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25 Aug, 2014

Australian taxmen cracking down on cash economy, cafes, restaurants – Sydney Morning Herald

The Tax Office is cracking down on the black economy, targeting businesses that are not declaring cash revenues, from restaurants through to home cleaners, in a bid to bring billions of dollars back into the tax net.

The Tax Office told Fairfax Media it had stepped up audits of small businesses including cafes and restaurants, carpentry and electrical services, hair, beauty and nail specialists, building trades, road freight and waste skip operators. Also in the ATO’s sights are cleaners, who are almost always paid in cash for working in clients’ homes.

“These 275,000 businesses potentially represent unfair competition for the honest businesses in their industries,” senior assistant commissioner Michael Hardy said.

The cash economy continues to be one of the hardest issues for tax agencies worldwide. While eftpos and credit card usage is climbing, cash remains the most important payment method for low-value transactions – 70 per cent of payments under $20, and is widely used for payments around $50.

Read the rest: ATO cracking down on cash economy.