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Video transcript - Activity statements
Activity statements are used to report and pay a number of tax obligations for businesses and investors. These include PAYG (pay as you go) instalments, which is the amount you pay towards your expected end of year income tax liability, as well as PAYG withholding, which is the amount you withhold from certain payments made to others. Other things you report are GST (goods and services tax), fuel tax credits and FBT (fringe benefits tax) instalments.
When you apply for an ABN (Australian business number), you tell the ATO the expected start date for your business. They will then send you the appropriate activity statement for the reporting period in time for you to complete and lodge it. This is usually about two weeks before the end of your reporting period.
Some parts of your activity statement are already filled in to save you time. It generally shows only the obligations that relate to you and any options you’ve previously chosen. For example, Mary doesn’t claim fuel tax credits so that part doesn’t appear on her statement.
You must complete an activity statement at the end of each reporting period if you have any of the obligations mentioned earlier, even if you have nothing to report for that period.
It is important to lodge your activity statement and pay any amount owing by the due date, as you may have to pay penalties if you lodge or pay late. You generally have to lodge your activity statement or instalment notice monthly or quarterly. However, you may be eligible to choose to report your GST or PAYG instalments annually. If you’re eligible to do so, your activity statement or instalment notice will provide you with this option. If you are having difficulty making a payment, call the ATO before the due date to discuss your circumstances. Remember, you must lodge your activity statement by the due date even if you can't pay the amount owing.
You can choose to have activity statements delivered electronically or in paper form. I prefer lodging online as it’s quicker and as a quarterly lodger, I get an extra two weeks to lodge.
This video looks at what an activity statement is and what to do when you receive your statement.