$500 Anti Money Laundering fee to start next year



In a low key change in the recent Federal Budget, Australian businesses will be forced to pay the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) a flat fee levy of $500 each per year.

From July 2011 businesses will be charged to register and file transaction reports. All reporting entities will be subject to the fees, with no reduction offered for smaller businesses or for those processing a greater volume. AUSTRAC plans to use the funding to fund IT system upgrades and a Criminal Intelligence Fusion Centre within the Australian Crime Commission to better detect and prevent organised crime.

Understandably industry experts have come out against the fees which many believe are onerous given the already extensive costs undertaken by many to meet anti -money laundering (AML) legislation compliance. A spokesperson for the industry has likened the change to banks charging a new annual fee for companies to do business with them.

AUSTRAC and the Attorney General's Department will be consulting industry executives between now and August to determine the final outcome of the proposed levy.


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