The Black Economy Standing Taskforce (BEST) is a collaborative response of partners working together to reduce the impact and incidence of the shadow economy on the Australian community. Our agency is part of the task force along with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Department of Home Affairs including Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police, AUSTRAC, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Services Australia, Attorney-General’s Department, Fair Work Ombudsman and The Treasury.
The shadow economy is a significant, complex and growing economic and social problem that encompasses a diverse range of practices and is influenced by a wide range of factors.
The BEST supports increasing the level of visibility of enforcement of the law, covering tax, industrial relations, welfare, immigration and financial regulatory compliance, through the better use of intelligence to identify significant offenders and problem areas.
The purposes of the BEST are to:
- protect the public finances of Australia by combating shadow economy activities and behaviours
- detect, deter, investigate and enforce the law relating to participation in, or promotion of, shadow economy activities and behaviours that relate to:
- avoidance or evasion of taxation obligations
- abuse of the welfare system
- exploitation of workers, including visa-holders and related visa fraud
- money laundering
- non-compliant and criminal activity in the nature of fraud or obtaining benefits by deception (including tax, duty and identity fraud)
- identify and disrupt shadow economy activities by sharing data and information where possible in compliance with each Member’s data and information disclosure obligations in order to analyse black economy behaviours and propose regulatory, administrative and legislative responses.
You can read more about the shadow economy on the ATO website.