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Shadow Economy Advisory Forum key messages 8 March 2023

Key topics discussed at the Shadow Economy Advisory Forum meeting 8 March 2023.

Last updated 16 May 2023

Welcome and chair update

Chair Will Day, welcomed attendees. No conflicts of interest were declared. Dr Michael Schaper’s appointment as Chair of the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia was noted. Members were reminded of confidentiality requirements.

New members Suresh Manickam and Jason Robertson were welcomed to the forum.

Information protection presentation

Angelene Falk of Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) presented to the forum, covering:

  • role of OAIC
  • practical steps businesses can take to protect the data they hold
  • advice regarding collection, retention and verification of personal information in our increasingly digitalised environment
  • level of threat, risk, damage and cost to industries caused by identity theft
  • regulatory requirements for organisations to make timely assessment of data breaches and notify individuals affected by a data breach.

Member updates

Industry members shared key observations which focussed broadly on current environmental pressures. The discussion noted:

  • businesses have less focus on their compliance obligations whilst they struggle to remain afloat
  • small businesses continue to be impacted by labour shortages and supply chain issues
  • merchant fees are impacting business, resulting in a movement back to a preference for cash sales
  • consumer demand is trending down in value, but not in volume
  • business to business trade is trending down, with businesses moving to ‘just in time’ inventory rather than purchasing in bulk.

Agency updates

Geoff Francis provided an update on the following:

Katie O’Brien, Australian Border Force (ABF) advised the Australian National Audit Office audit ‘Implementation of the government’s response to the Black Economy Taskforce Report’ is ongoing.

The ABF published an Australian Customs Notice (ACN) No. 2022/42 – ‘Conversion of cryptocurrencies into Australian dollars – customs valuation’ advising owners who paid for their imported goods using a cryptocurrency, will need to convert this into Australian dollars based on the exchange rate for cryptocurrency on the day of exportation.

Tony Goding advised on the Sharing Economy Reporting Regime – certain ride sourcing and accommodation providers are required to report from 1 July 2023 and other platforms will report from 1 July 2024.

Direction to educate, tax-records education direction can now be used instead of imposing financial penalties, where appropriate during compliance interactions. The basic module will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Electronic Sales Suppression Technology work is progressing in the ATO, information about this strategy and insights gained to date will be brought to the forum in a future meeting.

Action item


Due date

May 2023


Tony Goding, ATO

Action item details

Provide the forum with an update of how the Direction to educate modules are being developed, and who is involved in the development process.

Other business

Suggested topic for discussion at a future meeting – Modernisation of Business Register review.