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  • 3. BAS Simplification

    Feedback from small business taxpayers, their intermediaries and accounting software industry continues to raise concerns about the complexity of the GST system and completing all labels on the business activity statement (BAS). A common complaint is the GST component of the BAS has too many labels which require time and complex record keeping to correctly record amounts against labels. The community considers this level of record keeping provides little or no benefit to the business.

    The ATO explored the idea of simplifying the BAS with a ’fix it squad’ in recent times and consider there are some viable ideas to reduce the number of labels on a business activity statement, make it easier to complete and be of benefit to small business.

    Members discussed their practical experiences working with small business and the cost of keeping records for the purpose of completing some of the labels on the activity statement. This could potentially free up time for people to work with their accountants to better understand business rather than just crunching numbers. Members noted that there needs to be a balance in simplifying information collected as sometimes additional labels explain why some business activity might appear out of pattern and trigger internal ATO risk flags or compliance indicators.

    The ATO is currently working with other Government stakeholders and software developers to understand the impact of simplifying the information currently captured and held by the ATO.

      Last modified: 12 May 2016QC 48959