some much needed breathing space if time or cashflow are scarce in the current quarter.
How to catch up on overdue BAS statements
It sounds strange to say this, but the first step in dealing with old and overdue activity statements is to lodge your new activity statements. This is because the current monthly or quarterly statement is not yet overdue, so you can avoid additional penalties.
Not only that, the more recent BAS statements are the ones where you will have the easiest access to paperwork. So it should be easier to lodge the latest BAS than to lodge one from several years ago. This will help you get back on track for future quarters.
Then, you can devise a plan to gather your records for the old BAS periods, and starting working on them. Usually, the best approach is tackle each financial year’s BASs as a group, e.g. the four quarterly BASs up to 30 June.
If you have overdue activity statements, but they relate to a business that has ceased, please read our related article: BAS statements for a closed business .
At Beyond Accountancy we are specialists in late tax, and we have clients over Australia who we have helped catch up on their tax and get organised. In fact, we have lodged as many as 94 overdue statements for one client.
We also help business owners who are already up to date, but just want to reduce their paperwork burden, and plan to pay less tax.
Our office is in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, and we service clients interstate and overseas via our online consultations.
Please contact us if you think we can be of assistance to you.