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  • GST – avoiding common errors

    In this factsheet we outline how to avoid common errors that may occur when completing your activity statement, accounting for GST and claiming GST credits. Our research shows the majority of errors are made by small to medium businesses.

    Avoid common errors when completing your activity statement

    Errors sometimes occur when you fill out your activity statement. To complete your activity statement correctly and ensure any refund due is processed quickly, remember to:

    • check that your purchases and sales are reported in the correct tax period
      • if you report on a non-cash basis, you account for the GST payable on the sales you make in the tax period in which you issue a tax invoice or receive full or part payment (including deposits), whichever happens first
    • reconcile the figures on your activity statements with your accounting records prepared for your income tax return
    • report all of your relevant transactions at the appropriate label on your activity statement, refer to our activity statements guide for further guidance
    • lodge your activity statement even if you have nothing to report, you can phone 13 72 26 and use our automated service to lodge a nil return
    • leave boxes blank if they do not apply to you, but if a box does apply and you have nothing to report use a zero
    • lodge your activity statement through our Business Portal as you will be prompted to correct many simple errors and you may get an extra two weeks to lodge, see Lodge and transact using the Business Portal
    • check that you are using the correct accounting method  
    • only complete the boxes that are relevant to you    
    • if you are paying your GST by instalments and want to vary your instalment amount provide your estimated net GST for the year and the varied amount payable for the quarter and show the correct reason code for varying your instalments, see How do you vary your instalment amount?
    • review your activity statement before lodging and check the amount calculated equals what you expect to pay or receive
    • If you lodge a paper activity statement:
      • lodge your original activity statement with us, as we will not accept copies of your statement
      • only use a black pen and provide a contact name, daytime phone number, and sign and date your activity statement before you lodge it
      • round down to whole dollars and leave the cents out.

    See also:

      Last modified: 29 Oct 2015QC 43356