Solicitors must report all significant cash transactions of A$10,000 or more – or the foreign currency equivalent – to AUSTRAC. These reports are known as solicitor significant cash transaction reports (SCTRs) and should be made through AUSTRAC Online. You need an AUSTRAC account to make these reports.
Reporting obligations for solicitors
Any transaction of A$10,000 or more in physical currency is a significant cash transaction under the Financial Transaction Reports Act (FTR Act) and must be reported to AUSTRAC in a solicitor significant cash transaction report (SCTR). For example, you must report when:
- a client gives you A$10,000 or more in physical cash
- a solicitor acting on behalf of a client, pays A$10,000 or more in physical cash to you
You only have to report transactions to AUSTRAC if they involve cash – you don’t have to report electronic funds transfers.
This requirement to report to AUSTRAC applies to:
- solicitor corporations
- partnerships of solicitors.
It is an offence to make a transaction in a way that enables you to avoid reporting obligations.
Some solicitors provide designated services. If this is the case, you must report to us under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
- If the transaction involves foreign currency, you must report by the end of the day after the transaction took place.
- If all of the transaction was in Australian currency, you have until 15 days after the day the transaction took place to report.
Penalties for not reporting
- If you are convicted of refusing or failing to report a significant cash transaction to AUSTRAC you can face penalties of up to two years in prison.
- If you are convicted of knowingly giving incomplete information, you can face penalties of up to five years in prison.
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.