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  • BAS and GST tips

    Keeping good records helps you stay on top of your business.

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    BAS and GST record keeping tips

    • Keep records of all sales, fees, expenses, wages and other business costs
    • Keep appropriate records, such as stocktake records and log books to substantiate motor vehicle claims
    • What to do if an Australian business number (ABN) isn't provided
    • Reconcile sales with bank statements
    • Use the correct GST accounting method
    • Keep all your tax invoices and other GST records for five years

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    • Duration: 02m:11s.

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    GST credits

    • Only claim GST credits on the business portion of purchases  
      • don't claim GST on private expenses, such as food or entertainment
      • if an item is for business and personal use, only claim the business portion.
       
    • Use the discounted price when claiming GST credits for discounted purchases, even if the discount doesn't appear on the invoice.
    • Claim GST credits up front for purchases under hire purchase agreements (entered into on or after 1 July 2012) – if you account for GST on a cash basis.
    • Claim GST credits on the Australian dollar value when claiming invoices in a foreign currency.
    • If your business changes or ceases you may need to repay some GST credits for business assets you decide to keep.

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    When not to claim GST credits

    Remember not to claim:

    • purchases that don't include GST in the price, such as  
      • bank fees and charges and stamp duty
      • GST-free items, such as basic foods
       
    • imported goods, unless you're the importer of the goods and import them solely or partly for your business
    • purchases made between entities within a GST group. However, you can claim GST credits on purchases between GST branches.

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    Invoices

    • Check GST is included on invoices you issue for sales
    • Only claim GST credits if you have valid tax invoices for purchases of $82.50 (including GST) or more
    • Make sure invoices are only counted once
    • What to do if you don’t have a valid tax invoice

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    Avoid manual errors

    • Check you are using the correct formulas to work out GST
    • Have a separate column for GST in your cash book
    • Make sure that column totals and row totals in your cashbooks are the same
    • Classify and enter transactions into your accounts payable and accounts receivable systems correctly
    • Use an electronic record keeping system tailored to your business type. Many systems can help you to streamline your administration tasks

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    Completing your BAS

    • Enter whole dollar amounts – leave cents out and don't round up to the next dollar
    • Enter each invoice once only
    • If you account for GST on a cash basis your expenses and sales must fall within the period you made or received payment
    • Only complete the fields that apply to you – if you have nothing to report, enter zero
    • If you're doing your BAS manually, double check your figures and calculations
    • You can always correct a mistake made on an earlier BAS

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    Lodging and paying your BAS

    • The due date for lodging and paying is displayed on your BAS. Lodge and pay on time to avoid penalties.
    • If a lodgment date falls on a weekend or public holiday, you can lodge and pay on the next working day.
    • Use the right payment reference number (PRN), also referred to as an EFT code when you make payments to us.
    • If you think you might not be able to lodge and pay by the due date, contact us as soon as possible.

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    Refunds

    • To avoid refund delays  
      • ensure your lodgments are up-to-date – we can’t process refunds until all outstanding BAS are lodged
      • check your financial institution details are correct.
       

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    Other GST topics

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    Last modified: 15 Nov 2019QC 33690