Why do lenders ask for BAS?

The Business Activity Statement (BAS) was introduced in 2000 by the Australian Tax Government as a way for businesses to report their GST and PAYG withholding tax obligations.

Due to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008 and the introduction of the NCCP Act in 2010, it became a requirement for lenders to obtain some verification of your income for a low doc loan.

The idea behind using BAS statements was to allow lenders to verify a client’s turnover and decrease the risk that comes with low doc loans.

What are the lenders’ requirements?


Most lenders require ABN and GST registration for a minimum of two years, however one lender requires only one year.


Most lenders require 12 months’ BAS, however some of our lenders can accept only one or two Business Activity Statements to assess your income.

Credit history

Your credit history must be clear of any adverse listings and your debts must be paid on time. Some exceptions are available.

Savings history

If you’re borrowing over 60% of the property value (LVR) you may have to prove genuine savings.

How is my income calculated?

Most lenders will require your previous four quarters’ BAS, which equates to twelve months of statements. However, some of our lenders require only two or even one BAS!

Each quarter’s turnover will be calculated to produce a gross annual turnover. Most lenders will then use 40% of your turnover as your income.

For example, if your gross annual turnover is $300,000 per annum then lenders will consider using a maximum of 40% of this figure, which means your declared income would be $120,000.

However, some of our lenders will use 50% of your turnover, which will vastly increase your borrowing power. One of our lenders uses a different percentage of your turnover depending on the industry that you work in. You can use our BAS income calculator which will work out your income using the same method as three of our lenders.

Do you need help applying for a low doc loan with your BAS? Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and one of our mortgage brokers will call you to discuss your situation.

Applying for a mortgage today!

Knowing which lenders will accept BAS as income verification is important when applying for a mortgage. Enquire online or call us on 1300 889 743 to find the lender right for your low doc loan! We’ll help you choose a competitive loan from our panel of specialist low doc lenders.

Example Of BAS

Do banks accept handwritten BAS?

Tax Portal Printout

Unfortunately, the financial institutions do not accept handwritten Business Activity Statements (BAS).

They will usually require Australian Tax Office (ATO) Portal printouts (an example is shown on the left), or a copy of electronically lodged BAS from your bookkeeper.

BAS Statements are required to be lodged quarterly with the ATO. It is recorded via the Electronic Lodgement System (ELS) which can be found on the ATO website.

Some lenders however, can approve home loans with an alternative proof of income, such as an Accountant’s Letter or Income Declaration.

So if you only have handwritten BAS then we may still be able to assist you with your home loan.

Example of blank BAS to be completed by hand

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will deliver the blank Business Activity Statement via post according to the cycle chosen when you first submit your application to register the Australian Business Number (ABN).

Be careful while selecting the preferred cycle as this cannot be amended within the first year of your ABN registration.

Example of ATO issued complete quarterly GST statement

This is an example of a Business Activity Statement (BAS) if you were to use accounting software.

When using most accounting software products the tax portal will sync and upload information automatically for you.

This will relieve you from having to write the entire content yourself in the BAS, which means that you will not have to double up on your work load.

Three Golden Tips

Not everyone uses the 40% rule

Not every lender uses the 40% rule. Some lenders use a higher percentage of turnover or calculate your income using a different method. Knowing which lender to approach can significantly increase your borrowing power.

For example one of our lenders uses 50% of the turnover shown on your BAS as your income. This means that your income is 25% higher than someone who has applied with a lender who only uses 40%.

Other specialist lenders can look at the income, expenses and wages shown on your BAS and can use this to calculate your income. This works well for people who have low business expenses such as those who are in a service industry.

See our low doc loan calculator for more information.

Using BAS as income evidence

BAS is the most widely accepted form of income verification for low doc loans amongst the lenders. For low doc loans, the majority of lenders will accept BAS as substitution for any other form of income verification.

Large variances in total sales

The lenders do not look at large variances between quarterly BAS total sales favourably. Often a good explanation must be provided for the variances to be accepted.

  • Jonathan

    I’m a self-employed electrician. I haven’t completed BAS with ATO this year, it’ll take around 2-3 months to complete the process. In the meantime, if I apply for a loan is there any other alternate docs that I could show the bank as proof of my income?

  • Hi Jonathan,

    Though most lenders that do low doc loans prefer Business Activity Statement to assess your income, they often accept an accountant’s declaration and/or business transaction statements as an alternative as well as proof of the income.

  • Amos

    So most banks are okay if I can provide a BAS for a low doc loan?

  • Hey Amos, BAS is the most widely accepted form of income verification for low doc loans amongst the lenders. For low doc loans, the majority of lenders will accept BAS as substitution for any other form of income verification.

  • demaine

    I initially wanted to go low doc with BAS but even that doesn’t seem to be possible for me right now. What can I do?

  • Hello demaine,

    Unless you have any other alternative methods of proving your income such as through tax returns or old payslips perhaps, it’s likely that you’ll have to go for a no doc loan. Through one, you can borrow up to 65% of the property value through larger second tier lenders at competitive interest rates or up to 80% through expensive caveat loans. You can find out more about no doc loans here:

  • steiner

    Which lender or loan type will have better low doc interest rates?

  • Hi steiner,

    The eligibility for a low doc interest rate discount generally depends on the type of low doc loan and the amount you borrow. There are also a few other factors that come into account. You can check out all about these in the low doc interest rates page:

  • Britto

    We’re a couple with 3 kids and we collectively earn $93,000 per year. We own a property in Dundas which we want to knock down and build a duplex instead, to rent. It will cost around $1.5 mil. We will then move in with relatives rent free. Can you help with a low doc loan for this?

  • Hi Britto,

    Yes, we can help you with this. We have a few lenders in mind that you can go with. If you can reduce the cost of build and bring the overall loan amount down to $1mil, an accountant’s declaration can be enough. If it’s still above $1mil then you may need to provide 2 BAS along with the accountant’s declaration to make it work. It can be a good idea for you and your relatives to write a stat dec confirming that you will be living rent free. Please call 1300 889 743 to discuss with an expert mortgage broker.

  • Bradman

    I can provide only two of my BAS but my bank is asking me to provide 12 months BAS. Is there any way I can get them to ask to accept just the two statements that I have?

  • Hi Bradman,
    Most lenders require 12 months’ Business Activity Statements, however, some of our lenders may consider your application even if you only have one or two BAS to assess your income. You can call us at 1300 889 743 to speak with one of our low doc specialists to find out what options you have.