The Black Economy Taskforce was established by the Federal Government in 2016. Its purpose is to conduct enquiries and make recommendations for appropriate measures to restrict people’s ability to operate outside the tax system. As part of this process, the Taskforce is conducting a series of Industry Roundtables and public Forums around the country.
The Taskforce met industry representatives in Perth in late May 2017 at KPMG’s offices. Michael Andrew, Chair of the Taskforce, spoke to the Roundtable about the work that has already been undertaken and the interim Report that was released in March 2017. A copy of this Report can be accessed at www.treasury.gov.au/blackeconomy.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has estimated that in 2012, the black economy was approximately 1.5% of GDP, or approximately $25 billion per annum.
Industry representatives spoke about the change in customer behaviour at the retail level of business, where a growing number of customers are using pay wave and other electronic forms of payment in preference to cash. Some of the participants reported that up to 85% of turnover was conducted through electronic payment. They also commented that this method was preferable, as the cost of managing cash was significant. There was also discussion around the need for greater education on how to manage tax compliance obligations. Unsurprisingly, there was also extended discussion on the need to reduce compliance complexity.
The Taskforce’s final Report is due in October 2017. This is intended to provide policy proposals dealing with a whole of government policy framework for action in countering the black economy.
Article submitted by KPMG Enterprise.