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BAS in need of urgent overhaul

Industry experts have called for a shake-up to Business Activity Statements (BASs), urging that statements be lodged biannually.

News Mitchell Turner 06 November 2015
— 1 minute read

Warren Kruger of Taxwise Australia argued that quarterly deadlines are putting time-poor businesses under unnecessary pressure, and taking the focus away from successfully generating income.

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“There is a suggestion the Tax Office is moving towards businesses reporting payroll data fortnightly, increasing the burden even further,” Mr Kruger said.

“Small businesses are becoming tax collectors at the expense of their own time that could be better spent finding new customers,” he added.

Mr Kruger noted that the current concerns about BAS will be exacerbated by an overhaul of the GST, declaring any future reforms “a red tape nightmare”.

“If there are changes to the GST, and there need to be, there should be clarification as to when a business should or shouldn’t register for the goods and services tax,” he said.

“I’m seeing businesses registering for the GST when they don’t need to, and other businesses not GST-registered when they should be,” Mr Kruger said.

He stressed that a BAS lodgement every six months would reduce the burden currently placed on small business, and called for a better means of communication between taxpayers and the tax office.

According to Mr Kruger, taxpayers with BAS enquiries have no other option than to make a phone call and face being put on hold for a considerable time.

“The tax office needs to install instant messaging as a matter of priority so if a taxpayer has a quick question they can open a chat box on their screen and ask a tax official.”

“I think if you ask any small business owner if they’d like to lodge their BAS just twice a year instead of four times, they’d eagerly say yes,” Mr Kruger said.

BAS in need of urgent overhaul
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