Simpler BAS

The Government and the ATO have heralded this a big reduction in red tape for small business but for most it will be the dropping of one number only. The total purchases figure, which you will probably need to have calculated to work out how much GST you paid suppliers.

From 1 July 2017, Simpler BAS is the default reporting method for small businesses with a GST turnover of less than $10 million. They have less GST information to report on their BAS.

Small businesses only need to report:

  • G1 Total sales
  • 1A GST on sales
  • 1B GST on purchases

The following GST information is no longer required:

  • G2 Export sales
  • G3 GST-free sales
  • G10 Capital purchases
  • G11 Non-capital purchases

Simpler BAS does not affect how other taxes are reported (eg PAYG income tax instalments or PAYG tax withheld), or how often you lodge your BAS.

You still need to keep records, such as tax invoices, as proof of any claims you make in your BAS and income tax return lodgements.

This short video provides an overview of Simpler BAS.

Government confirms it intends to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has revealed the government’s desire to replace the charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) with a charity evaluator model based on the US-based Charity Navigator. Regulation of charities would return to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).


Since its inception at the end of 2012, the ACNC has been building the Register, which is at the heart of charity regulation. It provides a free, online, credible, searchable database on charities. The public and donors can — for the first time — identify bona fide charities by searching the Register.

The data on the register comes from information provided at the point of registration and on the Annual Information Statement (AIS) that all charities are required to provide to the ACNC each year. Research has shown that it takes charities ten minutes to complete the AIS — this is not an onerous compliance obligation.

The national collection of information on the charity sector and its dissemination through the public portal on the ACNC website allows all stakeholders who wish to donate, volunteer and be involved with charities to access easily information about every charity in Australia and provides comparability. Those charities fulfilling their mission and with good governance arrangements in place welcome the transparency. However, having finally acquired this extraordinary national collection of data on the charity sector, which can influence understanding of its economic and social value, research, policy development and donor decisions, we risk going back to being in the dark about charities and their contribution, as data collection will no longer tied to the AIS.

To me, this looks like major step bqckwards.

See the Governance Institute of Australia’s take on this at

New national business names legislation replaces current state systems


From 28 May 2012, the regulation and administration of business names throughout Australia will shift from the current state and territory based system to a national system regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The new national scheme will introduce a number of efficiencies into the business name regime in Australia, including:

  • one register and registration process — with registration of new business names taking effect Australia-wide; and
  • easing the administrative burden of registering and maintaining many registrations for one name.
  • to address the confusion caused under the current system that allows identical, or nearly identical, names to be registered in various states and territories. The new system will prevent identical, or nearly identical, business names from being registered.

What happens with current business name registrations?

One state or territory If you currently have a business name registered in a state or territory, then you will not be required to register it again with ASIC. Instead, ASIC will automatically transfer all current business names registered in any state or territory to the national register. The registration details from the previously registered business name, including the principal place of business and expiry date, will be transferred to the new register.

More than one state or territory If you have a business name registered in more than one state or territory, then each of those registrations will be transferred to the new register. You may then decide:

  • to retain all the registrations, or:
  • to keep one business name registration (for example, the one with the latest expiry date) and to cancel the others.

However, ASIC has said[1] that if it is able to reliably determine that the business names are identical and registered to the same holder then it may act on its own to combine multiple identical registrations.

Identical business names in different jurisdictions owned by different people When the business names are transferred to the new register, there may be two or more identical or nearly identical business names registered in different states or territories to different people. To reduce confusion, ASIC has said that it will provide additional information on the new register to assist people to differentiate between identical, or nearly identical, business names – for example:

  • the state or territory in which the business name was registered; or
  • the former state or territory business name registration number.

If these identifiers are not sufficient to reduce confusion, then ASIC may add a distinguishing word as an additional identifier – for example, the name of the relevant state or territory. Although this identifier will not form part of the business name, it will help people distinguish between identical registered business names. ASIC will notify the people who own the relevant business names before making any changes.