Should I use a registered BAS Agent?
Since 2009 anyone who charges to prepare and lodge a BAS, must be a registered BAS Agent.
As a business owner you can do this work yourself. Your employees, such as your in-house bookkeeper or accounts clerk, can also do this work. But neither you, nor quite often your employee’s , are expert and continually trained in this area.
A contracted bookkeeper who does not have BAS Agent registration, cannot prepare or lodge a BAS or IAS for you.
A registered BAS Agent has minimum bookkeeping and GST related qualifications, is required to have 1400 hours of experience prior to becoming a BAS Agent, has ongoing educational requirements and has Professional Indemnity insurance. A Registered BAS Agent is often affiliated with professional bookkeeping industry groups such as the Assoc. of Accounting Technicians, Aust. Bookkeepers Network or the Institute of Public Accountants amongst others.
A BAS Agent’s registration can be quickly verified using the Tax Practitioner Board’s online register. GST laws can be quite complex for the small business owner to keep up with while you are running your business. Its not just the GST that you collect from your customers that is important, so is the GST you have paid to your suppliers and are entitled to claim back. You do not want to miss out on claiming GST credits. This is money your business is entitled to and most likely needs.
As an example, importing is one area fraught with misunderstandings by small businesses new to the industry. I have seen business owners who import goods and get charged GST by their customs agents but not claim the full GST paid on the import because they didn’t realise import GST was listed on the invoice. I have reclaimed thousands of dollars in import GST payment for some clients.
The ATO charges penalties for late lodgment, and interest on any overdue GST owed to the ATO. Your bottom line can benefit by using a professional to help you in this complex and regulated area. GST is not your game, but it is ours.