The future of the $100 banknote could be cut short as the Turnbull government tries to find billions for budget repair.
At the MYEFO next week the government is expected to announce a taskforce, headed by former KPMG global chairman Michael Andrew, to target the cash economy which accounts for 1.5% of GDP, or $21 billion, in money that goes untaxed.
As part of that the $100 note and a ban on cash payments over a certain limit could be axed.
“There’s nothing wrong with cash, the issue is when people don’t declare it,” said revenue and financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer.
“If we can get a percentage of that, it’s revenue owed to the Australian people.”
O’Dwyer said the taskforce will look to countries such as France, where the government is banning cash payments of over 1000 euros, and Sweden, where businesses that trade in cash are required to use a certified cash register that provides real-time information to the Swedish tax authorities.
Currently $50 notes and $100 notes represent 92% of the cash in circulation, according to Reserve Bank figures.
Last month Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, scrapped 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes from circulation, wiping out 86% of India’s currency overnight.
Last week Venezuela also demonetised its largest bank note, replacing it with the same value coin.