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AFTA CEO Exclusive

Travel Daily AFTA Exclusive - Tuesday 26 June 2018

A 2018 budget measure that may have gone unchecked by many in the travel industry will mean that
from 01 Jul 2019, consumers will not be allowed to make cash purchases worth over $10,000.

This measure is in part to try and stop money laundering via the Australian economy, but with all
measures like this one, which go across the economy, the honest people get caught in something that otherwise would simply be an expectation.

AFTA is working with the Australian Government and The Treasury to work out the potential impact on the travel industry and just how many times this sort of transaction occurs. From the data that AFTA has, this happens more than many might think and so education for the consumer and front-line travel consultants will be key. In one way I can see that this measure may push away the cash economy in some areas within Australia.

Perhaps the purchase of a car, the renovation of a house, the installation of a swimming pool that is done “for cash” and as such the consumer pays less or even diverts the GST. But when it relates to a travel purchase, I’m not sure this is a good thing for the industry. The Government is now in consultation mode and AFTA will be making a submission to the process to highlight the possible issues that we may face. And this should not be disregarded as an idea that will go away. It was announced in the 2018 budget, and the penalty is likely to be one of a criminal nature. As such, this will all get very serious with nasty consequences should acceptance be made for the transaction of over $10,000 in cash.

It is a complex topic and AFTA will continue the engagement process with Treasury and as detailed information and timelines become available we will be sure to keep the industry informed as the
arrangements become clearer and a better understanding of what travel consultants will need to do if they are confronted with this issue in the future.

Importantly, this is not law yet and at this stage the earliest it will become law will be 01 Jul next year, or a date after that, but it is a subject that the industry needs to be aware of.