Five tax tips to make your life easier
BAS is best when you have all your ducks in a row ahead of time. For Aussie SMEs, the next key BAS period falls in February 2019. That means you get an extra month over the business period to pay for the October-December quarter. Bonus! So with some extra time and sound advance notice of your BAS obligations, now is the perfect time to start working towards that February timeframe and keeping your business finance records in tip-top shape. Here’s what can you do:
1. Make organisation the name of your game
Conduct regular reconciliations of your bank accounts. That way you give yourself the best shot at avoiding unnecessary surprises come BAS time. There is some great business finance cloud software that can support you in getting your reconciliations and BAS obligations done efficiently too.
2. Meticulousness works like magic
If you are ever going to indulge your inner pedantic, BAS is the perfect setting in which to do so. Leave no stone unturned in your BAS preparation. So how does this look? Be sure to scrupulously check:
- Your bank reconciliation report to ensure your reported balance matches your bank statement
- That no outstanding transactions are lurking in your bank reconciliation report
- Your GST current balance sheet matches your latest BAS statement. Any anomalies are a red flag but with enough lead time, you can attend to these in good time
- Your current BAS against previous BAS. Should anything jump out as inconsistent or radically different, take a closer look.
In a nutshell, this tip is about keeping your business finance record-keeping and management in clear tidy nick all year around. This will greatly ease your BAS burden and help you achieve seamless BAS and tax compliance.
3. Be sure of that tax code
There are a wealth of tax codes and one of the most common pitfalls is using an incorrect tax code on your activity statements. Commonly this error occurs when you pop transactions into your business finance software. So simply head this possible pitfall off at the pass. Check out the ATO or other reputable tax resources to ensure you get the right tax code application each and every time. That extra few moments spent getting it right will save you oodles of time, stress and potentially money in the long run.
4. Get professional support
Guess what? You don’t have to tackle every aspect of business finance on your own. A reputable accountant can be an enormous help and comfort when it comes to preparing your BAS. An accountant will double-check that all your reconciliations are accurate and will even lodge your BAS for you. Better yet, when you put an accountant on the job you earn yourself one extra month to lodge and pay your BAS payment. Sounds like a win doesn’t it?
5. Speak up
It is valuable to keep in mind that the ATO is negotiable on your BAS payments if you communicate in a timely upfront manner. Perhaps you have been pedal to the metal in your SME and your BAS obligations have got away on you momentarily. If this happens, contact the ATO right away. You can negotiate more manageable arrangements on penalties, interest and instalments.
There is no getting away from it. In the realm of business finance, tax can sometimes feel like a tangle. Fortunately with the right information and know-how on hand, you can satisfy your BAS obligations like a boss and smartly side-step common tax pitfalls while you are at it.
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