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Accounting Services for the Service Industry
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Chartered Accountants

Glossary


Activity Statement

The BAS has been designed to provide one statement for most taxes and allows for the offset of the different taxes in a period. It is also used for reporting pay-as-you-go [PAYG] installments, company tax installments and fringe benefit tax [FBT] installments.

Once registered for GST and in possession of an ABN, it is necessary to complete GST returns, which are included in the BAS.

Returns are completed quarterly or monthly. Monthly returns are compulsory for bodies with a turnover in excess of $20 million.

GST can be accounted for on a cash basis or an accruals basis depending on your circumstance.
The return should be lodged and any GST due paid to the ATO by the 21st day after the end of the tax period for monthly periods and by the 28th day after the end of the tax period for quarterly periods.

Australian Business Number

The Australian Business Number, or ABN, is a unique identifier issued by the Australian Business Register (ABR) which is operated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ABN is a component of the reform known as A New Tax System introduced by John Howard's Liberal government on 1 July 2000
Australian Business Register . The Australian Business Register (ABR) is maintained by the Registrar of the ABR, who is also the Commissioner of Taxation. The Registrar registers entities and, in doing so, issues them with an ABN.

Entitlement to an ABN. The Registrar issues ABNs only to entities who are entitled to an ABN. Entities do not have to be individuals (natural persons) or companies (legal persons). An entity can be:

  • an individual; or
  • a body corporate; or
  • a corporation sole; or
  • a body politic; or
  • a partnership; or
  • any other unincorporated association or body of persons; or
  • a trust; or
  • a superannuation fund.[4]

For an entity to be entitled to an ABN, it must be:
  • carrying on an enterprise in Australia or
  • carrying on an enterprise that makes supplies connected with Australia; or
  • a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001
Whether or not an entity is carrying on an enterprise is a question of fact and there are many circumstances where an entity will be carrying on an enterprise. Without being exhaustive, an entity will be carrying on an enterprise if:
  • it is in the form of a business; or
  • it leases property; or
  • it is a religious institution; or
  • it is a superannuation fund; or
  • it is an arm of the government; or
  • it is a charity.

The Registrar of the ABR can refuse an entity's application to be registered. Equally, the Registrar can cancel an entity's registration and thus their ABN. Both of these decisions are reviewable taxation decisions.

Format of the ABN The ABN is an eleven digit number where the first two digits are a checksum. Unlike with the Tax File Number (TFN), the ATO has publicised the formula for checking and creating valid ABN checksums. Also, the nature of the ABN algorithm means that any 9 digit number can be made into a valid ABN.

In the case of companies, the ATO determines the ABN by using the company's Australian Company Number (ACN) to which is prefixed the two-digit checks.

Capital Allowances

From 1 July 2001, uniform capital allowance (UCA) rules apply to most depreciating assets, including those acquired before that date. The UCA system consolidates a range of former capital allowance provisions, including those relating to plant and equipment. It does this by providing a set of general rules that applies across a variety of depreciating assets and certain other expenditure. It maintains some concessional tax treatments such as those applying to primary production depreciating assets. It also introduces new deductions for certain types of capital expenditure that did not previously attract a deduction.

Taxpayers now calculate deductions for the decline in value of their depreciating assets using these rules. This means that if you were deducting amounts under one of the former capital allowance provisions that has been consolidated, you can calculate the decline in value under the UCA system
If you are using the simplified depreciation rules you generally will not use the UCA rules. Under the simplified depreciation rules you can claim an immediate deduction for most depreciating assets costing less than $1,000 and pool most other depreciating assets.

You can use the simplified depreciation rules if you are a small business entity (2007-08 and later income years).

You must use the simplified depreciation rules for income years where you were in the simplified tax system (2006-07 and earlier income years).

MORE: For more information see the Capital Allowances section of the ATO website.

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