Tax requirements for your business

Your tax obligations will vary according to your business type, number of employees and the fringe benefits you offer your employees.

Make sure you understand the requirements for:

  • different types of tax that could apply to your business
  • tax registrations
  • paying taxes
  • keeping business records

Types of taxation

Make sure you understand the different types of tax that could apply to your business. Some taxes are administered federally by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and others are stated based taxes.

Tax deductions

In addition to taxes you collect and pay there are expenses you can claim to reduce your taxable income. When you do your tax return, you can claim most business expenses as tax deductions. See the ATO website for more information on tax deductions.

Register for taxes

Register your business for taxes through the Business Registration Service. You can register for different taxes on the same form.

If you are unsure which taxes you need to register for, read our tax registration for businesses page.

If you’re still unsure:

For information on other registration types, such as an ABN, check our Registrations topic.

Lodging and paying your tax to the ATO

You need to lodge an income tax return each year. Most businesses also need to lodge business activity statements. You may also need to lodge other reports or returns.

It’s important to lodge and pay your tax on time. Lodging and paying online is the fast, convenient and secure way to do business. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides a range of online services for lodging and paying your tax. To protect your privacy, you’ll need an authenticated login service (such as AUSkey or Manage ABN Connections) to access most of these services. If you’re a sole trader, you can use your myGov account linked to the ATO.

You can pay your tax with BPAY , a debit/credit card, or online. There are also other payment options.

Record keeping and taxation

Setting up and managing good business records can help you manage your business and make sound business decisions. Business records are also useful if you decide to sell your business.

Under tax law, you must keep records of all transactions related to your business’s tax and superannuation affairs, including records that substantiate the information you include in your tax returns and reports.

Tools to help you get your tax right

Use the ATO’s tools and services for small businesses:

Make sure your tax practitioner is registered

Go to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) website to check if your tax agent or BAS agent is registered with the TPB.

There are two ways you can check:

  1. Search the TPB register.
  2. Look for the registered tax practitioner symbol on their website, stationery, brochures or business cards. The registered tax practitioner symbol includes the type of registration and their individual registration number.

To check if your financial adviser is registered, you can search the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s (ASIC) financial advisers register.

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