Top tips to improve your reports
This page contains advice and best practices for reporting entities to help you avoid common reporting mistakes, improve the effectiveness of your reports and ensure the reporting of correct information.
The quality, accuracy and timeliness of your reports give us the best chance to detect, deter and disrupt serious financial crime.
For more information on your reporting obligations, timeframes and other guidance, visit the Reporting overview.
Details you must not report
You must not provide Australian Taxation File Numbers (TFNs) in any reports to AUSTRAC as this is prohibited under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 does not authorise you to disclose TFNs to AUSTRAC.
The disclosure of TFNs to AUSTRAC may also be considered a breach of the Privacy (Tax File Number) Rule 2015, administered by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
We ask that you do not:
- Provide dummy data by completing fields with ‘N/A’, ‘Unknown’ or ‘Not Provided’. When the information is not known to your organisation and it is not a mandatory field, please leave these fields blank.
- Report the names of government officers, law enforcement officers or an operation name in a suspicious matter report when you have been contacted in an investigative capacity, including those circumstances where formal notices issued have been to you.
- Use abbreviations, titles or additional notations when reporting the full name of a person or organisation. You must report the full and correct name.
Details to report
When submitting reports:
- When reporting identity documents or electronic data sources used to verify your customer’s identity, submit this information in the allocated fields. Only in rare instances will there not be a predefined document type with allocated fields available. Only in this instance is it acceptable to use the ‘other’ document type field.
- It is best practice when reporting an address, to include the street address, suburb (town or city) and the full name of the country. If the country has states and postcodes or zip codes or the equivalent, also report this information in the appropriate fields.
- When reporting the employment occupation and industry of a customer, refer to the Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) industry codes and/or the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) occupation codes.
Tips by report type
Suspicious matter reports
You must submit an SMR if you have reasonable grounds for suspicion that your customer is not who they claim to be, or the designated service relates to 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. SMRs with incomplete, inaccurate or unstructured descriptions and summaries can make further meaningful analysis difficult and lessen your SMR’s overall usefulness.
When submitting SMRs:
- The grounds for suspicion (GFS) should include a description of the suspicious matter, activity, entities and transactions which have taken place. Please ensure the information in the GFS is clear, coherent and relevant to improve the overall utility of your reports as intelligence.
- All persons and entities should be clearly linked to the suspicious matter through the GFS and the corresponding fields. Any person or entity directly related to the suspicious matter should be included in the appropriate fields in the report. Any corresponding details, such as the person’s or the entity’s account details, should also be included in the fields.
- All transactions that specifically relate to the suspicious matter should be reported in the correct fields. Any information, including transactions, which give context to the suspicious matter, but are not suspicious themselves, should be provided as an attachment to the SMR and should not be reported in the designated fields.
- When reporting digital wallet addresses, please ensure these are reported in the correct field, and not in the GFS.
For more information on reporting SMRs, visit Suspicious matter reports (SMRs) and download the Suspicious matter reporting: reference guide.
Threshold transaction reports (TTRs)
Any business that provides a designated service that involves the transfer of A$10,000 or more in physical currency (or the foreign currency equivalent) must submit a TTR to AUSTRAC.
When submitting TTRs:
- You must report a description of the designated service provided or commenced to be provided.
- If the individual conducting the threshold transaction is not a customer of the reporting entity, you are required to report at least their full name and a description of the documents or sources relied upon to verify their identity, if applicable.
- You must report additional information on an individual who conducts a threshold transaction on behalf of another individual, employee or non-individual entity and is not a customer.
For more information on reporting TTRs, visit Reporting transactions of $10,000 and over: Threshold transaction reports (TTRs).
International funds transfer instruction reports (IFTIs)
IFTI-DRAs (designated remittance arrangement) are reported by businesses, organisations or individuals who are not financial institutions such as remittance service providers and casinos.
When submitting IFTI-DRAs:
- You must report the correct full name and residential address or the address of the principal place of business for an ordering customer (the individual or organisation from whom you accept the instruction to transfer money or property).
- When providing the details of the beneficiary customer (the individual or organisation to whom money or property is ultimately to be transferred), it is important that you understand your obligations based on the direction of the instruction and whether the entity is an individual, organisation or trust. Your obligations are different in each given scenario.
- You are required to report the beneficiary customers account details when the funds are being transferred into an account held by the disbursing entity.
- You have no obligation to report transferee account details if they are being transferred to an account which is not provided by the disbursing entity.
IFTI-Es are made by financial institutions and apply to transfers of money which are sent or received from another country.
When submitting IFTI-E’s:
- You are only required to report an outgoing IFTI if the ordering institution accepts the instruction in Australia and transfers money to the payer via a beneficiary institution in a foreign country.
- You are only required to report an incoming IFTI if the ordering institution accepts the instruction in a foreign country and transfers money via a beneficiary institution in Australia.
- When reporting SWIFT messages it is important to confirm if these are complete, accurate and satisfy your reporting obligations. If they do not contain the required information, you must supplement this information to ensure you meet your obligations.
For more information on reporting IFTIs, visit Money transferred to and from overseas: International funds transfer instruction (IFTI) reports.
More help on reporting
Instructions on making transaction reports can be found in AUSTRAC Online through the transaction reporting menu. You can also contact us for more help.
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.