Australia Outlaws Cash Transactions

Australia implements large cash ban

The Australian government has outlawed citizens from using cash to buy expensive goods as part of a crackdown on money launderers and organized crime.

From now on, anybody trying to purchase goods or services that exceed $10,000, must use electronic forms of money to pay.

Perthnow.com.au reports: Those wanting to spend up big will have to use either electronic transfer services or a cheque to make a purchase.

It is understood there was a push-back within the Government at the $10,000 limit, with some West Australian MPs arguing it should be higher.

However, in the wake of the Commonwealth Bank’s money laundering allegations, which involved the withdrawal of more than $10,000 through ATMs, the Government stuck with the new limit.

It will apply to purchases of goods and services from businesses. Transactions with financial institutions or between consumers for non-business transactions will be exempt.

Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the limit would start from July 1 next year.

“This cash payment limit will capture high-value transactions and help stamp out opportunities for criminals to launder the proceeds of crime into goods and services, or for businesses to hide transactions to reduce their tax liabilities,” she said.

The move is in response to the Government’s Black Economy Taskforce, which also backed measures to bar firms with a dodgy tax record from tendering for big Federal contracts.

Firms looking to win a contract worth more than $4 million will need to show evidence of a “satisfactory tax record”.

The Government will sink an extra $319 million into the Tax Office to help develop new ways to target the black economy.

Data matching will also be increased in a package the Government says could net it $3 billion in extra tax over four years. Also helping will be the illegal tobacco trade. Better policing of so-called chop-chop tobacco and payment of excise is expected to reap $3.6 billion.