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Bookkeeping – Taking Care of ATO and GST

Date Added: February 23, 2013 12:59:04 PM
Author: James Smith
Category: Business & Economy: Finance & Investment

Contrary to general belief, bookkeeping is not just about “keeping” or writing the books of accounts. Modern business bookkeeping involves keeping accounts with respect to a number of taxes involved. It is interesting to note that while governments the world over have simplified or are simplifying tax rates and collection procedures, they are also casting a wider tax net to cover more people, businesses and services. Apparently, governments need funds to carry out their functions and taxes are the convenient, if unpopular mode of funding the governments. More taxes mean more compliance. This means businesses have to employ a number of accountants for internal auditing and to manage payroll tax, income tax, corporate tax, excise, sales tax and a lot more. Speaking of sales tax (also called Goods and Services Tax (GST) here in Australia or Value Added Tax (VAT) elsewhere), the accounting and compliance procedures vary from country to country. Worldwide, the older regime of sales tax has been replaced with more practical VAT or GST. As of 2011, only a dozen odd countries are VAT-free. Barring some exemptions, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires all enterprises to get registered under GST and lodge Business Activity Statements for each quarter ending March, June, September and December within twenty days of the end of each quarter. Introduced in 2000 as part of tax reforms, the GST has come under criticism especially from small and medium enterprises. BAS proves to be quite an exercise if an entity has manufacturing facilities and offices spread over several locations. However, the scheme is quite flexible in that the BAS can be prepared and submitted by several methods. Very small enterprise can manually submit the BAS. SMEs can employ bookkeeping services or accounting services to do the job. One can also use tax software and lodge the BAS electronically. The best method for BAS submission is however through tax agents and professional accounting services because they are very well-versed in start to end ATO procedures, including preparation, submission, payment, deadlines, due date extension and GST audit. They also keep abreast of the changes in GST rules and regulations so you need not worry about the BAS compliance. Instead of paying full time salaries to employees, it is prudent to outsource the job to people who know how to do it professionally. The best thing about such accounting bookkeeping services is that they help you get GST refunds wherever and whenever due.
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