Australian Government Floats $100 Note Removal

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(THE ADVERTISER) — SAY goodbye to the $100 note.

Australia looks set to follow in the footsteps of Venezuela and India by abolishing the country’s highest-denomination banknote in a bid to crack down on the “black economy”.

Speaking to ABC radio on Wednesday, Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer flagged a review of the $100 note and cash payments over certain limits as the government looks to recoup billions in unpaid tax.

Monday’s midyear budget update will include the appointment of former KPMG global chairman Michael Andrew to oversee a black economy taskforce. The black economy accounts for 1.5 per cent of GDP, given many cash payments are untaxed.

Ms O’Dwyer told the ABC not only is the lost revenue owed to the Australian people for schools and hospitals, but it’s also critical for those who do the right thing and pay tax.

“The whole point of this crackdown on the black economy is to make sure we close down any potential loopholes,” she said. Despite the broad use of electronic forms of payment, Ms O’Dwyer warned there are three times as many $100 notes in circulation than $5 notes.

“It does beg the question, ‘Why?’” she said.

There are currently 300 million $100 notes in circulation, and 92 per cent of all currency by value is in $50 and $100 notes.

The minister would not rule out the removal of the $100 note, saying it was up to the expert panel to provide recommendations. “There’s nothing wrong with cash per se, the issue is when people don’t declare it and when they don’t pay tax on it,” she said.

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