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Episode 41 – Shadow economy

Last updated 1 May 2023

Assistant Commissioners, Michael Morton, Small Business Risk and Strategy, and Peter Holt, Shadow Economy Program, join Tax InVoice podcast host, David Jepsen, to talk about the shadow economy, the types of activities involved, and its effect on the Australian community.

The shadow economy, also known as the cash economy or black economy, refers to deliberate behaviour which can involve under-declaring income, paying staff cash in hand or under the counter, sham contracting, trading in illicit tobacco, illegal drugs or counterfeit goods, ABN, GST or duty fraud, and phoenixing.

Small businesses and their tax agents can now access Reported transactions in ATO online platforms to view third-party data we hold on taxable payments, government grants and business transactions. This provides transparency about business income reported to us and offers other benefits to small business owners.

The shadow economy accounts for around $11 billion in lost revenue each year. If you suspect someone is involved, make an anonymous tip-off by phoning us on 1800 060 062 or visiting

For more information visit:

Media: Tax inVoice Episode 41: Shadow Economy Link (Duration: 14:00)