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In a broadcast message to tax agents sent on 1 April 2011, the ATO advised that its cash sales benchmarks for the 2009 year, released in November 2010, have been withdrawn from use.

The cash sales benchmarks, covering 15 industries (see table below), are a part of the ATO's comprehensive suite of small business benchmarks across 107 industries that the ATO uses to identify and deter activities in the cash economy.

A review of the data used to calculate the cash sales benchmarks has identified inconsistencies in the way in which cash-outs paid by businesses to their customers were recorded. (An example of cash-out is when a customer requests additional cash when purchasing goods or services.) Accordingly, the ATO believes it is appropriate to withdraw the cash sales benchmarks at this stage.

The ATO is refreshing the data used to calculate these benchmarks and will release updated cash sales benchmarks for 2010 later this year.

The 15 industries covered

Beauty services

Fuel retailing

Meat retailing and butchers

Clothing retailing

Garden supplies retailing


Coffee shops

Grocery retailing and general stores

Pubs, taverns and bars




Fruit and vegetable retailing

Hardware and building supplies retailing

Takeaway food services



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