Government flags heavy-handed crackdown on black economy

Original article by Mike Bruce
The New Daily – Page: Online : 21-Aug-19

Gary Pflugrath of CPA Australia says the federal government should reconsider proposed legislation to restrict cash payments between businesses and individuals to no more than $10,000. It was one of the recommendations of the government’s Black Economy Taskforce, but Pflugrath contends that there are sufficient "checks and balances" to counter criminal activity. Kurt Wallace from the Institute of Public Affairs says restricting cash payments would have little impact on the cash economy, while reducing the freedoms of ordinary Australians. Individuals could face big fines and imprisonment for breaching the proposed laws.

CORPORATES
CPA AUSTRALIA, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED, H&R BLOCK LIMITED, ONE NATION PARTY, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Transacting $10,000 or more in cash could make you a criminal under proposed law

Original article by Nassim Khadem
abc.net au – Page: Online : 20-Aug-19

The 2018-19 federal Budget included a proposal that would restrict cash payments to businesses to no more than $10,000. The measure was recommended by the federal government’s Black Economy Taskforce; those who infringe the proposed measure if it is legislated could be fined up to $25,000 or jailed for two years. One Nation has indicated that it will vote against legislation, while the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry is among a number of organisations that oppose the measure.

CORPORATES
ONE NATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

Calls to further limit cash payments

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 31-Jul-19

Business owners who accept large cash payments would face a fine of $25,000 and jail terms of up to two years as part of the federal government’s crackdown on the cash economy. Cash payments will be restricted to $10,000 under the reforms announced in the 2018 Budget. However, KPMG tax partner Grant Wardell-Johnson says the government should consider lowering the threshold over time, suggesting that a limit of $5,000 or even just $2,000 may be appropriate. Tony Greco of the Institute of Public Accountants agrees that reducing the threshold may be justified.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUDIT PLC, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

ATO plugs up cash-in-hand payments leak

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 19-Jun-19

The Australian Taxation Office has signalled that it will crack down on companies that make cash-in-hand payments to their employees. Assistant commissioner Peter Holt says that from 1 July, payments to workers will only be tax deductible if they comply with pay-as-you-go withholding and reporting requirements. The crackdown is in response to recommendations made by the federal government’s Black Economy Taskforce, which has estimated that the cash economy is worth up to $50bn a year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Cash economy investigation reaps $2.7b from builders

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 13-Feb-19

The Australian Taxation Office has used data matching technology to recover some $2.7bn worth of tax revenue associated with payments to contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry. The crackdown on the cash economy has targeted contractors who fail to declare all income or use false Australian Business Numbers to avoid tax liabilities. The crackdown has also targeted businesses such as cleaning and courier firms.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Green light for black economy taskforce

Original article by Duncan Hughes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 30-Jan-19

The federal government’s Black Economy Taskforce made 80 recommendations in its final report, which was released in October. The government has accepted 30 of these recommendations, while it has agreed in principle to adopt 21 recommendations. Michael Andrew, who chaired the taskforce, says government departments and agencies have commenced the process of implementing the recommendations. The cash economy is estimated to cost about $50 billion a year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

KPMG urges refund plan for black economy fines

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 3-Jan-19

KPMG’s submission to a Treasury review has proposed that individuals who have previously engaged in black economy activity could have part of their fine refunded if they have a proven track record of complying with tax laws. The firm suggested that individuals would be more likely to continue to comply with tax laws under such a system, and they could qualify for a refund after three years with a clean slate. The black economy is estimated to be worth up to $50bn a year.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Boosted powers, travel ban plan to cut avoidance

Original article by Emma Koehn
The Age – Page: 25 : 27-Nov-18

A recent Treasury discussion paper flagged measures aimed at those who avoid tax as part of a crackdown on the black economy. These include imposing overseas travel bans on persons with outstanding tax obligations, as well as giving the Australian Taxation Office the power to access telecommunications data and third-party information such as bank accounts. Submissions to Treasury concerning the discussion paper can be made until 21 December.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, BDO AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Doubts over crackdown on black economy

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 16-Aug-18

Keith Swan of KPMG has questioned whether a Federal Government initiative will be effective in combatting the black economy. From mid-2019, companies that tender for federal contracts worth more than $4m will have to provide a statement of tax record from the Australian Taxation Office. Swan says that amongst other things, this requirement could potentially bar companies from tendering if they have had tax disputes with the ATO in the past. He adds that newly-formed companies with no tax history may have a competitive advantage over established rivals.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, THOMSON REUTERS PLC

Cash ban lacks hard evidence: ACCI

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 5-Jul-18

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has questioned whether the Federal Government’s proposal to limit cash payments to $10,000 will be effective in combating the cash economy. The ACCI has warned that the ban, which was announced in the May 2018 Budget and is based on the recommendations of the black economy taskforce, could potentially undermine the integrity of the financial system. Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Anna Bligh has called for a sufficient transition period for bank customers to adapt to the proposed policy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD