Step 1 - Create a MyGov Account
MyGov is the Australian Government's portal into all government-related services, such as Centrelink and the Australian Tax Office.
If you don't have a MyGov account, you need to create one, as it makes submitting your BAS and paying your GST simple and easy.
Go to my.gov.au and follow the steps to create an account and link it to your tax details.
If you're unsure of the steps required here, send me a comment below and I'll go through it in detail.
You need to enter the email address that you want to use for all MyGov matters.
MyGov will email you a code that you enter on the next screen (after pressing Next) in order to set up your account.
You will be able to link your MyGov account to your tax details, both personal and business and also to any other government services you may have (such as CentreLink).
Step 2: Start Your BAS Lodgement
If you've set up your MyGov account and linked it to your business tax details, you'll be able to log in, link to the tax portal, select your business account and see that you need to lodge your BAS (by the way, don't call it a BAS statement; it's a BAS. The "S" already stands for Statement).
Step 3: Get Your BAS Figures
There are only three figures that you have to enter into your BAS and they are all calculated for you automatically if you are using our Income and Expenses spreadsheet.
You can download it for free from our Resources page here.
Step 4: Enter Your BAS Figures
Simply enter the three figures as shown from the spreadsheet, as whole dollars only.
Then press Save and continue.
P.S. Make sure that the GST on Sales figure ($355 in this example) is one eleventh of the Total Sales figure ($3910 in this example).
$3910 divided by eleven is $355.45 so the $355 shown is fine.
This is the first (and probably the only) calculation the tax office computers will apply to your BAS figures to determine that they are OK. It's a sort of "sniff test".
Step 5: Calculate the GST Owing
When you press Save and continue after entering your figures, you will see a summary of what you have entered, followed by the amount you have to pay ($186 dollars in this example). This should correspond to the amount calculated on the spreadsheet in the GST: Profit column.
Step 6: Lodge Your BAS
Click Lodge and your BAS will be submitted electronically.
Click the Pay button to see the different ways you can pay.
These include credit card, bank transfer and Bpay.
Note that you don't have to pay your GST at the same time as lodging the BAS.
Getting the Timing Right
Your Business Activity Statement should be lodged and the GST paid by the 30th of the month following the end of the quarter.
So the BAS for the first quarter July, august and September should be lodged by the 30th of October and the GST should also be paid by that date.
The most important thing here is to lodge the BAS by the required date. The ATO is much more likely to penalise you for a late lodgement than for a late payment.
If you are using our Income and Expenses spreadsheet, the figures will be available immediately after the end of the quarter.
I submit the BAS immediately. Then it's done and dusted. I select the Bpay option, note the details required and set my bank account to make the GST payment using those details on the 28th of the month. That way, I'm fully compliant but maximise my cash flow.