Business Activity Statements (BAS) 5 Questions Answered

What is a BAS and what do I need to do?


When it comes to Business Activity Statements (BAS) many small businesses don’t know where to start.

Your BAS is a tax reporting requirement for businesses issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on either a monthly or quarterly basis. It’s used for reporting and paying goods and services tax (GST), pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, PAYG withholding tax and other tax obligations such as wine equalisation tax, fuel tax credits and luxury car tax.

1. How do I know if and when to do my BAS?

When you register for an Australian business number (ABN) and GST, the ATO will automatically send you a BAS when it is time to lodge.

It’s important though that you check your BAS obligations with the ATO. For more information on BAS, go to the ATO website.

2. How do I lodge my BAS?

The ATO offers several options for completing your BAS.

An individual or sole trader can use the ATO online services for individuals and your myGov account linked to the ATO.

A business lodging its own BAS can use the ATO Business Portal.

You can also lodge your BAS directly from your Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled software or via mail or over the phone (if you’ve nothing to report).

Your BAS statement will provide details on how you can pay any required instalments.

3. Can I get someone else to lodge it for me?

You can use a third party such as an accountant to complete your BAS statement on your behalf, but you should check their credentials and make sure they are a registered agent with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

4. How can I report on GST easier?

The most common reason for lodging a BAS is to report and pay GST.

You can make it easier to complete the GST reporting by:

  • Keeping a record of your sales and purchases including tax invoices.
  • Include GST in the price you charge if the goods or services you sell are subject to GST and provide your customers with a tax invoice.
  • Set aside any GST collected so its on hand when you need to pay it.

5. Does it matter if I miss the BAS lodgement due date?

Yes it does matter. Even if you can’t pay on time, you must still lodge your business activity statement (BAS) by the due date.

The ATO may let you enter into a payment arrangement, but get that form lodged on time.

It’s important you check your BAS obligations with the ATO. For more information on BAS, go to the ATO website.

Don’t forget to check out our 5 Steps to Starting a Business.