Business Activity Statements (BAS): Guide to BAS Statement Requirements

Information verified correct on December 4th, 2016

There are several types of tax obligations that a business in Australia has to fulfil each year. The types of taxes you are required to pay will depend on the nature of your business, the size of your business, the number of employees you have, the benefits that you provide to them, the types of goods you deal in, as well as the primary location where your business is registered. In order to assess the tax liability of your business with respect to different taxes, as well as to report and pay the taxes, you will have to submit a document known as the Business Activity Statement (BAS) to the appropriate tax authorities.

What is a Business Activity Statement (BAS)?

A BAS is a report that is submitted by a business to the Australian Taxation Office. On the basis of this report, various business taxes are paid to the relevant tax office. The BAS contains details about the various types of taxes that may need to be paid by a business. These taxes are:

  • Goods and services tax (GST)
  • Pay as you go withholding tax
  • pay as you go instalment tax
  • Fringe benefit tax (FBT)
  • Luxury car tax (LCT)
  • Wine equalisation tax (WET)
  • Fuel tax credits

Every BAS is unique to a business and may or may not include all the types of taxes as mentioned above. Your business activity statement will only include detailed report about those types of taxes that your business is eligible to pay. There are certain reporting requirements that need to be completed before you can submit a valid BAS to the tax office. Here are some of the main reporting requirements of a typical BAS:

  • Reporting period: Your business activity statement should clearly mention the reporting period on it. The start date as well as the end date of the reporting period should be stated.
  • Document ID: This is a number that is unique to every business as well as unique to every statement. Hence, every BAS that you submit will have a different document ID. This ID helps to identify your BAS if and when required.
  • Australian Business Number: The ABN is another mandatory requirement on a business activity statement. With the help of the ABN the taxation authorities can determine which business the BAS is being submitted for.

In addition to the above, a BAS will also mention the date when the report was lodged as well as the date when the relevant tax was paid. The mode of payment, such as cash, cheque etc also has to be mentioned on the BAS. Finally, the most important requirement on a BAS is the details of the tax that is being reported and paid by the respective businesses.

At the end of the business activity statement there is a section for a summarised version of the taxes being reported. Your BAS should also clearly mention whether you have a pending tax liability or you are expecting a refund from the taxation office.

Submitting a Business Activity Statement (BAS)

Once you have completed the BAS and signed it, you need to submit it to the Australian Taxation Office before the due date for final submission. The due date is typically mentioned at the top of the BAS form. Depending on whether you are required to submit the BAS monthly or quarterly, your due date will differ accordingly. In the event that the final submission date is a holiday or a weekend, the ATO allows businesses to submit the BAS on the first working day after the holidays. In case you do not submit the BAS and pay the tax in a timely manner, your business could have to suffer penalty payments.

The completed business activity statement can be submitted to the ATO through several channels. You can submit the BAS through their online business portal, or through the electronic commerce interface (ECI). Businesses also have the option of hiring a registered BAS agent who can help them to complete and submit the BAS properly. Other options for submitting a BAS include over the phone or by regular mail. However, you can submit the BAS over the phone only if you have nothing to report on it. Also, it is mandatory to file a BAS for every tax period as specified by the ATO. Whether or not you have done any business in that period is irrelevant. Once you have received a BAS form from the ATO, you have to complete and submit it. If no business has been transacted in that particular tax period, then the BAS for that period will be referred to as a nil report.

Since it is vital for the success of any business to report and pay relevant taxes on time, it is advisable to take help from registered BAS agents in order to submit an accurate business activity statement. Alternatively, you could also hire the services of an expert tax consultant to help you in this regard.

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58 Responses to Business Activity Statements (BAS): Guide to BAS Statement Requirements

  1. Default Gravatar
    adam | November 10, 2016

    Im confused about what material costs are when doing the bas statement.im a carpenter, so are material costs the cost of materials that I charge the client? or is it materials like tools, saw blades, drill bits and fixings and things I need for my job?

    • Staff
      Anndy | November 10, 2016

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information website that helps users make better decisions. We are not BAS agents. It would be best for you to get help from a registered BAS agent to be able to prepare an accurate business activity statement. You could also get the services of an expert tax consultant to help you in this regard.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    Lisa | April 10, 2015

    My paper bas did not arrive
    I rang ato to ask to resend but a week and a half and still not arrived!!
    My computer is so slow I can’t do online
    Have $ to pay but really worried I can’t seem to get my bas
    I have never had this problem before

    • Staff
      Shirley | April 13, 2015

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that finder.com.au is an online comparison and general information service.

      Unfortunately we can’t assist in this matter, we’d recommend that you get in touch with the ATO again to explain the situation regarding your BAS.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  3. Default Gravatar
    Brooke | March 4, 2015

    Is there a threshold on earnings before a BAS need to be lodged?
    I was thinking of creating an online store which I don’t think will generate more than $5000 per year.

    • Staff
      Shirley | March 5, 2015

      Hi Brooke,

      Thanks for your question.

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

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  4. Default Gravatar
    Richard | March 3, 2015

    I have lost my current BAS form – I think it is due today what do I do ?

    • Staff
      Shirley | March 3, 2015

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’ve lost or haven’t received your paper BAS, you can obtain a copy by phoning the Australian Tax Office on 13 28 66. It’s probably best to let them know that it was due today as well.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  5. Default Gravatar
    Nancy | February 24, 2015

    Monthly Hire Purchase repayments – should these be reported anywhere on my BAS ?

    • Staff
      Shirley | February 24, 2015

      Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that finder.com.au is an online comparison service and can only provide general information about tax. It’s best to speak to your trusted accountant.

      Generally they should be reported on your BAS. It could be as GST or Capital Expense.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  6. Default Gravatar
    Adam | February 3, 2015

    My quarterly BAS form has not arrived – for the Oct-Dec 2014 period. How can I get another one sent to me?

    • Staff
      Shirley | February 3, 2015

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’ve lost or haven’t received your paper BAS, you can obtain a copy by phoning the ATO directly.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  7. Default Gravatar
    bonnie | January 9, 2015

    where do i find the ‘document id’ number on the BAS? thanks!

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | January 9, 2015

      Hi Bonnie,

      Thanks for your question.

      On the right side of your BAS statement, you will find the start and end date of the reporting period. Below that where you’ll find the document ID.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  8. Default Gravatar
    Carmel | November 24, 2014

    How do I pay my BAS pmt without having the slip that indicates who is making the payment? I usually do this at a local Post Office

    • Staff
      Shirley | November 25, 2014

      Hi Carmel,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can make a payment by credit card or BPAY instead. To find out more, please see this page.

      All the best,
      Shirley

  9. Default Gravatar
    Brent | August 20, 2014

    hi I need copies of my BAS statements for 2013/14 how can I get them? thanks

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 20, 2014

      Hi Brent,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can obtain a copy by phoning the Australian Tax Office (ATO) on 13 28 66.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  10. Default Gravatar
    Inna | August 4, 2014

    Hi what do I do if I lost my BAS statement , can you please email me the link

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 5, 2014

      Hi Inna,

      If you’ve lost or haven’t received your paper activity statement, you can obtain a copy by phoning the ATO.

      You can also lodge it online on the ATO website.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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