TRANSACTIONS REPORTS ACT (the ACT) 1988
Commonwealth and some State legislation requires the reporting of
specified financial transactions. The legislation aims to restrict
tax avoidance and to assist in the detection of crime and by
preventing the laundering of money.
Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988
(Cth) (the ACT) requires suspect transactions to be reported to the
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). AUSTRAC
passes on these reports to taxation and law enforcement
authorities and also analyses the data. The Australian Taxation
Office Australian, Customs Service, Federal Police and the Australian
Securities Commission have access to all the information held by
Act defines the types of transactions that are to be reported, the
people who are to report them and the details of the transaction to
cash dealer is required to report certain transactions. The Act
defines a cash dealer to include:
- Financial institutions
- A body corporate that is, or would be if
incorporated in Australia, a financial corporation.
- Insurers or their intermediaries
- Dealers in securities
- Futures brokers
- Share registrars
- Trustees or managers of a unit trust
- Persons carrying on the business of selling
- Bullion dealers
- Persons carrying on any business that includes
collecting currency, preparing payrolls, delivering money.
- Operators of gambling houses, bookmakers and
operators of totalisator betting services.
cash transaction is a transaction involving the physical transfer of
currency from one person to another. Currency is the coin or paper
money of Australia or another country. A significant cash
transaction is a cash transaction involving the transfer of currency
of the value of $10,000 or more.
cash dealer must report to AUSTRAC any significant cash transactions
with its Australian customers. A cash dealer must also report any
suspect transactions whether in cash or otherwise where there are
reasonable grounds to suspect that there is tax evasion or criminal
activity involved or that the transaction may be the proceeds of
crime. The details of international telegraphic transfers of
significant cash transactions to and from Australia must also be
provided. In addition, cash dealers are required to verify the
identify of signatories to accounts in accordance with the Act and
INSTRUMENTS AND ASSOCIATED
Act excludes the reporting by some financial institutions, such as
banks, of routine cash transactions and these include payroll
transfers, routine transactions with established retail customers and
public authorities and transactions between financial institutions. The
institution must however keep a register of these exempt
Act also imposes reporting obligations on members of the public. Proper
identification must be provided when opening an account with a
cash dealer. In addition the public is required to report the taking
or sending of $5,000 (in Australian currency or equivalent) into or
out of Australia. The report can be made directly to AUSTRAC or to
the Australian Customs Service who will forward it to AUSTRAC.
is state/territory legislation that mirrors or is similar to the
Commonwealth legislation. For example, in New South Wales, the
Financial Transaction Reports Act 1992
(NSW) provides for the giving of further information in relation to
suspect transactions reported under the Commonwealth Act. The Act
also covers reports on suspect transactions which may not be reported
under the Commonwealth Act but which may be relevant to the
administration of the Independent
Commission Against Corruption Act 1988
(NSW) or enforcement of other Acts such as the Confiscation
of Proceeds of Crime Act 1989 (NSW).
SOMETHING TO DO
on from your previous “work to be submitted” scenarios, your
proposed real estate agency is involved in a number of transactions
where the amount is payable by cheque or cash. For example, deposit
paid on the purchase of a house and/or rent money paid by tenants.
How are these transactions affected by the law applicable to
negotiable instruments covered in Learning Outcome 4?
how your agency would be affected by the Financial Transactions
Reports Act 1988 (Cth).
CD. (1985) Introduction to Torts, Law
Book Co., Sydney.
v Commonwealth (1979) 24 ALR 118 at
JG. (1987) The Law of Torts (7th
Ed) Law Book Co., Sydney
Byrne v Heller  All ER 575
v Nabalco (1971) 17 FLR 141 at 201