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'Tough love' on the cards in federal budget

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) is forecasting that the federal budget will be tough on key focus areas for the government, including the cash economy.

'Tough love' on the cards in federal budget
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The federal budget, which will be handed down tomorrow, may well take aim at the “black economy,” which poses serious detriment to small business.

“It is believed that billions of dollars of Government revenue is potentially slipping through the cracks due to a cash-fed black economy, so it is only right that Government acts accordingly,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

Mr Conway noted that the introduction of ABNs in 2000 was intended to make it more difficult to operate in the cash economy – which is not necessarily what has come to fruition.

“The reality is that the cash economy has continued to grow and new integrity measures are required to curb its continual growth,” Mr Conway said.

The cash economy is, as a result, creating an “uneven playing field” for small business, Mr Conway said.

“Hard working small business owners are competing against entities that are not paying their share of taxes,” Mr Conway said.

“The IPA is supportive of additional measures that will address the unfair advantages that some businesses have operating in the cash economy. The Government has put in place a host of measures to deal with multi-national tax avoidance; its intention will now focus on those who choose to operate in the cash economy,” he said.

“The Black Economy taskforce has tabled its interim report to Government and we expect some of those recommendations contained in the report to be announced on Budget night. The taskforce is yet to finalise its final report and work is ongoing.”

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