The Black Economy Taskforce was established in 2017 “to develop an innovative, forward-looking whole-of-government policy response to combat the black economy in Australia, recognising that these issues cannot be tackled by traditional tax enforcement measures alone"

In May 2017 the taskforce made a its initial recommendations, which it based on foreign jurisdiction experiences, consultation with stakeholders and anecdotal evidence it had received.

The Government accepted a number of the taskforce’s recommendations, and has now introduced a Bill into Parliament, proposing to combat the black economy by:

  • prohibiting the production, distribution and possession of sales suppression tools, which are typically used to remove or alter transaction information recorded by point-of-sale (POS) systems;
  • prohibiting the use of electronic sales suppression tools to incorrectly keep tax records; and
  • requiring entities that have an ABN and that provide courier or cleaning services to report to the ATO (from 1 July 2018) information about transactions that involve engaging other entities to undertake those services for them.

TIP: The black economy includes people who don’t correctly report and meet their tax obligations, and people who operate entirely outside the tax and regulatory system.