On 14/12/2016, The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services announced a taskforce into the Black Economy.

While there is no single, internationally-agreed definition, typically, the black economy refers to people who operate entirely outside the tax system or who are known to tax authorities but deliberately misreport their tax (and superannuation) obligations. The black economy can also include those engaged in organised crime, including those who engage in the production and sale of prohibited goods.

According to the ABS, it is estimated that the black economy in Australia could be as large as 1.5 per cent of our gross domestic product or around $24 billion dollars.

The Taskforce will look carefully at successful measures that have been employed overseas. Experience from both Australia and overseas show 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.

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

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