The black economy is costing Australian society as much as $50 billion dollars, according to the ATO.
The figure comes from the Black Economy Taskforce, which has outlined that the estimated cost of the black economy is costing the community around 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
With the definition of the black economy encompassing activities such as paying for work cash-in-hand, not reporting or under-reporting income, phoenixing, sham contracting, as well as wage underpayment, illegal drugs and tobacco, the ATO has reminded the public that “this is money that the community is missing out on for vital public services like schools, welfare, roads, healthcare and infrastructure”.
According to assistant commissioner Peter Holt, Australia’s tax system “funds the services that benefit all of us”.
“The Australian way of life depends on everyone paying the right amount of tax,” he continued.
He went on to note that the ATO is seeing “an upwards trend in the number of referrals to our tip-off line from people who know or suspect phoenix, tax evasion or black economy behaviour, which suggests that the community, as well as honest businesses, have had enough of those who are cheating the system and getting an unfair advantage”.