Suspicious matter reports (SMRs)

If you suspect that a person or transaction is linked to a crime, you must submit a suspicious matter report (SMR) to AUSTRAC. SMRs help protect Australia against money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious and organised crime. They are also an important part of your AML/CTF reporting obligations.

This includes where you reasonably suspect a person is committing a crime, is not who they claim to be, or could be the victim of a crime.

The information generated from your SMRs plays a crucial role in identifying potential illegal activity and assists in the detection and prevention of the flow of illegal funds through Australia’s financial system. High-quality, accurate and timely SMRs give us the best chance to detect, deter and disrupt criminal and terrorist activity. 

Timing is critical

Police rely on financial transaction information to track criminals and criminal activity. The timeliness of your SMRs is critical to protecting Australians from serious crime and terrorism.

You must submit an SMR to AUSTRAC:

  • within 24 hours if the suspicion is related to terrorism financing
  • within 3 business days if the suspicion is related to other matters such as money laundering

Learn more about your SMR reporting obligations and how to submit an SMR.

It is against the law to tell the customer or anyone else that you have formed a suspicion or submitted an SMR to AUSTRAC. Find out more about tipping off.

Videos: Suspicious matter reporting

Discover why accurate and timely SMR reports are vital in our fight to combat serious crime and terrorism.

Extra help and guidance

For more information refer to our SMR guidance resources and SMR case study examples.

Full question-by-question instructions are available in the AUSTRAC publication ‘A guide to making a suspicious matter report (SMR)’ which can be downloaded from AUSTRAC Online.

The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.

Last updated: 8 Apr 2024
Page ID: 32

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