• Video transcript - How to keep your records for GST

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    When it comes to goods and services tax (GST), the ATO is here to help you get it right.

    If you're just starting out, like Marie, here are a few tips to make sure your business runs smoothly.

    As well as being great at selling flowers, Marie also makes sure she keeps good business records.

    Marie has registered for GST and keeps all documents relating to sales and purchases in her files.

    Where possible, Marie tries to keep records electronically.

    This helps her make sound business decisions and track her business performance over time, and it makes it easy for her to prepare her activity statement every quarter.

    It's important for Marie to keep her GST records accurate. This will help avoid errors later on, such as not reporting the correct amount of GST or claiming the wrong amount of GST credits.

    Here are some record-keeping tips when completing your business activity statement (BAS):

    • make sure all invoices are tax invoices where necessary
    • you must have a valid tax invoice to claim GST credits for all purchases over $82.50
    • make sure you only claim GST credits from suppliers who are registered for GST. Although you should keep records of all your sales and purchases, you can't claim credits for purchases that don't include GST, such as bank fees or water bills, and
    • remember to keep your tax invoices and other GST records for five years.

    By keeping proper records of sales, fees for service, expenses, wages and other costs, Marie always knows how her business is going and what her liabilities are.

    This gives her more time to focus on making money instead of accounting for it.

    If you'd like some more information on record-keeping, visit our website at www.ato.gov.au/recordkeeping

      Last modified: 03 Mar 2015QC 26443