Businesses use activity statements to report and pay a number of tax obligations, including GST, pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, PAYG withholding and fringe benefits tax. Non-business individuals who need to pay quarterly PAYG instalments also use activity statements.
Activity statements are personalised to each business or individual to support reporting against identified obligations.
Activity statements for businesses may be due either quarterly or monthly. Generally, businesses can lodge and pay quarterly if annual turnover is less than $20 million, and total annual PAYG withholding is $25,000 or less. Businesses that exceed one or both of those thresholds will have at least some monthly obligations. Non-business individuals are generally required to lodge and pay quarterly.
Businesses or individuals with small obligations may be able to lodge and pay annually. Some taxpayers may receive an instalment notice for GST and/or PAYG instalments, instead of an activity statement.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) web site provides instructions on lodging and paying activity statements. Detailed instructions are provided for each of the different tax obligations:
The Australian business number (ABN) is a single business identifier that allows businesses to deal with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and other government departments and agencies with one identifier.
An ABN is not compulsory and not everyone is entitled to an ABN. The following entities will need an ABN to comply with other tax obligations:
- businesses with GST turnover of $75,000 or more must register for GST and need an ABN to do this
- non-profit organisations with GST turnover of $150,000 or more must register for GST and need an ABN to do this
- entities seeking to be endorsed as a deductible gift recipient need an ABN to obtain that status
- charities seeking exemption from income tax need an ABN.
Other eligible entities may choose to register for an ABN:
- companies registered under the Corporations Law
- business entities carrying on an enterprise
- trustees of self-managed superannuation funds should obtain an ABN for the fund.
If an entity makes supplies of goods or services to a business, the supplier entity generally needs to quote an ABN. If the supplier does not quote an ABN, the payer may need to