Simpler Business Activity Statements for GST in 2017

Posted on July 18, 2017 by ATB Chartered Accountants

In July 2017, the Australian Tax Office changed the nature of small business tax reporting. The new Simpler Business Activity Statement (BAS) is designed to streamline the often-tedious process of reporting GST throughout the year.

Our tax accounting team can assist you with the new BAS reporting process.

Who’s eligible for the Simpler BAS?

To be eligible for the new system, your business must have an annual GST turnover of less than $10 million.

Simpler Business Activity Statements for GST

What’s different in the new BAS?

The Simpler BAS now only requires three fields of information; G1 Total Sales, 1A GST on Sales and 1B GST on Purchases. This change has been met with cheers from accountants and business-owners alike. The previous system required intricate details about complex information such as export sales and capital purchases.

While the Simpler BAS can still be quite a challenging tool, it allows for much more effective communication of business information between business owners, tax agents and the ATO.

Simpler Business Activity Statements for GST

Reduce Time & Cost

In making these changes, the ATO has made it simpler and cheaper for you to get on top of GST. Simpler BAS allows you to reduce those irritating compliance costs and time spent communicating with your tax professionals.

Simpler Business Activity Statements for GST

Do I still need to keep my receipts?

We do stress however; how vital it is that you keep track of your records throughout the year. Ensuring you have proof of any claims made in your Simpler BAS and your income tax return, with items such as tax invoices, will help you avoid any tax-time headaches at the end of the year.

If you’re unsure of what exactly you need to keep records of, our team of GST experts can give you accurate and up-to-date tax advice.

How do I use the simpler BAS system?

To make your life even easier, if you’re eligible to move to the Simpler BAS system, you don’t need to take any action. The ATO will automatically transition you onto the Simpler BAS system. This has been decided based on your previous year’s company tax return.

However, you will need to advise the ATO if your annual revenue rises above $10 million, as they will need to transition you on to the full reporting system. On the other hand, if your turnover was previously above $10 million and you’ve since dropped below that mark, notifying the ATO will allow you to move on to the Simpler BAS system.

Simpler Business Activity Statements for GST

Changes to GST Credits

Along with these changes, the ATO has also slightly shifted the nature of GST credits. This refers to goods and services that you purchase and use in the course of business, if you are registered for GST. Since July 1st, 2017, you have been eligible to claim a GST credit on imported services and digital products. And from July 1st, 2018, you will be able to do so on low value imported goods.

If you’ve found that the actual use of a good or service has differed from the intended use, you may need to adjust your GST credit claim. An example of this may be a car that you originally purchased for personal use, but have since been using to conduct business operations. GST credit claims can be quite intricate, so we recommend consulting a professional accountant.

Simpler BAS – no hassles

To ensure that you manage your business accounts without hassle, we recommend filling out your Simpler BAS in whole numbers only (rounded down) and make sure you’re not claiming GST on private expenses.

Checking that you have the correct tax period for invoices and sales and that you’re not entering invoices twice will also make the process smoother for you.

Simpler Business Activity Statements for GST

Ready for a simpler BAS?

If you’re ready to make your business reporting easier, or if you have any concerns or queries about the new Simpler BAS system, contact us for a chat.