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Australia Launches 'Black Economy' Taskforce

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

19 December 2016

The Australian Government has announced the establishment of a Black Economy Taskforce, which will be charged with recommending a policy framework and proposals for countering "black economy" activities.

The group will be chaired by Michael Andrew, who previously headed up the B20 anti-corruption taskforce. Participants will include the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and the Departments of Human Services and Immigration.

Revenue Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said: "The Taskforce will look carefully at successful measures that have been employed overseas. Experience from both Australia and overseas shows that successful black economy strategies must avoid one-size-fits-all approaches, include a mix of both traditional tax enforcement and other tools, and provide positive incentives as well as sanctions."

O'Dwyer explained that the "black economy" typically refers to those who operate entirely outside the tax system or who are known to tax authorities but deliberately misreport their tax obligations. It can also include those engaged in organized crime, including those who produce and sell prohibited goods.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the black economy could be as large as 1.5 percent of Australia's GDP – around AUD24bn (USD18bn).

The Taskforce will provide a final report in October 2017. O'Dwyer said this will include "an overarching whole of government policy framework and detailed proposals for action to counter the black economy."

TAGS: compliance | tax | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | tax avoidance | government committee | goods and services tax (GST) | Australia | enforcement | tax authority | services | Immigration | Investment | Invest | Economy | Immigration | Investment | Tax | Tax Evasion

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