Consultation and feedback on the 2015–16 industry contribution
In July 2015 AUSTRAC released a consultation paper and draft Ministerial Determination detailing the proposed model for the 2015–16 industry contribution and invited stakeholder feedback on the model.
The Submissions page contains the three public submissions AUSTRAC received from stakeholders in response to this consultation on the 2015–16 contribution. Below is AUSTRAC’s high-level feedback to issues raised within these stakeholder submissions.
Government cost recovery guidelines
The AUSTRAC Industry Contribution was announced as a Federal Government initiative in the 2014–15 Federal Budget. The industry contribution was considered by the government on its own merits, separate and distinct from the government’s cost recovery guidelines. This meant AUSTRAC was not required to prepare a formal Regulatory Impact Statement for the contribution.
However, AUSTRAC remains committed to consulting extensively with stakeholders on the calculation model for the industry contribution before a final determination is made.
AUSTRAC is looking at ways to engage with stakeholders earlier in the consultation process and communicate more effectively with leviable entities about:
- the anticipated amount entities will be levied each financial year, keeping in mind variations in Federal Budget appropriations from year to year
- how AUSTRAC’s annual budget allocation is to be expended each financial year.
The levy calculation model and impost on industry
Some stakeholders submitted that the levy constituted an impost on a small subsector of AUSTRAC’s regulated population. Of AUSTRAC's total reporting population of approximately 14,000 entities, about 600 entities will be required to pay the levy in 2015–16.
It should be noted that a government objective was that small businesses should be exempt from the industry contribution to minimise their regulatory burden. Within these parameters, AUSTRAC is committed to regularly reviewing and refining the calculation model. This includes exploring what is an appropriate balance between the transaction reporting and earnings components of the model for future levy years.
AUSTRAC will continue to engage with stakeholders as it works to refine the 2016–17 calculation model.
Increase in the levy in 2015–16
In accordance with the government’s 2013–14 Budget decision, the industry contribution is calculated based on AUSTRAC’s budget appropriation, as well as annual depreciation and amortisation charges.
The Budget decision included an agreement that the proportion of AUSTRAC’s costs to be collected through the industry contribution would increase incrementally over four years. The levy increased from 70 percent in 2014–15 to 90 percent in 2015–16. It will remain at 90 percent in 2016–17 before increasing to 100 percent of AUSTRAC’s budget appropriation in 2017–18.