On July 26, the Federal Government released a draft version of the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 (Cth) (the “Draft Bill”) and accompanying draft Explanatory Material (the “Draft EM”) for public comment and consultation, with submissions closing on 12 August 2019.
As outlined in the Draft EM, the proposed legislation:
It proposes to introduce offences for entities that make or accept cash payments of $10,000 or more, “ensuring that entities cannot make large payments in cash so as to avoid creating records of the payment and facilitating their participation in the black economy and undertaking related illicit activities”.
The Federal Government hopes to implement the economy-wide cash payment limit from 1 January 2020 and for certain Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre () reporting entities from 1 January 2021.
In a, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP (Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer) commented:
Adocument indicates the following would be classified as “exempt transactions”:
reveals the legislation comes on the back of a recommendation from the Federal Government's (the “Taskforce”) on how to limit tax evasion and general criminal activity in Australia. The Government first announced their plans for the upcoming law change in their .
The Taskforce defines theas “people who operate entirely outside the tax and regulatory system or who are known to the authorities but do not correctly report their tax obligations.”
Theindicates the “black economy is a significant, complex and growing economic and social problem. In our opinion, it could have increased in size by up to 50 per cent since 2012.” In part, the also noted (pages 1-2):
To assist in combating this problem, the Taskforce suggested consideration be given to some 16 recommendations. Some of the proposals are:
Under the draft materials released, from 1 January 2020 it would become a criminal offence to make or accept a payment from businesses that includes $10,000 or more of cash, as well as it being an offence to make or accept a cash donation equal to or in excess of $10,000. The maximum penalty would be up to two years imprisonment and/or 120 penalty units ($25,200).
Following the close of public consultation, the Government will consider feedback and introduce the Bill to Parliament.
TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
[Draft] Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 (Cth) – Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase LawOne Service
FREE legislation news, delivered weekly.
Sign up now.#WeLoveLegislation Tweets
NEW information resources - great for training.