The ATO is cracking down on businesses that operate off the books in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, also known as operating within the black, underground or cash economy. Businesses are known to use a wide range of strategies to skirt their tax responsibilities. This may include underreporting takings and paying staff in cash. Several businesses have also been caught using EFTPOS terminals that are not registered to the main company.
The ATO has appealed for the broader community to report any behaviour that they think is suspicious, for example, businesses that regularly conduct transactions without putting them through the cash register.
Techniques such as data matching and benchmarking businesses against similar operations will also be used by the ATO in their attempt to catch out businesses who are not paying their taxes.
The ATO has identified particular geographic areas, usually hospitality hotspots, and particular industries known to favour cash that will subject to particularly close monitoring.