19 January 2017
Media Release - #2017001, 2017

Black Economy Taskforce – invitation for public comment

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP, today called for stakeholder submissions to the Black Economy Taskforce.

The black economy refers to people who operate entirely outside the tax system or who are known to the tax system but deliberately understate their income or overstate their expenses. Black economy participants evade taxes and may also be over claiming welfare and other government benefits.   

Black economy activities undermine the integrity of our tax and welfare systems, penalise those who pay their taxes and reduce revenues to pay for services like hospitals and schools.  

The Government has taken significant action to shut down loopholes for multinationals that try and avoid paying tax through measures such as the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law. The black economy is the next important piece in the tax integrity puzzle.

The Taskforce, led by the former chair of the B20 Anti-Corruption Taskforce, Mr Michael Andrew AO, will consider measures that have been employed overseas and will seek to identify policy responses which take advantage of emerging technology. The Taskforce will also consider ways to change community attitudes about the black economy and will look at both positive incentives as well as sanctions.

The Government has asked the Taskforce for an interim report by March 2017 and a final report by October 2017. All those who have an interest in this important work, including those with innovative ideas on how to tackle this complex issue, are encouraged to provide initial views to the Taskforce secretariat by 17 February 2017. Please send any submissions to blackeconomy@treasury.gov.au.

There will be further opportunities for public engagement. A consultation paper will be issued in March 2017. This will set out particular questions for comments and detailed submissions. Additionally, a program of public meetings will be scheduled in the middle of the year.