Keeping the Tax Man Happy


It’s all too easy to get caught up the business of the day and leave the admin till ‘later’. Then when BAS or tax return time rolls around, life become a nightmare of ‘who, what, how, when’ and important details can be overlooked – to your detriment.

The one thing that’s vital for a business to prosper is good record-keeping practices. It also makes sure you can demonstrate you’re fulfilling all your obligations if the tax man or other officials come knocking – and that’s particularly the case when it comes to GST reporting via your Business Activity Statement.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires you to keep records in English of all your purchases and sales information for at least five years and it strongly encourages you to do it electronically.

The ATO’s Steve Vesperman says there’s a range of accounting software packages available to make it easy.

‘They not only tally amounts for your BAS, but they keep up with the latest tax rates, tax laws and rulings,’ Steve says.

‘They can interface with and even populate your electronic BAS, which you can then lodge electronically, saving you time and money.

‘Electronic records also require little or no storage space and make your BAS or tax agent’s work, if you use one, quicker and easier, again saving you money and helping ensure you claim all appropriate deductions and entitlements.’

Steve says the ATO has a range of help and information to make sure your record keeping ticks all the boxes. A good first step is to watch the online YouTube video How to keep your records for GST.

‘You can use the online Record Keeping Evaluation Tool to help ensure you’re getting it right and if you need individual help then take advantage of our assistance visits where we come to your premises and provide hands-on advice specific to your needs.’

For information on all aspects of record keeping, go to

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