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 is a significant cash transaction under the Financial Transaction Reports Act (FTR Act). For example, you must report when:
- a client transfers A$10,000 or more in cash to you
- a solicitor acting on behalf of a client, transfers A$10,000 or more in cash to you
- someone transfers A$10,000 or more into your trust account.
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.
If you provide designated services as well as acting as a solicitor you must also report to us under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
International funds transfer instructions
You don’t have to report International Funds Transfer Instructions (IFTIs) under the FTR Act. However, you may have to report them to AUSTRAC under the 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.