To help you meet your tax obligations, we have identified common mistakes made by restaurant, cafe and other catering businesses.

The table below shows how these mistakes can be avoided.

  • Leaving the cash register open and not recording every transaction

  • Close the cash register after each transaction and record each transaction through the cash register

  • Failing to make and keep sales records at regular intervals if not using a cash register

  • Update the sales records regularly, for example, at the end of each shift of day

  • Not conducting daily sales reconciliations

  • Reconcile “Z” total and cash in register, taking into account any cash taken for business or personal use

  • Not updating the cash receipts books

  • Transfer daily sales total into cash receipts book regularly

  • Paying wages and invoices from cash register

  • All cash taken from the register to pay wages and invoices must be recorded as takings in the cash receipts book

  • Claiming GST credits where the supplier is not registered for GST

  • Only claim GST credits when the invoice clearly states GST has been charged

  • Misclassifying sales as GST-free

  • Use GST food guide (NAT 3338) to classify products correctly and ensure staff are adequately trained

  • Failing to withhold tax from the payment to suppliers who do not have an Australian Business Number

  • If the total payment for goods or services is more than $75, excluding GST, withhold 46.5% of the payment and pay it to the Australian Taxation Office

  • Not updating the wage book regularly with ALL hours worked by each staff member

  • Ensure wage books record details such as: Name of the employees, Hours worked, Pay rate, Gross payment, Net payment, Amount withheld, and Superannuation contribution paid