Businesses can't get to work when they're busy wading through red tape. The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) gets it, which is why one of the Federal Budget's major goals this year was to make things more straightforward and efficient for small business enterprises (SBEs).

From digitising licenses to simplifying PAYG payments, the ATO has gone a long way in facilitating certain processes for SBEs. At Accountants Australia, one change we're most excited about is Simpler BAS (Business Activity Statements), the ATO's solution to the time consuming statements of the past. We explore the switch here.

The ATO wants to make filing a BAS simpler.The ATO wants to make filing a BAS simpler.

What is simpler BAS?

If your business pays GST, you're required to lodge a BAS on a regular basis. BASs are largely used to report and determine payments on GST, but they're also used to inform the ATO of PAYG instalments, PAYG withholding taxes and various other taxes.

Simpler BAS still perform all the same functions of traditional statements, but the number of GST labels businesses are required to complete has been reduced. From 1 July 2017, the only information required will be:

  • G1 Total sales
  • 1A GST on sales
  • 1B GST on purchases

Businesses will no longer need to report on G2 Export sales, G3 GST-free sales, G10 Capital purchases or G11 Non-capital purchases.

How Simpler BAS will help businesses

In order to make sure Simpler BAS was, in fact, simpler, the ATO tested the system among 2,000 participants throughout 2016-17. Participants reported back to the ATO, and helped co-design the solution rolled out in the budget.

The ATO worked closely with small business owners to design Simpler BAS. The ATO worked closely with small business owners to design Simpler BAS.

"Simpler BAS will reduce the complexity of GST bookkeeping and reporting, and in doing so will reduce compliance costs," says the ATO. What does that mean for you? Less time spent on record keeping and getting everything sorted for tax time, and more time focusing on ways to run and improve your business.

Gearing up for the change

At Accountants Australia, our expert advisers are here to help get your business ready for this change. Here's why you should outsource your bookkeeping to us. 

We use integrated accounting software that supports Simpler BAS. Our software providers have developed solutions to accommodate this alteration to GST reporting, as well as future advancements that may be in the ATO's roadmap.

Simpler BAS can only make your life easier if you have software that supports the change. When you work with Accountants Australia, you not only have access to top of the line accounting software, but experienced accountants and advisors as well. We have the expertise to ensure your business is operating in line with new changes. Reach out to our helpful team today to see how we can improve the efficiency of your business bookkeeping.