Record keeping for small business
Record keeping for small business
You can download this publication in portable document format (PDF): download Record keeping for small business (NAT 3029, 702KB)
To order a printed copy, take note of the NAT number - NAT 3029 - and use the Online publications ordering service.
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If you are a business, you need to state:
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Publications ordering service
Use our publications ordering service by phoning us on 1300 720 092.
Our operator-assisted ordering service is available from 8.00am to 6.00pm, weekdays (it is closed on weekends and public holidays).
An automated publications ordering service is also available on this number at any time for people who know the name of the publication they want to order and have no other queries.
How to access our publications
We produce a range of publications designed to help small business. Relevant publications are listed in the 'More information' boxes throughout this guide.
To view publications
The quickest way to access our publications and forms is by searching:
If you operate a small business or a non-profit organisation with an annual turnover of less than $2 million and you keep paper records and account on a cash basis, you can use this guide to help you:
- understand how money flows through your business and why you need to keep good records
- understand the main records you may need to keep
- keep basic paper records
- complete a cash payments book and a cash receipts book.
We use the example of 'My Business' in this guide. 'My Business' is a sole trader that is registered for goods and services tax (GST) and has one casual employee.
This guide may also be useful for charities, gift-deductible entities and government schools that choose to account on a cash basis.
Some technical terms we use in this guide may be new to you. We explain them in the list of Definitions.
When we say sales, we are referring to the GST term supplies. Sales include, but are not limited to, selling goods and services, leasing out or selling property, hiring out equipment, giving advice, exporting goods and making financial supplies.
When we say purchases, we are referring to the GST term acquisitions. Purchases include, but are not limited to, purchasing goods and services, leasing or buying property, hiring equipment, and acquiring trading stock, consumables, rights, advice or information or financial supplies.
When we say GST credits, we are referring to the GST term input tax credits.
Visit www.ato.gov.au/bookkeepers to find useful links to information about providing bookkeeping services.
Bookkeepers providing business activity statement (BAS)-related services to clients as part of a business need to be aware of legal restrictions about who can charge a client for providing tax advice.
Throughout this guide you will find important notes (look for the the symbol) that will help you with key information.
You will also find 'more information' boxes (look for the symbol) that will show any further steps you may need to take or extra information you may need to refer to.
As a business, you engage in various activities whereby money flows through your business. Essentially, you have money coming into your business and money going out of your business. These money flows are called transactions.
Money can flow into your business from four main sources, and it can flow out of your business for four main reasons - each is basically the opposite of the other.
Money flowing into your business may be:
- income from selling goods or services
- money from selling business assets
- money you have contributed to the business
- money you have borrowed.
Money flowing out of your business may be:
- payments for your expenses in carrying on the business
- payments to buy or replace business assets
- payments to you from the business (drawings)
- money you lend to others.
The following diagram shows how money flows through a business.
In order to protect all parties, these transactions are supported by documents recording their details.
There are different types of transaction documents, including tax invoices, wages records, cheque butts and credit card statements. They contain information you need to record, such as the:
- date of the transaction
- total payment you made or amount you received
- amount of goods and services tax (GST).
Keeping good business records
There are a number of reasons for keeping good records of your business transactions.
The most important reason for keeping good records is that it is a legal requirement. By law, you must keep business records:
- for five years after they are prepared, obtained or you complete the transactions, whichever occurs latest
- in English or in a form that we can access and understand to work out the amount of tax you are liable to pay.
You will have to keep records for longer if you use information from those records in a later tax return - for example, if you claim a loss carried forward from a business activity in an earlier year. Under these circumstances, you must keep the records until the end of any period of review for that later return.
You may also need to keep records relating to assets for capital gains tax purposes for a longer period.
You can issue and store records in either paper or electronic form.
There are penalties for not maintaining the required records and for not keeping them for five years. Keeping good records will help you avoid these penalties.
Other regulatory bodies may have different record keeping requirements from ours, particularly around how long you have to keep records.
Other reasons for keeping good business records are to:
- make it easier to complete your activity statements and prepare your annual income tax and fringe benefits tax returns
- monitor the health of your business and be able to make sound business decisions - for example, by keeping track of debtors and creditors
- help you manage your cash flow so you can pay your tax when it falls due
- demonstrate your financial position to banks and other lenders, and also to prospective buyers of your business
- make best use of your tax adviser. Rather than paying them to sort through a shoebox of paperwork, give your tax adviser well-prepared records and pay them to help you with your business and financial planning
- show the basis for any amendments you need to make to activity statements or tax returns you have already lodged - see 'Requesting amendments'.
Generally, you can:
- amend income tax assessments up to four years from the date you receive your assessment
- amend fringe benefits tax returns up to three years from the original assessment date
- request an assessment of your net amount on an activity statement or the tax you pay on an import within four years from the end of the relevant tax period or the time of the import.
There is a shorter period during which we can review and adjust tax assessments for most businesses where either of the following applies:
- they were in the former simplified tax system for income years 2004-05 to 2006-07 inclusive
- they have less than $2 million turnover and qualify for the small business entity concessions for the 2007-08 and later income years.
Businesses eligible for the shorter period of review must still maintain records for at least five years.
We have developed an electronic tool to help you evaluate your business' record keeping needs. You can use this tool if you are:
- thinking about starting a business
- in business and responsible for keeping the business records
- responsible for managing a small business' records - for example, you are a tax agent or a bookkeeper.
This tool is not intended for use by super funds, non-profit organisations or government agencies as they have particular record keeping requirements.
Based on your information, the tool provides a list of the records we recommend your business keeps and a report that indicates how well your business is keeping its records. If appropriate, the report will include suggestions for improvement.
We offer a range of online services to make it easier for you to meet your business tax obligations. For more information, visit www.ato.gov.au/onlineservices
You can record the information from your business transaction documents in a cash book, either electronically or manually.
Recording your transactions manually can be as simple as using an exercise book, but we recommend you buy a commercial cash book from a newsagent or a stationery shop.
To record your transactions electronically, you can use an electronic spreadsheet or a software accounting package.
There are various commercial packages available, ranging from simple systems to complex ones.
The advantages of an electronic record keeping package are that it:
- helps you record your business transactions, including income and expenses, payments to workers, and stock and asset details
- automatically tallies amounts and provides ready-made reporting
- can produce invoices and provide summaries and reports for GST and income tax purposes
- keeps up with the latest tax rates and tax laws, and rulings
- allows you to report certain information, such as your activity statement, to us electronically (if the package meets our requirements)
- requires less storage space
- allows you to back up records and keep back-ups in a safe place in case of fire or theft
- enables you to use your time more efficiently.
If you are planning to use an electronic record keeping package, you need to take into account that:
- it may initially be more expensive to set up
- you will need to know how to operate a computer and use the software
- you will need to be familiar with accounting principles and understand how the software calculates and treats your information.
If you decide to go electronic, make sure you choose a software package that meets your business needs and our requirements. You may want to consult your tax adviser.
Electronic record keeping requirements
There are certain requirements you must meet if you keep your business records electronically.
As with paper records, you must keep electronic records:
- for five years after they are prepared, obtained or the transactions completed, whichever occurs latest
- in English, or in a form that we can access and understand to work out how much tax you are liable to pay.
You can choose to provide a printed copy of your electronic records and, where necessary, documents from your computer system if we request it.
You must be able to show the records kept on your computer system are secure and accurate. This includes having:
- control over access to your computer; for example, through the use of passwords
- control over incoming and outgoing information
- control over processing of information
- back-up copies of computer files and programs and the ability to recover records if your computer system fails.
Whether you use a manual or an electronic system, you can store and keep paper records electronically.
We accept the imaging of business paper records onto an electronic storage medium, provided the electronic copies are:
- a true and clear reproduction of the original paper records
- kept for five years
- capable of being retrieved and read by us at all times.
You don't have to keep original paper records once they have been imaged onto an electronic storage medium.
Basic record keeping principles and practices apply, regardless of whether you keep manual or electronic business records.
You can apply the principles outlined in this guide to either a paper cash book, or an electronic spreadsheet or package.
There may be times when your records are accidentally lost or destroyed - for example, if your home is burgled or burnt.
In these instances, we can allow you to claim a deduction for certain expenses if either of the following apply:
- you have a complete copy of a lost or destroyed document
- we are satisfied that you took reasonable precautions to prevent the loss or destruction and, if the document was written evidence, it is not reasonably possible to obtain a substitute document.
Income tax and GST
You must keep the following records:
- sales records
- sales invoices, including tax invoices
- sales vouchers or receipts
- cash register tapes, credit card statements
- bank deposit books and account statements
- records of purchases expenses
- purchase/expense invoices, including tax invoices
- purchase/expense receipts, which include an ABN
- cheque butts and bank account statements
- credit card statements
- records showing how you worked out any private use of something you purchased
- year-end income tax records
- motor vehicle expenses
- debtors and creditors lists
- stocktake sheets
- depreciation schedules
- capital gains tax records.
Payments you made to your employees
You must keep the following records:
- tax file number declarations and withholding declarations
- withholding variation notices
- worker payment records
- pay as you go (PAYG) payment summaries
- annual reports
- super records
- records of any fringe benefits you provided.
PAYG withholding for your business payments
You must keep the following records:
- records of amounts you withheld from payments where no ABN was quoted
- a copy of any PAYG withholding voluntary agreements
- records of voluntary agreement payments
- all PAYG payment summaries including PAYG payment summary - employment termination payments
- all PAYG annual reports.
Fuel tax credits:
You must keep records of:
- fuel you acquired
- eligible and ineligible fuel use
- claim calculations
- any fuel you lost, sold or disposed of.
You need to keep records of all your sales (income) and expenses to prepare your activity statements and annual income tax return, and to meet other tax obligations.
The amount of income tax you are liable to pay depends on your taxable business income and business expenses. You have to lodge an annual income tax return showing your business income and expenses.
If you are carrying on a business, you need to keep records explaining all transactions that relate to your tax affairs.
These records include:
- sales and expense invoices
- sales and expense receipts
- cash register tapes
- credit card statements
- bank deposit books and cheque butts
- bank account statements.
If you use any business purchases for private purposes, you must have records that show how you worked out the amount of any private use.
Sales and expense invoices and receipts could show such things as the:
- name of the supplier
- Australian business number (ABN) of the supplier
- amount of the sale or expense
- nature of the goods or services sold or purchased
- date of sale or date the expense was incurred
- date of the document.
As well as records of income and expenses, you may need to keep the following specific income tax records (if they apply to your business) for each financial year.
Motor vehicle records
Most people use one or more vehicles in their business. How you claim motor vehicle expenses differs significantly depending on whether you operate your business as a company or trust, or as a sole trader or partnership.
Companies and trusts
If you operate your business as a company or trust, you can claim a full deduction for expenses involved in running motor vehicles you own or lease. If those vehicles are also used for private purposes, you may have to pay fringe benefits tax.
Sole traders and partnerships
If you operate your business as a sole trader or a partnership, you work out your deductions for motor vehicles differently, depending on whether your vehicles are:
- business purpose vehicles
- other vehicles.
- Business purpose vehicles
You can usually claim a deduction for the running costs of these vehicles, which include:
- larger trucks or vans
- smaller vehicles (for example, utes, wagons or panel vans) that have been heavily modified for business use, or where your private use is restricted to travel between your home and work, and other minor personal use.
- Other vehicles
Other vehicles include:
- ordinary cars, station wagons or four-wheel-drive vehicles
- most other vehicles designed to carry less than one tonne or fewer than nine passengers
- utes and panel vans where private use is not strictly limited.
You have a choice of methods for working out your deduction for these other vehicles. The methods treat the private use of vehicles differently. They depend on whether you travel more or less than 5,000 business kilometres a year, as shown in the following table.
Methods for working out deductions for other vehicles
5,000 business km or less
More than 5,000 business km
- cents-per-kilometre method
- logbook method.
- cents-per-kilometre method (claim limited to 5,000km)
- logbook method
- one-third of actual expenses method
- 12% of original value method.
Motor vehicle records you may need to keep include:
- receipts, invoices or similar documents for vehicle expenses
- a logbook for a continuous period of at least 12 weeks
- a record of the total kilometres you travelled during the logbook period, based on odometer readings
- odometer readings at the start and end of each income year you use the logbook method
- records showing how you calculated the business kilometres you travelled.
Here is a sample logbook that shows one way of recording the required information. You can buy commercially printed logbooks in formats approved by us from business stationery suppliers.
You may need to keep a logbook so you can claim the maximum allowable deduction for your business vehicle expenses. If you work out your vehicle expenses using the cents-per-kilometre method, you still need to keep records of your actual expenses to work out any GST credits. You also need to keep enough records to work out your percentage of business use.
If your business is registered for GST, you can generally claim back the GST on business-related motor vehicle expenses, as long as you keep records of your actual expenses and have a tax invoice.
- information about the four methods of calculating vehicle expense claims, refer to Individual tax return instructions (NAT 0976)
- about claiming GST credits for car expenses, refer to Goods and Services Tax Bulletin - GSTB 2006/1 Goods and services tax: how to claim input tax credits for car expenses.
Debtors are people who owe your business money, while creditors are people your business owes money to. If you have debtors or creditors, you may want to ask your tax adviser whether your business needs to keep and update debtor and creditor lists, and when.
A good filing system for both accounts receivable (debtors) and accounts payable (creditors) will allow you to keep track of customers or clients who owe your business money. This means you can promptly follow up overdue accounts and will have better control over your cash flow by knowing which accounts you need to pay, and when.
If your business buys or sells stock, you usually need to do a stocktake at the end of each income year. You may not have to do an annual stocktake for income tax purposes if your business turnover is less than $2 million and the difference between the value of your opening stock and a reasonable estimate of your closing stock is $5,000 or less. If your turnover is $2 million or more, you must do a stocktake at the end of each income year.
Where you do a stocktake, your records should include:
- a list describing each article of stock on hand and its value
- who did the stocktake
- how and when it was done
- who valued the stock and the basis of the valuation.
When you start a business, you may be entitled to GST credits and an income tax deduction for any goods you already own and bring into your new business as trading stock. This means you need records of the market value or cost of these goods at the time your business starts.
You may be able to claim deductions for the decline in value of depreciating assets such as machinery and other equipment you use in your business.
If you claim deductions for the decline in value of your depreciating assets, you must keep:
- the original purchase agreements or invoices
- information you used to work out your deductions, such as the amount of any private use of the assets.
If your business turnover is less than $2 million, you may be eligible to use the simpler depreciation rules that allow you to:
- write-off immediately most depreciating assets costing less than $1,000 each
- pool most other depreciating assets.
To help you keep this information, we have produced a depreciating assets worksheet.
You can work out the decline in value of some assets that cost, or have been written off to, less than $1,000 through a low-value pool using set rates. We have also produced a low-value pool worksheet to help you keep the information you need to claim the decline in value of these assets.
For a copy of the worksheets and more information about the records you must keep about decline in value (depreciation), refer to the Guide to depreciating assets (NAT 1996).
If your business has less than $2 million turnover, you may be eligible for a range of tax concessions, including the simpler depreciation rules.
Records relating to assets for capital gains tax purposes
Your business itself is not an asset for capital gains tax purposes. Rather, each of your business' assets (for example, land and buildings, goodwill) is a separate capital gains tax asset and you must keep records for each asset. Because there may be a big gap between the time when you acquire and dispose of an asset, it is essential to keep good records from day one.
You need to keep records of everything that may be relevant to working out whether you have made a capital gain or capital loss from an asset. The main capital gains tax records you need to keep are:
- records of the date you acquired an asset and the cost of that asset - for example, the purchase contract
- records of the date you disposed of an asset and any proceeds you received when you disposed of it - for example, the sale contract
- details of commissions you paid or legal expenses you incurred for an asset
- details of improvements you made to an asset; for example, building costs
- any other records relevant to calculating your capital gain or capital loss.
You must keep these records for five years after you sell or otherwise dispose of an asset, unless you keep an asset register.
You can choose to enter information from your capital gains tax records into an asset register. If you keep an asset register, you may be able to discard records that you might otherwise need to keep for a long time.
Once details have been entered into the register and the register has been certified by an approved person (such as a registered tax agent), you must keep the documents for only five years from the date the register is certified.
You must keep records of all your sales and purchases to prepare your activity statements. To claim GST credits, you must have GST records called tax invoices that record your purchase of goods or services and comply with the GST law. You must keep these invoices for five years.
You must have a tax invoice to claim a credit for the GST included in the price of any goods and services you buy for your business that cost more than $82.50, including GST.
In most cases, the business selling the goods or services issues the tax invoice. In some special cases, a tax invoice may be issued by the business buying the goods and services - this is called a recipient-created tax invoice.
If you sell goods and services that include GST and a customer asks you for a tax invoice, for sales of more than $82.50 (including GST), you must give them one within 28 days of the request.
You don't need a tax invoice to claim GST credits for taxable imports. However, you must have documents from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service showing the amount of GST you paid on those imports.
Refer to Valid tax invoices and GST credits (NAT 12358) for examples of how to set out invoices for goods or services where:
- all the goods or services include GST
- not all the goods and services include GST
- the goods or services are issued through a cash register
- the goods or services don't include GST.
You may want to consider these examples when you next design or select a format for your tax invoices or invoices.
If you don't use a cash register, avoid:
- printing your invoices on thermal paper if possible as the print can fade
- small font sizes as they can be difficult to read
- issuing tax invoices on paper that is smaller than A5 or larger than A4 as this can create storage difficulties.
Any tax invoices you issue to your customers or receive from your suppliers must contain certain information to be valid. The information a tax invoice must contain varies according to whether the tax invoice is for an amount less than $1,000, or for $1,000 or more.
If you make taxable purchases for business purposes, you can use the tax invoices you receive to claim the correct amount of GST credits for those purchases.
To claim a GST credit for purchases that cost more than $82.50 (including GST), you must be registered for GST and have a valid tax invoice or recipient created tax invoice (RCTI). If you use an incorrect or incomplete tax invoice to claim a GST credit, the GST credit may not be allowed.
If your business is not required to be registered for GST and you have chosen not to register, you:
- don't collect GST on your sales or claim GST credits on your purchases. Your business issues normal invoices - it must not issue tax invoices. Normal invoices don't include the words 'tax invoice' or indicate that the invoiced amount includes GST
- can claim the full cost of your business purchases (including any GST) as a tax deduction on your tax return.
If you receive an invoice for goods or services you have purchased from someone who is not registered or required to be registered for GST, it is not a tax invoice and you cannot claim a GST credit for the GST included in the price of those goods or services.
Remember to monitor your business' turnover - if it appears likely to exceed the GST registration turnover threshold of $75,000 ($150,000 for non-profit organisations), you must register for GST within 21 days.
If you are not sure whether a business you deal with has quoted its correct ABN on its tax invoices or is registered for GST, visit the ABN lookup website at www.business.gov.au to check it out.
When an organisation applies for and receives their ABN, the business details from their application are added to the Australian Business Register. The register contains the basic business identity information of all entities with an ABN.
GST-registered businesses cannot usually include GST when claiming income tax deductions because they claim GST credits through their activity statements. Businesses that are not registered for GST claim a deduction for the full cost of a business purchase, including any GST.
As a business operator, you have three main obligations when it comes to paying your employees:
- withhold according to the pay as you go (PAYG) withholding rules in relation to payments to employees
- pay super contributions to a complying super fund or retirement savings account on behalf of eligible employees, directors and contractors, and offer eligible employees a choice of super fund
- provide payment summaries for salary, employment termination payments, and reportable fringe benefits amounts.
Under the PAYG withholding system, you must withhold amounts from payments such as:
- salary or wages to employees
- remuneration to company directors
- retirement payments, termination of employment payments, annuities, and benefit or compensation payments.
You must send the withheld amounts to us.
Independent contractors and subcontractors are not employees for PAYG purposes. You only withhold an amount from a payment to a contractor if you have a voluntary agreement with them or they don't provide you with their ABN.
The Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding - home relating to employees summarises your PAYG withholding obligations in relation to employees. You also have these obligations in relation to payments to company directors.
The Employee/contractor decision tool on our website will help you work out whether your workers are employees or contractors for Australian tax and super purposes. After using the tool to answer a series of simple questions, you will receive a report that includes a decision of 'employee' or 'contractor', and a summary of Australian Government tax and super obligations relating to the worker.
If you hire workers in the building and construction industry, the online Building and construction industry - employee/contractor decision tool on our website will help you work out whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
For PAYG purposes you must keep:
- declarations you obtain from employees, including withholding variation notices
- worker payment records
- payment summaries
- annual reports of amounts you have withheld.
- should complete a Tax file number declaration (NAT 3092). They don't have to quote their tax file number but, if they don't quote it, you may have to withhold 46.5% of any amount you pay them
- must complete a Withholding declaration (NAT 3093) if they want to claim certain entitlements (for example, the senior Australians tax offset) by reducing the amount withheld from their pay. This also applies to company directors.
Declaration forms are available from us.
Register for PAYG withholding if you are not already registered. You must be registered before you withhold to avoid penalties.
If you have an ABN, you can register:
- online through the Business Portal at www.bp.ato.gov.au or through the Australian business register at www.abr.gov.au - you will need an AUSkey
- by phoning 13 28 66 - you will need to have your ABN or tax file number to register over the phone
- by completing Add a new business account (NAT 2954).
If you don't already have an ABN, you can register for PAYG withholding at www.abr.gov.au at the same time as you apply for an ABN, using the same form.
Send tax file number declaration forms for your employees to us.
Complete the payer section of Tax file number declaration (NAT 3092). Send the original to us within 14 days of the employee starting work for you and keep the payer's copy.
If necessary, obtain withholding declarations from your employees.
Complete the payer section of the Withholding declaration (NAT 3093) and keep the declaration.
Withhold the correct amount, in line with our tax tables and the information employees give on their declarations.
Use the PAYG withholding tax tables that correspond to your employees' pay periods (weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly) to work out the right amount to withhold. You can use the tax withheld calculator on our website to calculate how much to withhold.
If necessary, vary the withholding rate or amount according to our variation notices.
In special circumstances, a payee may apply to us to vary their rate of withholding upwards or downwards. For more information about withholding variations, refer to PAYG withholding (NAT 8075).
Report and pay the withheld amounts to us using your activity statement.
Use your activity statement to report and pay by the due date.
Give each employee a payment summary at the end of the financial year or when they request one if they stop working for you.
Complete payment summaries.
Report to us annually on payments you make to your employees and amounts you have withheld. You can report electronically or in paper form.
If reporting electronically, report amounts withheld using our electronic commerce interface (ECI), or via magnetic media. If reporting in paper form, send us copies of payment summaries and a PAYG payment summary statement (NAT 3447).
The following steps explain how to record payments to employees.
Record starting and finishing times of normal and overtime work for each employee on a time sheet.
At the end of the pay period, add up the number of normal hours and any overtime hours each employee worked.
Transfer the normal and overtime hours for each employee to the worker payment record.
Record the payment rate for each employee on the worker payment record.
Calculate the total gross payment for each employee by adding together the normal earnings, overtime and allowances.
Use the PAYG withholding tax tables that correspond to your employees' pay periods (weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly) to work out the correct amount to withhold. Record this in the appropriate column.
The information on your employees' declarations will help you decide which column of the tax tables to use.
Calculate the net payment by deducting the amount withheld and other deductions from the gross payment. Record this amount.
You must complete a payment summary for each employee and company director and provide them with a copy by 14 July each year. Use the individual non-business payment summary for employees and company directors. Use the PAYG payment summary - foreign employment for employees engaged in foreign employment.
Keep a copy of each payment summary for your records. If you lodge your annual report using paper forms, you will need to include the original of each payment summary as part of the annual report.
Some lump sum amounts you pay to an employee due to termination of employment are called employment termination payments. If you make an employment termination payment to any of your employees, you must complete a PAYG payment summary - employment termination payment (NAT 70868) and provide the employee with the payee's copy within 14 days of making the payment. You must also forward the original to us as part of your PAYG payment summary annual report and keep the payer's copy for your records.
Under the changes to super, an employment termination payment cannot be rolled over into super unless you paid it under the transitional arrangements. If you make a transitional termination payment to any of your employees, you must complete a Transitional termination payment pre-payment statement (NAT 70812). If your employee asks you to direct part or all of their transitional termination payment to a super fund, you will need to complete a Directed termination payment statement (NAT 70766).
For more information, refer to Employment termination payments - when an employee leaves (NAT 71043).
By 14 August after the end of each financial year, you must report to us details of all payment summaries you issued to employees or other payees such as under voluntary agreements.
You can report this information electronically or by lodging paper copies of payment summaries and an accompanying PAYG payment summary statement.
Under super guarantee law, you must make super contributions to the correct super fund, by the cut-off dates, for all your eligible employees. You must offer a choice of super fund to your eligible employees by providing them with a Choosing a super fund - How to complete your standard choice form (NAT 13080) within 28 days of their starting date.
The minimum you have to contribute to a complying super fund or retirement savings account is 9% of your eligible employee's ordinary time earnings.
Ordinary time earnings are generally what employees earn for their ordinary hours of work. This includes over-award payments, commissions, allowances (other than expense allowances or reimbursements) and paid leave. It does not include such things as overtime.
You have to make super contributions for each eligible employee at least four times a year, within 28 days after the end of each quarter - see table.
As long as you make correct super contributions for your employees by the relevant dates, you do not have to fill in any super forms or lodge statements with us.
If you haven't met your super obligations as an employer, you have to lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement - quarterly (NAT 9599) and pay a super guarantee charge to us by the due dates - see table.
You can also obtain this statement by phoning us on 1300 720 092.
Quarterly cut-off date for paying super contributions
Date for lodging statement and paying super guarantee charge
1 July - 30 September
1 October - 31 December
1 January - 31 March
1 April- 30 June
You must keep records that adequately explain your super transactions, including documents that show how you worked out the amount of super you contributed for each employee. You should also keep records that affect the amount of super you must contribute. This may include advice you have received from trustees about the funds you contribute to.
If you are liable to pay the super guarantee charge, you must keep details of how you worked out the amounts shown in your Superannuation guarantee charge statement - quarterly (NAT 9599).
If you do not keep appropriate super records, you could incur a penalty of up to $3,300.
If you make super contributions under an award or employment agreement, you may have additional record-keeping obligations, so check your relevant award or regulation.
If you use a third party to manage your payroll or a clearing house to distribute super contributions to your employees' funds, make sure your contracts allow them to pass tax file numbers to funds or retirement savings accounts on your behalf, and that they do so. If they don't pass on the tax file numbers, you are liable for the penalties - not the payroll service provider or clearing house.
Choice of super fund
You need to keep records that show you have met your choice of super fund obligations. These include:
- details of employees who do not have to be offered a choice of super fund. For example, if an employee is not eligible to choose a fund because the certified agreement they are employed under means they must provide super support to a specified super fund, you need to keep this information
- records confirming that the super fund meets the insurance requirements. These could include a copy of the product disclosure statement the fund provides or a record of a phone conversation with an authorised representative of the fund about the level of insurance it offers
- records showing that you have provided the Choosing a super fund - How to complete your standard choice form (NAT 13080) to all eligible employees. For example, you may issue the standard choice form by email and keep copies of the emails
- written information an employee provided when they nominated their chosen fund or retirement savings account
- receipts or other documents funds issue showing that you have made super contributions for employees to their chosen fund.
Any super contributions you make under an award or industrial agreement also count towards meeting your super guarantee obligations. However, you need to check that the contributions are enough to meet both the award and the super guarantee requirements.
You may have to make more frequent contributions if you contribute according to an award or workplace agreement. If you have to pay award super, check the relevant award or agreement to find out whether you have more record keeping obligations.
Contractors who are sole traders may be eligible for super support, even though they are not employees. This applies in situations where the contractor is engaged mainly for their labour.
For more information, refer to:
Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax you pay on certain benefits you provide to your employees or your employees' associates (typically family members) in place of, or as well as, salary and wages. FBT is separate from income tax and is based on the taxable value of the fringe benefits you provided.
The FBT year begins on 1 April and ends on 31 March.
Basically, a fringe benefit is a benefit you provide to an employee because that person is an employee. Benefits can be provided by you, your associate or by a third party under an arrangement with you. An employee can be a current, future or former employee.
You may be providing a fringe benefit when you do any of the following:
- allow an employee to use a work car for private purposes
- give an employee a low-interest loan
- pay an employee's private health insurance costs
- provide cleaning services for an employee's private residence
- reimburse an expense your employee has incurred
- provide entertainment by way of food, drink or recreation to your employee.
If you operate your business as a company or trust, it is likely you are an employee of that business.
An FBT exemption applies for the following work-related items purchased after 7.30pm on 13 May 2008:
- a portable electronic device
- an item of computer software
- an item of protective clothing
- a briefcase
- a tool of trade.
The exemption is limited to:
- items mainly used for work-related purposes
- one item per FBT year for items that have a substantially identical function, unless the item is a replacement item.
As an employer, you have to pay FBT, even if the benefit is provided by an associate or by a third party under an arrangement with you. For example, you may deal with a supplier who provides free goods to your employees.
We recommend you register for FBT when you have worked out that you have to pay it. Once you are registered, we will send you personalised FBT return form stationery and more information to help you lodge your return.
You can only register for FBT by mailing a completed Application to register for fringe benefits tax (NAT 1055) to us. To obtain a copy of this form, download it from our website or phone us on 13 28 66.
If you provide certain fringe benefits valued at more than $2,000 to an employee during an FBT year, you have to report the grossed-up taxable value of the benefits. This is called the 'reportable fringe benefits' amount and you report it on the employee's payment summary for the corresponding income tax year.
For example, you would show a reportable fringe benefits amount for the FBT year 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 on the payment summary you issue for the 2009-10 income year. Some fringe benefits are excluded from this reporting requirement.
If the FBT you were liable to pay for the previous year was $3,000 or more, you must pay quarterly FBT instalments with your activity statement. Your annual FBT return and any related liability are due no later than 21 May.
You need to keep records that show:
- the taxable value of each fringe benefit you provided to each employee. Some examples of records you may need to keep are invoices, receipts, travel diaries, logbooks, odometer records and employee declarations
- the method you used to allocate the taxable value of a fringe benefit you provided to two or more employees
- that 100% of the taxable value of the benefits has been allocated to employees.
Where an associate provides a fringe benefit, the associate must provide copies of the records to you within 21 days of the end of the FBT year. Both you and the associate must keep the records for five years from the date of the relevant transaction.
You must also keep specific records if you want to take advantage of exemptions or concessions that reduce the amount of FBT you are liable to pay. You must keep these documents for five years from when you lodge the relevant FBT return. Examples of these records are:
- all documents you must obtain from an employee, such as declarations, invoices, receipts, bills of sale, lease documents, travel diaries, copies of logbooks, odometer records
- where the benefit is a car fringe benefit valued under the operating cost method, fleet management records, logbook records and odometer records.
For some concessions and exemptions, you have to obtain documentary evidence of an employee's expenditure. This means, you must generally obtain the original invoice or receipt from the employee. This must show:
- the date of the invoice or receipt
- the date of the expense
- the name of the supplier
- what they bought
- the amount they paid.
You must make elections and declarations, and obtain all employee declarations, no later than the day your FBT return is due to be lodged with us or, if you don't have to lodge a return, no later than 21 May. There is no need to tell us of the election or declaration as your business records are enough evidence of this.
When you deal with suppliers, make sure they quote an ABN on their invoice or another document related to the transaction. In certain cases, if they don't quote their ABN, you must withhold 46.5% of your payment to them and give them a payment summary.
Some suppliers do not have to quote an ABN on their invoices and you don't have to withhold from payments to them.
If you are not sure whether you have to withhold, ask the supplier to give you a written statement explaining why their supply of goods or services is excluded. They may use the Statement by a supplier (reason for not quoting an ABN to an enterprise) (NAT 3346) or create their own statement containing the same information. If you suspect the statement is false, you must withhold 46.5% of the total payment.
If a supplier doesn't quote an ABN when providing goods or services to you, or doesn't provide you with a statement that they do not have to do so, we recommend you take the following steps.
Record the date of the payment, the name of the supplier and the gross amount (invoiced amount) of the payment.
Calculate the amount to be withheld by multiplying the gross amount (less any cents) by 46.5%.
Calculate the net amount of the payment by subtracting the amount withheld from the gross amount.
When calculating the amount to be withheld, cut off the cents at each step in the calculation.
Invoice for $150.76
$150.76 becomes $150.00
Deduction of 46.5%
$150.00 × 0.465 = $69.75
$69.75 becomes $69.00
Final payment to payee
$150.76 - $69.00 = $81.76
If you pay a supplier with cash from the cash register, record this in your reconciliation of daily sales and cash payments book - see Reconciliation of daily sales.
If you withhold an amount from payments to any of your suppliers who have not quoted an ABN, you must:
Unlike the other payment summaries, you may issue suppliers with a receipt, remittance advice or similar document in place of a PAYG payment summary - withholding where ABN not quoted (NAT 3283), as long as it contains the following information:
- the payer's name, ABN and branch number, if applicable
- the payee's name, if known
- the payee's address, if known
- the date you made the payment
- the total amount of the payment, including the market value of non-cash benefits
- the amount you withheld
- the words 'To be retained by payee for taxation purposes'.
Annual reporting of amounts withheld from suppliers
If you withheld amounts from suppliers who did not quote an ABN during the financial year, you must:
PAYG voluntary agreements enable you, as a business operator, to withhold amounts from payments you make to contractors to help them meet their expected income tax liability. A voluntary agreement is a written agreement between you and the contractor to bring payments for work and services into the PAYG withholding system. The contractor must be an individual with an ABN and the payments must not be subject to any other PAYG withholding.
The rate of withholding is indicated in the voluntary agreement. You don't have to use a Voluntary agreement for PAYG withholding (NAT 2772) but any voluntary agreement you make must include all the information specified on this form. If you prefer, you and the contractor can exchange electronic copies of a voluntary agreement.
If you enter into a voluntary agreement as a payer and you are not already registered for PAYG withholding, you will need to register. If you have employees, you should already be registered.
Take the following steps if you have entered into a voluntary agreement with a contractor.
Record the rate of withholding for your contractor. You will find this information in the voluntary agreement you completed with them.
Record the invoiced gross amount and date of the payment.
Calculate the amount to withhold by multiplying the gross amount (invoiced amount) by the withholding rate for that contractor.
Calculate the net payment for the contractor by subtracting the amount withheld from the gross payment.
If you pay the net amount with cash from the cash register, record this in your reconciliation of daily sales and cash payments book - see Reconciliation of daily sales.
Both you and your contractor must keep a copy of a voluntary agreement while it is in force and for five years after the last payment is made under the agreement. You don't have to send a copy of the agreement to us.
If you have withheld amounts from payments you made under a voluntary agreement, you must:
- complete a PAYG payment summary - business and personal services income (NAT 72545) for each contractor and provide them with two copies by 14 July each year
- keep a copy for your records.
Make sure you use the correct payment summary.
Annual reporting of voluntary agreement payments
By 14 August, after the end of each financial year, you must:
- report to us details of all payment summaries you have issued for payments you made under voluntary agreements
- also include details of the payment summaries you issue for payments you make to other workers, such as employees, in your annual report
- keep a copy for your records.
You can report this information electronically or by lodging copies of payment summaries and an accompanying payment summary statement.
The records you currently keep for your business will generally support your claims for fuel tax credits. Your records should show that you:
- acquired the fuel
- used the fuel in your business
- applied the correct rate when calculating how much you could claim.
You must also keep records that show your business is carrying on activities that are eligible for fuel tax credits.
You must keep these records for five years after you make the claim.
Here are some tips to keep you on top of your record keeping - and some traps to avoid.
- Get organised and stay organised.
- Decide what record keeping system works best for you. Some people may prefer to keep paper records, while others find an electronic software package more efficient.
- Set up a good filing system for your paperwork. If you don't record your transactions frequently, it is important to have a system for filing information that needs to be entered.
- A good filing system will help you follow up overdue debts and know when your accounts are due to be paid. This will help you manage your cash flow.
- Make sure your records can be understood by anyone, not just one person. Document how you keep your records, what your various records contain and where they are kept, and where you keep your back-up records.
- Obtain the required paperwork from suppliers and customers at the time of a transaction and record details as soon as possible - don't leave it until later. You need paperwork to support your claims for tax deductions.
- Make sure your records contain enough information; for example, tax invoices with all the required information and cheque butts correctly filled out. It is a good idea to cross-reference records; for example, when you pay bills, write the invoice number on the cheque butt and the cheque number on the invoice. You can also add notes to paperwork that will remind you later of special circumstances.
- Get into the habit of entering transactions into your cash books or software program regularly to keep your files up to date. You may choose to do this daily, weekly or monthly - but remember, the longer you leave it, the more difficult it is to catch up. Never leave record keeping until the end of the year.
- Make sure you enter transactions correctly into your cash books - mistakes can be costly.
- Don't mix up personal and business paperwork; for example, by using business bank accounts and credit cards for personal transactions and vice versa.
- Ask for help before things get out of control. You may want to engage a bookkeeper to set up your books or set up a software program. Remember, these costs are generally a tax deduction for your business.
Your records will rely heavily on the quality of information on your invoices and cheque butts, so it makes sense to carefully complete all relevant information.
Cross-referencing your cheque butts and invoices
Cross-referencing cheque and invoice numbers can save you or your accountant a lot of time and will make things easier to find.
Record of cash drawings
Keep a record of cash takings used for other purchases or private purposes - it will help you reconcile daily sales. For supplier invoices or statements, write cheque number and date paid.
Keep records of one-off, transactions handy - your accountant will need to see loan documents, lease agreements and contracts.
When you operate a business, you have transactions where money flows into your business (receipts) and out of your business (payments). These transactions are supported by documents recording the details of the transactions, such as tax invoices, wages records, cheque butts and credit card statements. These documents contain the information you need to record, such as the date of each transaction, total payment or amount received, or the amount of GST.
Its good business practice to record your transactions as they occur. This information may come from a variety of source documents. For example till tapes, sales receipts, tax invoices, loan docs, credit card slips and diary.
You can record all your business expenses and sales in a cash book.
If you use a cash register you may wish to do a reconciliation of daily sales to obtain one amount to transfer to your cash receipts book each day.
A bank reconciliation statement is a way to check that your cash book agrees with your bank statement.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure the invoices you receive from other businesses contain all the information you need, especially tax invoices.
- Check that all invoices quote a valid ABN and, if they are tax invoices, that they contain all the requirements for a tax invoice. Remember, you generally cannot claim GST credits for your business purchases unless you have a valid tax invoice. Also, make sure the invoices you issue from your business contain the required information for a tax invoice.
- Make sure you record enough information on the cheque butt - date, payee, and details of goods or services purchased, if you use cheques to make business payments.
Once you have established that your incoming and outgoing invoices contain all the necessary information, you then need to keep track of your invoices. Remember, you can check the ABN at www.business.gov.au if you are not sure whether an ABN is correct. This site provides access to the publicly available information businesses provide when they register for an ABN.
If you are very organised and don't have many business transactions, you may be able to record the information in these documents immediately; that is, at the same time as you provide them to your customers or receive them from other businesses.
While it is a good idea to record the information on your transaction documents as soon as possible, most people are too busy to do this. They tend to record the information at the end of the day, week or even month.
If you don't record the information immediately, you need some system for filing your various transaction documents, so when you come to record them in your business records you know where they are. How you do this is up to you, but one way is to file all your incoming and outgoing invoices in separate folders. If you keep electronic records, you simply file them in electronic folders.
Set aside a regular time to do your daily, weekly or monthly business recording.
It is important to keep business and personal expenses separate. One way to do this is to have a separate bank account for your business. If you do most of your transactions through a credit card, it is a good idea to have a business credit card. This means that your statements are, in effect, a checklist of your expenses.
If you operate your business through a company, you must have a separate company business bank account.
If you use one bank account for both business and private purposes, you must clearly identify any personal payments or expenses in your cash book so they can be treated as non-business expenses. This includes any cash taken from money your business receives. These payments or withdrawals are often called 'drawings'.
Sometimes, you may have expenses that relate to both business and private use; for example, where you have a home-based business and use one phone line for both business and personal purposes. In this case, you have to clearly work out how much of the expense is private and how much is related to your business because you cannot claim a deduction for the amount related to private use.
One of the simplest ways to record your purchases and expenses, and sales or receipts, is in a cash book. This is a record of all your business transactions - whether they are by cash, cheque, credit card, direct debit, direct credit, EFTPOS or another payment or receipt method. Cash books are sometimes referred to as journals. For example, a cash receipts book may also be referred to as a cash receipts journal.
A cash book is generally in two parts:
- a section for payments - the money going out of your business
- a section for receipts - the money coming into your business.
It is up to you whether you record payments and receipts in one book or two separate books.
Whether you choose to keep your records electronically or manually, your cash book is the basis of your record keeping system. If you record your transactions correctly, your cash book should contain the information you need to complete all of the following:
- your activity statements at the end of each month or quarter, or your annual GST return
- your income tax return at the end of the financial year
- other returns and reports.
Once again, the advantage of using an electronic cash book is that all the columns will automatically total. If you use a manual cash book, you have to add the amounts manually.
Basic record keeping principles and practices apply, regardless of whether you record your business transactions manually or electronically.
It is good business practice to use a cash book because it:
- records all receipts and payments, whether by cash, cheque, credit card, direct debit, direct credit, EFTPOS or other payment or receipt method
- allows you to keep an eye on your cash flow; that is, how much money is coming into your business and how much is going out
- helps you track your receipts and expenses, including for past transactions
- helps you record any barter transactions
- enables you to provide us with a complete record of most of your business transactions
- makes sure you have the records you need to complete your activity statements and annual income tax return, and for any other returns or reports you may need; for example, financial statements for your bank.
Cash payments book
Cash payments are amounts of money you pay for goods and services you buy for the day-to-day running of your business.
It is good business practice to pay for business purchases from your business account wherever possible. This may be by cheque, direct debit or an EFTPOS facility operating through the business account. However, this isn't always practical and you normally pay for minor purchases such as postage stamps and parking with petty cash.
You need to keep receipts and invoices for your business purchases and then record the payments, whether you use cash from your takings or from your own pocket. A reconciliation of daily sales and cash payments book entries will help you do this.
We have provided a worked example of a simple cash payments book and a blank form that you can download, photocopy and use. The form also shows what amounts to transfer to specific labels on your activity statement.
Remember, you need a tax invoice to claim GST credits where the purchase is more than $82.50 (including GST). If you request a tax invoice, your supplier must provide it to you within 28 days of your request, for purchases of more than $82.50 (including GST).
You may want to use a petty cash book to keep records of minor cash expenses separate from your cash payments book. If you cash a cheque or use cash from sales to reimburse your petty cash reserve, record this in your cash payments book. Follow the steps below to set up and use a petty cash system.
Setting up your petty cash system
- Decide how much money you need to start your petty cash. It might be $100, $150, $200, or whatever amount is appropriate. You may not want to have too much cash on hand.
- Write out a cheque to 'Petty cash' and cash it at the bank.
- Put this money in your petty cash tin. This is called the 'float'.
- Record this first petty cash cheque under 'Sundries' in your cash payments book. Don't treat it as an expense because you haven't actually spent anything. You have simply transferred some money from the bank to the petty cash tin.
- Create a worksheet or diary, or buy a commercial petty cash book to record purchases and GST details.
Using your petty cash system
- When you make a small purchase, keep the receipt and take the amount you spent from the petty cash tin. If your original float was $200 and you spent $4, your float is now down to $196 and you have receipts in the tin for $4. The total money left and presented receipts should always equal your original float figure.
It is all right if you do not always get a receipt - we will accept this for items under $10, up to a maximum of $200 a year.
- Record details in your worksheet, diary or petty cash book.
- When cash runs low, write out a cheque to restore the full float amount.
- Record in your cash payments book the details of the petty cash reimbursement:
Store this summary sheet and the petty cash receipts with your other business records.
- the GST amount in the 'Claimable GST' column
- the net amount (that is, excluding GST) in the relevant expense column.
Do not use petty cash funds for large purchases or for private expenses.
You usually make purchases in cash, by cheque, or by direct payment through phone and internet facilities. In some cases, you may receive purchases on credit.
The following steps show how to record payments you make by cash, cheque or another method in a cash payments book.
If you make the purchase or expense on credit or you will pay it later, file the invoice by due date for payment in your file.
As you pay for purchases, follow these steps:
If you are paying:
- in cash and you use a cash register, take the exact amount of cash from the register and pay the supplier or worker. Put the receipt, or a note with details and the amount you paid, in the cash register
- by cheque, pay the supplier or worker and note the cheque number on the invoice. Record the date, name of the payee, description of the purchase and amount of the cheque on the cheque butt.
If you are using a cash register, at the end of the day record details of cash payments from the register on the reconciliation of daily sales under 'Cash payments from cash register' and transfer the total to item 4.
If you are:
- using the reconciliation of daily sales, transfer cash payments to the 'Total payments' column in the cash payments book. Don't include any credit you received for returned goods - you must record these in the cash receipts book
- not using a reconciliation of daily sales, record amounts of any cheques, EFTPOS or direct debit purchases you made from your business bank account in the 'Total payments' column in the cash payments book.
We recommend you also record cash purchases and payments you made from other sources (such as a private account) in the 'Total payments' column.
Record the method of payment in the 'Payment type' column. If you paid by cheque, simply record the cheque number in this column.
If you have been charged GST, show the GST amount in the 'Claimable GST' column. You don't record any amount in this column for GST-free and input taxed purchases.
Record the amount of any cash or cheque payments (excluding any GST amount) in the column for that type of expense (for example, 'Materials/stock' or 'Motor vehicle') in the cash payments book.
If the payment is for more than one type of purchase, record each portion in its separate column.
If the purchase is partly for private purposes, note the private percentage in the 'Private use component' column.
At the end of the period (usually each month), add up each column in the cash payments book and record in the 'Total' row at the bottom of the form.
Many small businesses using a manual bookkeeping system use the accounts method to complete their activity statement. Under the accounts method, you simply need a separate GST column in your cash book. This makes it easier for you to keep track of your GST.
A cash receipts book is a list of all the income you have received for your business. We have provided a worked example of using a simple cash receipts book and a blank form you can download, photocopy and use. The worked example also shows what amounts to transfer to specific labels on your activity statement.
You may decide to have more income columns in your cash receipts book so that you can separate your income into the categories that apply to your business. Using extra columns such as these may be helpful to obtain information for your business. For example:
- a restaurant may want to keep separate income figures for dine-in food, dine-in drinks and takeaway items
- a retail fashion business may want to keep tallies of different departments such as clothing, accessories and shoes
- a tradesperson may want to separate income into materials, labour and retail sales.
A cash receipts book will also help you reconcile the amount you bank with the amount of your takings.
If your business has a large number of transactions in a day (for example, you run a convenience store or a takeaway), you probably use a cash register. If so, you can use a reconciliation of daily sales form to work out the total of your transactions each day.
This means you can then transfer just one amount to your cash receipts book at the end of the day, rather than recording every single amount.
Reconciliation of daily sales
If you choose to do a reconciliation of daily sales, follow these steps at the end of each trading day. We have provided a blank form that you can download, photocopy and use.
Record the amount of the till float on a sheet of paper at the beginning of each day or trading period. Put this sheet of paper in the cash register. Do the same for any extra float you add to the cash register during the day. It is good business practice to use the same float amount each day.
Ring up every sale on the cash register. If you accept payment for sales on account, you may want to discuss the correct way to record this with your tax adviser.
If you take cash out of the cash register for small purchases, to pay wages, or for your own use, keep the receipts or a note in the cash register.
If you take any goods for your own use that were bought by the business, record the cost of the goods and any other details in a diary. You cannot claim any GST credits for goods for your personal use.
Add up your sales at the end of the trading day by doing a Z-total (the total of all recorded takings for that day) on your cash register. Record the Z-total in the reconciliation of daily sales at item 1.
You also need to show how much of the Z-total sales came from sales that included GST, GST-free sales and input taxed sales. Record these amounts at A.
Count the cash, cheques, credit card, EFTPOS, smart card and other sales. Record the amounts at B and C and record the totals at items 2 and 3 respectively.
Record details of cash payments from the cash register at D.
Record any refunds to customers that you paid as cash from the till at E. For GST purposes, you need to have a separate record of refunds you paid for sales that include GST and sales that are GST-free or input taxed. Add together all the cash payments from the cash register and record the amount at item 4.
Record the float amount you put in the cash register at the beginning of trade at item 5 and any amounts you added to the float during the day at item 6.
Work out your total sales for the day using the formula at item 7; that is, add items 2, 3 and 4, and then subtract items 5 and 6. Record the total amount of your sales at item 7.
Do a sales reconciliation by taking the total sales at item 7 from the Z-total at item 1. Note the reason for any variation in the space provided; for example, 'unders' or 'overs'.
Staple or clip your cash register tape to your reconciliation of daily sales.
If you use a cash register, you can discard your cash register tapes after one month, provided you keep Z-totals and they have been reconciled with actual sales and the amount you banked for the period. If you don't keep the Z-totals and reconciliations, you must keep the full rolls of tape for five years. The Z-total is the figure printed by the cash register showing the total of all recorded takings for that day.
Use the following steps to record receipts.
If you have done a reconciliation of daily sales, transfer the amount from item 7 on the reconciliation of daily sales to the 'Total receipts' column in your cash receipts book. Record the amount of GST in the 'Amount of GST collected' column for any sales that include GST.
If you have fewer transactions and you use invoices and receipts rather than a cash register, you may choose to record each individual receipt separately in your cash receipts book. This may be more practical than using the reconciliation of daily sales.
If you sell GST-free or input taxed goods or services, record the amounts of these sales in the respective columns in your cash receipts book.
If you have sold capital items, or have received a refund from a supplier, make a note of it in the 'Comments' column. While sales of capital items are generally not included in your assessable income, they may be subject to capital gains tax.
If you are registered for GST and you sell an asset of the business, you need to include GST in the selling price and include this amount on your activity statement for all taxable sales.
Check for any differences between the money you actually have to bank and the money you should have available to bank. If you have less money than your records show, record the difference and the reason for this. The amount you deposit in your bank account should be recorded in the 'Bankings' column.
Explain any differences between this amount and your 'Total receipts' in the 'Comments' column.
At the end of the period (usually monthly), add up each column in the cash receipts book and record the totals in the 'Total' row at the bottom of the form. Transfer the total of the 'Bankings' column to the bank reconciliation statement.
If your annual business turnover is less than $2 million and you make mixed (taxable and GST-free) sales or purchases, you may be eligible to use a simplified accounting method to work out the amount of GST you are liable to pay. If you are eligible, you can estimate the amount of your GST-free sales and purchases of stock at the end of each period, rather than having to track each GST-free item individually.
Once you have transferred the information from your invoices, statements and other transaction documents to your cash books, you must keep copies of them for five years after they are prepared, obtained, or the transaction completed, whichever is later. How you do this is up to you. There are specific requirements if you keep electronic records - see Electronic record keeping requirements.
Bank reconciliation statement
You should have recorded in your cash books all amounts you have actually received and payments you have actually made. However, the cash books may be incomplete as your bank may have put extra transactions through your account, such as:
- bank fees or interest charges
- direct debits (payments) and direct credits (receipts).
Doing a regular bank reconciliation will allow you to:
- take into account any extra transactions your bank puts through your account
- check and record any errors or omissions.
By regularly doing a bank reconciliation (say, monthly), you can be more confident that your records contain all the information you need to prepare your income tax return and activity statements. If you use a tax adviser, regularly doing a bank reconciliation may reduce the time it takes them to prepare your income tax return or activity statements.
We recommend you regularly bank all the money your business receives. Check with your bank to see if you can access your bank statements electronically through your bank's secure website.
Check all entries in your cash books against those in the bank statement - you might like to keep track of these entries by putting a pencilled tick next to each entry that appears in both the cash books and bank statement. If there are any differences in the figures, you will need to work out which is correct.
If there are any unticked items in the bank statement (for example, bank fees or direct debits), record these in your cash books. Once you have done this, your cash books will contain details of every transaction for the period.
If there are still any unticked items in your cash books, these are items the bank did not know about during the period of the statement. For example, someone may not have presented a cheque against your account, or you may not have banked money you received on the last day of the period until the next period. It can sometimes be several months before cheques are finally presented.
Create a bank reconciliation statement, as follows:
- record the balance as on the bank statement
- list any outstanding deposits
- list any outstanding cheques
- calculate the closing cash book balance - if you keep a running cash book balance, these figures should agree.
We have provided a sample bank reconciliation form for you download, photocopy and use.
If you have a good record keeping system that allows you to record all your business transactions, when it comes time to complete your activity statements, you will already have the figures you need.
You simply have to transfer the total amounts you have recorded in your cash books to the appropriate labels on your activity statement. We have provided worked examples of a cash payments book, a cash receipts book and an activity statement to demonstrate the process.
Using an electronic record keeping system will make your job easier because you won't have to manually add all the amounts in your cash books. Many software packages automatically generate the information you need to complete your activity statement and lodge it automatically.
If you need help completing your activity statements or tax return, phone us on 13 28 66.
We recommend you lodge your activity statements online using the Business Portal.
The portal gives you secure online access to your business tax details, allowing you to view your accounts online (including activity statements, income tax and fringe benefits), request transfers and refunds of credit amounts, view and update some of your business registration details, and send and receive secure messages.
To use the Business Portal, you need an AUSkey. For more information, visit our website at www.ato.gov.au/onlineservices
Keeping good records will help you complete your annual tax return and meet your other reporting requirements.
Managing your cash flow
Your inward and outward cash flow is what keeps your business going. You need to make sure your business is likely to make money and will have enough cash available at the right time to pay its bills. In particular, you must be able to meet your tax obligations, including:
GST - The GST you collect does not belong to you - you just collect it on our behalf. You must be able to pay this money (less any GST credits you can claim) to us by the due date of your monthly or quarterly activity statement, or your annual GST return, depending on your reporting cycle.
PAYG income tax instalments - Most small businesses make quarterly payments to provide for the total amount of income tax they are liable to pay at the end of their income year. These payments are due when your activity statement is due. In your first year of operating a business, you will generally not have to pay quarterly PAYG instalments to provide for your income tax. Instead, you will have one income tax payment for the whole year at the end of the income year. So, it is important to make sure you have the money available for this one-off payment.
PAYG amounts withheld from employees' wages - Under PAYG withholding, you must withhold amounts from payments such as salary or wages to employees and payments to company directors. Most small businesses have to send these amounts to us each quarter with their activity statements. If you run your business through a company; you are probably an employee of the company.
Fringe benefits tax - If you have to pay fringe benefits tax, you may have to pay instalments on your quarterly activity statement.
Super - if you have employees, you will also have super payments (except in limited circumstances). You must make enough super contributions to a complying super fund or retirement savings account for your eligible employees each quarter. For more information, refer to Super - what employers need to know (NAT 71038).
The best way to make sure you have enough cash available to meet your tax and other obligations is to do a cash flow budget. The information in your cash flow budget will enable you to:
- see your likely cash position at any time
- identify any fluctuations that may lead to potential cash shortages
- plan for your tax payments
- plan for any major expenditure
- provide lenders with additional information.
To prepare a cash flow budget for a period of time (for example, a month, quarter, half-year or year), follow these four steps.
Step 1: Prepare a sales forecast
If you are already in business, you can use previous sales figures to forecast your sales. If you are starting a new business, you will have to use realistic estimates. Don't forget to take into account any seasonal fluctuations or trends for your industry that may affect future sales.
Step 2: Estimate your cash inflows - receipts
For each period, show only the cash you expect to actually receive in that period. This may be money from your customers, loans you receive, money from assets you sell or money you put into the business.
Step 3: Estimate your cash outflows - payments
Show only the cash you expect to actually pay out in that period. This may be payments to your suppliers, wages, loan repayments, money for assets you expect to buy, money you take for your own use (drawings) and any loans you may provide to others.
Don't forget to include any infrequent payments in the relevant period; for example, insurance, rates and registrations.
Also, remember to allow for any tax payments. These payments could include GST you have collected from your customers during the tax period (you must pay this monthly, quarterly or annually), your quarterly PAYG instalments of income tax, amounts you have withheld from employees' wages and fringe benefits tax.
Step 4: Calculate your net cash position for the period
The final step in preparing a cash flow budget is to estimate your ending cash balance, as follows:
Cash on hand at start of period
Estimated ending cash balance
Your ending cash balance for the period becomes your cash on hand at the start of the next period.
We have provided a cash flow budget spreadsheet for you to download, photocopy and use.
After you have done your cash flow budget and you are confident that it actually reflects your predicted position, you should be able to see whether your business is likely to have:
- more money coming in than going out
- the same amount of money coming in as going out
- more money going out than coming in.
If you have identified that you have more money going out of your business than coming in, you are likely to run out of cash. You could consider restructuring the timing of payments and receipts in your cash budget to stop this anticipated shortfall occurring.
If you cannot do this, you may need to consider where you can obtain finance to tide you over until your cash flow position improves.
By monitoring your cash flow, you may be able to identify potential cash shortages and take the necessary steps to avoid problems. You may want to contact your tax adviser or financial adviser if cash flow is an issue.
To make sure you always have enough cash available to keep your business operating, consider:
- specifying a pay-by date on your invoices so you know when you will receive payment, rather than just saying 'Due within 30 days'
- issuing invoices at the same time as you provide goods or services, rather than leaving it until the end of the month
- offering a discount to customers for paying invoices early
- obtaining a deposit from customers for more expensive items or when they order
- encouraging late payers to pay by offering them a discount for paying by credit card
- having a firm policy on accepting personal cheques and offering credit to customers
- making sure you don't have money tied up unnecessarily in excess stock
- checking when you have to pay incoming invoices to work out how you can stagger your payments
- banking amounts you receive (cash and cheques) regularly so that you have a better idea of your actual cash position
- adjusting the amount you pay yourself at times when your cash situation is tight
- looking at how you can better use the people resources you have, rather than employing more people.
To show how to record the details of a payment or receipt, we have prepared sample transactions and completed the cash books for My Business.
We have included:
- a table showing sample transactions for My Business
- completed pages from the cash payments and cash receipts books for My Business using the sample transactions
- a completed activity statement, showing how and where the figures from the completed cash books and the worker payment summary get transferred to the completed activity statement
- a table with some extra information to help you understand how we recorded the transactions.
My Business is owned by a sole trader and is registered for GST. The business is a restaurant (the meals and drinks are subject to GST) but it also sells fresh fruit and vegetables (these are GST-free sales). My Business has one employee.
We have tried to show a wide range of transactions to help you understand how to record different transactions. Your business may not encounter such a wide range of transactions over a short period.
The transactions we included in the list are from My Business' day-to-day paperwork (cheque butts, cash register totals, invoices and other documents). It is best to record these types of transactions as soon as practicable in your cash books.
To help trace the entries into the cash books, we have given each transaction a letter. We have written the same letter next to the corresponding entry in the cash payments or cash receipts book. We also show the letter in the table following the cash books, which explains how we have recorded the entries.
Once we entered all the transactions from My Business's records in the cash books, the cash books were still not complete. When the business received its bank statement at the end of the month, it showed two transactions the bank made:
- bank fees
- interest the bank paid to My Business.
Once we recorded these entries in the relevant cash books, we had covered all My Business' transactions for the period in its cash books.
It is sound business practice to double-check all entries in your cash book against entries in the bank statement by doing a bank reconciliation.
My Business then used the cash books to help complete its activity statement. The sample cash books show the activity statement labels where they record the relevant amounts.
Cash books can also help to show how profitable your business is and provide most of the information you need to complete your business income tax return.
We have also shown you how you can record the payment you make to us based on the figure in the completed activity statement.
Sample transactions for cash books
Setting up your cash books correctly is an important part of conducting a successful business.
The principles here also apply to electronic record keeping systems.
Sample transactions for cash books
Cash receipts book
Cash payments book
Contributed $4,000 of my own money to the business. Deposited personal cheque into My Business bank account.
Restaurant sales of $5,500 (including GST). Banked full amount.
Paid Tas Media $110 (including GST) for an advertisement in the local paper.
Draw cheque no. 1001.
Paid Sam's Garage $330 (including GST) for monthly fuel, by EFTPOS - 50% of the fuel is for a private vehicle.
Paid Bill's Painting $550 (including GST) for repainting walls in the office and shop after a small fire. Draw cheque no. 1003.
Fruit and vegetable sales of $5,350 (sales of fresh vegetables are GST-free). Banked full amount.
Bought a birthday present from Cheryl's Gift Shop, taking cash from the till. The gift cost $300 and I needed another $300 for personal expenses. Restaurant daily sales of $6,600 (including GST). I took $600 for my own use, so banked only $6,000.
The petty cash tin is low. I reimburse petty cash by cashing a business cheque (no. 1004) for $250. The GST portion is $20 as not all items I purchased included GST.
Paid my account from Dave's Fruit & Veg for $600 (no GST in price). Draw cheque no. 1005.
Fruit and vegetable sales of $3,000 (sales of fresh vegetables are GST-free). Banked $3,000.
Paid $695 to my employee, Dwayne Pyper. Draw cheque no. 1006.
I need a new van and borrowed $10,000 from EZ Finance. Banked their cheque for $10,000.
I bought a new van from Acme Autos for $16,500 (including GST) and traded in my old van for $5,500. Draw cheque no. 1007 for the balance of $11,000.
Draw cheque no. 1008 for $195 to cover weekly living costs.
Paid $81 to XYZ Super fund for my employee Dwayne Pyper. Draw cheque no. 1009.
Explanation of cash payments book entries
Payment of $110 to Tas Media for advertising is a business expense (the owner received a valid tax invoice from Tas Media).
- record the full amount under 'Non-capital' in the GST section
- can claim GST credits on one-eleventh of $110, so they record $10 under 'Claimable GST'
- record the net amount (that is, the amount excluding GST) under 'Advertising' in the payments section.
Payment of $330 for fuel. This is a part-business expense as half the bill was for fuel for a private car, which is a private expense.
- the business portion of the expense ($165) under 'Non-capital' in the GST section
- the GST amount $15 (one-eleventh of the $165 business portion under 'Claimable GST'
- the net business expense ($150) under 'Motor vehicle' in the payments section
- the private percentage (50%) and $165 under 'Drawings'.
- a note under 'Comments' to show why they have not claimed the expense in full.
Payment of $550 to Bill's Painting is a business expense.
- the full amount under 'Non-capital' in the GST section
- the GST amount of $50 (one-eleventh of $550) under 'Claimable GST'
- the net business expense ($500) under 'Repairs and maintenance' in the payments section
- a note under 'Comments' to show the purpose of this irregular expense.
This drawing of $600 cash is for personal or non-business reasons and is a private expense.
- Record the $600 taken from the till under 'Drawings'
- need to add back the $600 cash drawings to the recorded daily takings - see the cash receipts book as they cannot claim GST on private expenses
- add a note under 'Comments' to show this is not a business expense.
This payment was to top up the petty cash account, reimbursing it for expenses paid from petty cash. Some purchases had no GST.
They record the:
- total figure under 'Non-capital' in the GST section
- actual GST they paid ($20) under 'Claimable GST'
- net amount of $230 under any relevant column in the payments section - as none of the petty cash purchases were for regular, recurring expense categories, they record the net amount under 'Sundries'.
This fruit and vegetable purchase from Dave's Fruit & Veg is GST-free so there is no GST on the invoice.
They record the:
- full amount of $600 under 'Non-capital' in the GST section
- same amount under the relevant column in the payments section (there is no GST to claim or subtract from the full price).
- They do not record wages in the 'Total purchases' section.
- They record the net wages payment of $695 under the relevant column in the payments section.
- There is no GST on wages they paid.
A delivery van is a capital purchase. Capital purchases typically involve items such as equipment or machinery that is intended to be used over several years, rather than everyday expense items.
- the full price of $16,500 (made up of a cheque payment of $11,000 plus the $5,500 trade-in) under 'Capital' in the 'Total purchases' section
- the full GST amount of $1,500 under 'Claimable GST' as the vehicle is used only for business
- the net purchase price of $15,000 under 'Capital' in the payments section
- a note under 'Comments' to show details of the transaction.
This drawing of $195 is for private living expenses for the business owner and is not a business expense.
- record the $195 under 'Drawings'
- Cannot claim any GST
- add a note under 'Comments' to show this is not a business expense.
- do not record super they paid in the 'Total purchases' section
- record the employer contribution of $81.00 under the relevant column in the payments section
- do not include GST.
They have included an extra transaction in the cash payments book for bank charges. This charge was shown on the My Business bank statement and needs to be recorded in the cash book - refer to Bank reconciliation statement.
- record a fee of $15 in the 'Non-capital' column of the GST section
- record the same amount under 'Govt and bank fees' in the payments section
- do not pay GST on the bank charges, so they cannot claim GST.
Explanation of cash receipts book entries
They put their own money in to help provide funds to the business.
- This is not a sale so they don't record it as income. There is no GST involved, so they record it under 'Other receipts'.
- They banked the full amount of $4,000, so they also record it under 'Bankings'
- They add a note under 'Comments' to show the source of the funds.
For restaurant sales (GST is charged on restaurant meals) they record:
- the full amount of $5,500 (including $500 GST) under 'Total sales'
- GST of $500 (one-eleventh of $5,500) under 'Amount of GST collected'
- the net amount of sales ($5,000) under 'Non-capital amount'
- $5,500 under 'Bankings', because they banked the full amount.
For over-the-counter sales of fruit and vegetables (GST-free sales), they record the:
- full amount of $5,350 under 'Total sales'
- same amount under 'GST-free sales'
- Same amount under 'Bankings' because they banked the full amount.
For restaurant sales of $6,600 (they took $600 for their own use from the cash register) they record:
- the full amount of $6,600 under 'Total sales' even though they did not bank it all
- GST of $600 (one-eleventh of $6,600) under 'Amount of GST collected'
- the net amount of sales ($6,000) under 'Non-capital amount'
- $6,000 (that is, total sales less the $600 taken from the cash register by the owner) under 'Bankings'
- the $600 they took from the cash register as a private expense in the cash payments book under 'Drawings'.
For over-the-counter sales of fruit and vegetables (GST-free sales), they record:
- $3,000 under 'Total sales'
- the same amount under 'GST-free sales'
- the same amount under 'Bankings' because they banked the full amount.
For the $10,000 loan they received from the finance company to help pay for the replacement delivery van:
- they do not include it as income
- there is no GST involved, so they record it under 'Other receipts'
- they also record it under 'Bankings' because they banked the full amount.
This entry records the $5,500 they received for trading-in the old van. GST is collected on asset sales, including this non-cash sale.
- the full amount of $5,500 (incl. $500 GST) under 'Total sales'
- the net amount of $5,000 under 'Capital amount'
- GST of $500 under 'Amount of GST collected'. (Although recorded as part of income for the activity statement, they do not treat it as income when calculating the profit for the year.)
- an extra entry for bank interest of $50.
They included an extra transaction in the cash receipts book for bank interest. This interest was shown on the My Business bank statement and needs to be recorded in the cash book, refer to bank reconciliation.
- the $50 interest under 'Total sales' as it is considered to be the business' income
- it under 'Input taxed sale' as is an input taxed sale (GST has not been charged to the bank).
Examples: Business activity statement
How to record the activity statement payment you make to us
The activity statement payment you make to us is made up of a number of elements:
- the net GST payment
- your PAYG instalment
- amounts withheld from wages.
For some businesses, other payments could also be included.
If the amounts are significant to you and occur regularly, you could add a column to your cash book for each element.
For the My Business example, we suggest the following entry in the cash payments book. This entry separately identifies in the wages column the amount withheld from Dwayne Pyper's wages - which is an allowable tax deduction for you - and the other payment elements, which are not.
Cash payments book (PDF, 32KB)
Reconciliation of daily sales (PDF, 33KB)
Cash receipts book (PDF, 25KB)
Summary cash payments and receipts book (PDF, 31KB)
Cash flow projection (PDF, 40KB)
Bank reconciliation (PDF, 35KB)
You use an activity statement to report your business tax entitlements and obligations, including GST, PAYG instalments, PAYG withholding and FBT instalments. You can offset tax payable against tax credits to arrive at a net amount.
Australian business number
The Australian business number (ABN) is your identifier for certain dealings with us and other government departments and agencies. Unless you quote your ABN when dealing with other businesses, they may have to withhold 46.5% of any payments to you.
Suppliers become creditors when they provide your business with goods or services and allow you to pay for them at a later date.
Debtors are customers you have billed for goods or services and who have not yet paid you.
Grossing up makes sure the amount of tax paid on a fringe benefit is the same as the tax paid if an employee receives cash salary taxed at the highest marginal rate plus the Medicare levy. The grossing-up formula has been adjusted to take into account any GST credits an employer, or other provider, may be entitled to in providing a fringe benefit.
You are entitled to a GST credit for the GST included in the price of purchases or imports you make to use in your business. However, you are not entitled to a credit to the extent you use the purchase or import for private purposes or, in many cases, to make input taxed sales. You need to have a tax invoice to claim a GST credit (except for purchases with a GST-inclusive value of $82.50 or less - although you should have some documentary evidence to support these claims).
You don't include GST in the price of GST-free sales you make, but you are entitled to credits for things you have purchased or imported to use in your business. Examples of GST-free sales include:
- basic food
- sewerage and water
- the sale of a business as a going concern
- non-commercial activities of charities
- most educational and health services.
Input taxed sales
You don't include GST in the price of input taxed sales you make, and you are not entitled to GST credits for things you have purchased or imported that relate to making those input taxed sales. In some cases, you may be entitled to claim reduced GST credits. Examples of input taxed sales include most financial supplies and supplies of residential rent and residential premises.
Payees are those people or businesses who receive payments from payers.
Payers are those people who pay and withhold amounts from payments.
Reportable fringe benefits
Employers must keep records of certain fringe benefits they provide to each employee. These are known as reportable fringe benefits amounts. Where an employee receives benefits with a total taxable value of more than $2,000, the employer must record the grossed-up value of those benefits on the employee's payment summary for the corresponding income tax year.
A tax invoice is a document generally issued by the supplier.
It shows the price of a sale, indicating whether it includes GST, and may show the amount of GST. You must have a tax invoice before you can claim a GST credit on your activity statement for purchases of more than $82.50 (including GST).
A tax period is the length of time for accounting for GST on your activity statement. It may be quarterly, monthly or annually. Quarterly tax periods are periods of three months ending on 30 September, 31 December, 31 March and 30 June. Monthly tax periods end on the last day of each calendar month. An annual tax period ends on 30 June. You must lodge an activity for each tax period.
There are a range of services to help you manage your tax affairs online.
Our website at www.ato.gov.au/businesses
Find out more about tax essentials for new and existing businesses.
Online resources at www.ato.gov.au/onlineservices
We offer a range of fast, convenient and secure online calculators and tools to make it easier for you to meet your business tax obligations.
The business portal at www.bp.ato.gov.au
The Business Portal can help reduce the time and paperwork associated with your tax transactions.
This secure website is available at any time.
You can use the portal to:
- lodge an activity statement and receive instant confirmation that you have been successful
- revise your activity statements
- view details of activity statements you have lodged
- view your activity statements online
- view your business registration details
- update certain business registration details (address, contact details)
- request a refund for accounts in credit
- request a transfer of amounts across your different business accounts
- send a secure message to us and receive a secure response from us on selected topics.
Australian business register at www.abr.gov.au
You can use this register to:
- apply for a business tax file number (partnerships, companies or trusts only)
- register for or cancel an Australian business number (ABN)
- register for goods and services tax (GST) and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
- access your ABN details and update them as required
- check the details of other businesses, such as their ABN or GST registration
- register for fuel tax credits
Business entry point at business.gov.au
This website offers convenient access to government information, transactions and services. It is a whole-of-government service providing essential information on planning, starting and running your business.
A range of payment options are available:
- credit card
- direct credit
- direct debit
Your payment slip will detail the payment options available and the information you will need.
For more information about making payments visit ato.gov.au/howtopay
A card payment fee applies to transactions made using the credit card payment service.
Business seminars and workshops
We run small business seminars and workshops on a range of topics, including GST, PAYG, activity statements and record keeping. Phone us on 1300 661 104 to find out whether there is a seminar or workshop near you or to make a booking.
Business assistance visits - no strings attached
If you would like personalised, specialist help or if you are new to business, you can organise a business assistance visit by phoning us on 13 28 66. Visits are confidential and conducted at your place of business or at another location you choose.
You can obtain more information by phoning us on one of the following numbers.
Business - 13 28 66
Phone Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm for information about:
- ABN and GST registration and change of details
- activity statements and PAYG
- fringe benefits tax, income tax, capital gains tax
- fuel tax credits.
Account management- 13 11 42
Phone Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm for information about:
- account queries, including payments and refunds
- outstanding debts or lodgments.
ATO Business Direct - 13 72 26
This is a self-help service available at any time. Make sure you have your ABN and tax file number (TFN) handy when calling to:
- verify an ABN
- lodge a nil activity statement
- arrange to pay a debt
- find out about your refund
- order PAYG withholding forms
- register for fuel tax credits.
Super- 13 10 20
Phone Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm for information about:
- super co-contributions
- lost super
- unpaid super
- super guarantee
- self managed super funds, including trustee responsibilities
- taxing super including employer termination payments, pensions and annuities.
Individuals- 13 28 61
Phone Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm for information about:
If you do not speak English well and need help from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, phone the ATO through the National Relay Service (NRS) on the numbers listed below:
- TTY users, phone 13 36 77 and ask for the ATO number you need
- Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users, phone 1300 555 727 and ask for the ATO number you need
- internet relay users, connect to the NRS on www.relayservice.com.au and ask for the ATO number you need.
For more information about your tax obligations as a small business operator, refer to:
To obtain copies of our publications:
Last Modified: Wednesday, 29 June 2011