GST – avoiding common errors

Here are some of the most common BAS errors: • Reporting total sales and/or purchases incorrectly due to inadequate record keeping • Including cents on your BAS, when only dollar amounts should be reported • Duplicating one or more BAS labels e.g. total sales equal to export sales • Mathematical errors e.g. GST claimed is more than 1/11th of total sales

Our new guide contains tips on how to avoid these types of errors. By getting your BAS right, you’ll save time, money and ensure any refund due is processed quickly.

GST – avoiding common errors

In this factsheet we outline how to avoid common errors that may occur when completing your activity statement, accounting for GST and claiming GST credits. Our research shows that the majority of errors are made by small to medium businesses.

Avoid common errors when completing your activity statement

Errors sometimes occur when you fill out your activity statement. To complete your activity statement correctly and ensure any refund due is processed quickly, remember to:

  • check that your purchases and sales are reported in the correct tax period

  • if you report on a non-cash basis, you account for the GST payable on the sales you make in the tax period in which you issue a tax invoice or receive full or part payment (including deposits), whichever happens first.

  • reconcile the figures on your activity statements with your accounting records prepared for your income tax retur

  • report all of your relevant transactions at the appropriate label on your activity statement

  • lodge your activity statement even if you have nothing to report, you can phone13 72 26 and use our automated service to lodge a nil return

  • leave boxes blank if they do not apply to you, but if a box does apply and you have nothing to report use a zero

  • lodge your activity statement through our Business Portal as you will be prompted to correct many simple errors and you may get an extra two weeks to lodge,

  • check that you are using the correct accounting method

  • if you are in the café and restaurant industry, the simplified accounting methods may not be appropriate,

  • only complete the boxes that are relevant to you

  • if you report quarterly, you must only complete the boxes for the option you have selected,

  • if you are paying your GST by instalments and want to vary your instalment amount provide your estimated net GST for the year and the varied amount payable for the quarter and show the correct reason code for varying your instalments,

  • review your activity statement before lodging and check the amount calculated equals what you expect to pay or receive

  • If you lodge a paper activity statement:

  • lodge your original activity statement with us, as we will not accept copies of your statement

  • only use a black pen and provide a contact name, daytime phone number, sign and date your activity statement before you lodge it

round down to whole dollars and leave the cents out.

Get it done

Leave paper behind – choose to lodge online and you may qualify for an extra two weeks to lodge and pay.

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