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Planning for timely, accurate BAS lodgement

27 February, 2014

"With the next quarterly BAS due on 28 February, Australian businesses need to plan for timely and accurate lodgement, even if there is nothing to report or the business may not be able to pay straight away," according to Steve Vesperman, Deputy Commissioner Small Business and Individual Taxpayers.

Whether lodging electronically, on paper, or via a tax professional, businesses who lodge quarterly are required to do so by 28 February 2014 for the October-December 2013 period. Figures for the 2012-13 financial year show that 2.5 million businesses lodged a quarterly BAS, with increasing numbers of Australian businesses (58 per cent) using the ATO's online Business Portal as a simple and effective way to lodge on time.

"We know that those working in the hospitality industry often have demanding hours which is where our after-hours call back service may be useful," Vesperman said.

"If you know you're going to experience difficulty in lodging and paying your quarterly BAS for the October to December period by 28 February, you can make an appointment with an ATO service representative to discuss your individual circumstances."

If you think you might have difficulty lodging your BAS this February, contact the ATO as early as possible. There's a range of options which can be tailored to suit individual circumstances. For example, if you have a viable business and have fallen behind with your GST payments, the ATO may be able to help you get back on track with an individually tailored payment arrangement.

The Small Business Assist tool also provides quick answers to business tax questions at any time of day, or you can make a booking with an ATO representative to call you back at a time that's convenient for you. If you're on the run, the ATO app can be accessed from your smartphone.

Lodging your BAS on time and paying in full by the due date simplifies your business operations and avoids unnecessary interest charges and penalties such as the failure to lodge on time (FTL) penalty.

"Experience shows the problem gets bigger and harder to resolve if businesses avoid making early contact with the ATO. We urge all businesses to take action now, make the BAS deadline a priority and contact the ATO early if you cannot pay on time to help minimise interest charges," Vesperman said.

For information on how the ATO is working for Australian businesses, visit the ATO website.