Common Errors to Avoid When Filing Your BAS in Australia

To meet your tax requirements in Australia, you need to file a Business Activity Statement (BAS) accurately and quickly. However, companies often make mistakes when submitting BAS. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for when filling out the BAS to avoid these pitfalls:

  • Incorrect reporting of sales and expenses

Incorrect reporting of sales and expenses is the act of recording and reporting financial transactions in the Business Activity Statement (BAS) with errors or inaccuracies. This may include misclassifying sales, not recording certain transactions, mixing personal and business expenses, or reporting data inconsistently. Such errors can lead to incorrect tax calculations, non-compliance with tax regulations, and potential penalties. It is very important to accurately record and report sales and expenses to ensure compliance and provide a true picture of the financial position of the business.

  • Errors in GST calculation

GST calculation errors refer to errors made in determining the amount of Goods and Services Tax (GST) payable or claimable. This can include the incorrect calculation of the GST percentage, the incorrect application of GST to sales or purchases, or the incorrect reporting of GST on the Business Activity Statement (BAS). These errors can lead to overpayment or underpayment of GST, leading to compliance issues and potential penalties. It is important to ensure accurate GST calculations by understanding the relevant GST rules, keeping proper records, and seeking professional advice when necessary.

  • Inaccurate reporting of PAYG withholding tax

Inaccurate reporting of PAYG withholding tax refers to errors or omissions made in the reporting of amounts withheld from employees’ wages for Payroll Payroll (PAYG) purposes. This may include reporting withholding amounts incorrectly on the Business Activity Statement (BAS) or not reporting them at all. Inaccurate returns can lead to incorrect tax calculations, non-compliance with tax regulations, and potential penalties. It is crucial to accurately record and report PAYG withholding tax amounts to ensure compliance and employer obligations to withhold and remit the correct amounts of tax for employees.

  • Incorrect classification of costs:

Cost misclassification refers to the act of miscategorizing business costs or assigning them to the wrong cost category in financial records, including the Business Activity Statement (BAS). This can result in inaccurate reporting of expenses, overlooking possible tax deductions, and incorrect calculation of taxable income. Examples of misclassification include treating a capital expenditure as an expense or classifying personnel costs as an operating expense. It is important to properly categorize expenses according to their nature and purpose to ensure accurate financial reporting and tax compliance.

  • Late submission and payment

Late filing and payment mean the act of submitting a Business Activity Statement (BAS) or making tax payments after the stated due dates. This may result in penalties and interest charges being imposed by a tax authority such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Failure to lodge BAS on time can also disrupt cash flow planning and cause unnecessary stress. It is important to understand the filing and payment deadlines set by the ATO and ensure timely compliance. By submitting BAS and making payments on or before the due date, businesses can avoid penalties, maintain good standing with the tax authority, and manage their financial obligations effectively.

  • Poor record keeping:

Poor record keeping refers to the inadequate management of financial records and documentation within a business. It includes practices such as failure to maintain accurate and organized records, lack of supporting documents for transactions, or a disorganized record-keeping system. Poor record-keeping can result in compliance issues, inaccurate financial reporting, difficulties with audits or reviews, and missed opportunities for deductions or tax credits. It is essential for businesses to implement effective record-keeping practices to ensure accurate financial records, facilitate compliance, and support informed decision-making.

  • Not Seeking Professional Advice:

Not seeking professional advice refers to the decision by individuals or businesses to forgo consulting qualified professionals, such as accountants or financial advisors, for guidance and assistance with their financial affairs. This can lead to potential downsides, including missed opportunities for professional guidance, potential compliance issues, and limited access to valuable insights and strategies. Seeking professional advice is important for making informed financial decisions, optimizing financial results, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

  • Ignoring ATO updates and changes:

Ignoring ATO updates and changes refers to individuals or businesses who ignore important information and updates provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This can lead to non-compliance with tax laws, missed opportunities, and potential penalties. Staying informed of ATO updates is essential to ensure compliance, meet reporting obligations, and take advantage of any available benefits or changes that may affect tax-related matters.