Crackdown on illicit tobacco

Hands of a man holding a heap of destroyed counterfeited cigarettes

The Turnbull government has announced a crackdown on illicit tobacco in the newest budget.

The crackdown will aim to raise $3.6 billion over the course of four years.

Finance minister Mathias Cormann told of the plan to prevent sales of over 800 tonnes of illicit tobacco.

A tobacco taskforce will be established and the Australian Taxation Office will receive new power to charge excise and taxes when tobacco enters the country opposed to when cigarettes leave licensed warehouses. The policy will also include a new requirement to obtain a permit for importing tobacco.

Mr Cormann said the increase in illegal tobacco sales had increased that it was an issue that needed to be addressed.

“There is always an element in the community that will seek to avoid paying their fair share of tax,” he said.

“We’re always looking for ways to protect the revenue, we’re always looking for ways…to ensure revenue is paid as it must under our laws.”

The Guardian reported that the government has collected 98 tonnes of illicit tobacco in the present financial year alone, which would have been worth around $90 million had it been sold legally.


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