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Ashes to ashes ...the Phoenix no longer rises

Published on 01 Sep 12 by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE

The term “phoenix activity” describes the occurrence of a company accumulating debts and then being placed into voluntary administration or liquidation in order to avoid paying those debts. The controlling entities behind the business then form a new company through which the business re-emerges, debt-free. Measures have been introduced to enforce compliance with tax and superannuation obligations owed by entities that had engaged in phoenix activity. The measures are particularly aimed at the building and construction industry. However, many of the new measures will apply equally to all businesses.

The ATO has also introduced new tools to help businesses make the right decisions in meeting their tax and superannuation obligations. This article examines these new initiatives, with particular focus on changes to the director penalty regime, new reporting requirements in the building and construction industry, and other legislative changes, including changes to corporations law.

Author profiles

Arthur Athanasiou CTA
Photo of author, Arthur ATHANASIOU Arthur, a Partner at Thomson Geer Lawyers, has many years experience in complex tax litigation and tax audit negotiations and settlements. Arthur’s main area of practice is taxation advisory, with an emphasis on dispute resolution, particularly in the SME sector, with both the ATO and the SRO. He also has broad experience in the taxation of trusts and SME entities, with an emphasis on Div 7A and high-wealth individuals and family groups. Arthur has extensive experience in all areas of direct and indirect taxation and has qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He has also held senior taxation and management positions in the transport and motor vehicle industries, with specialist experience in logistics, supply chain, chain of responsibility and contract warehousing. Arthur is the President of The Tax Institute as well as a State Councillor, and also chairs the Law Institute’s Tax Law Advisory Committee. Arthur is an Accredited Tax Law Specialist and a widely published writer on taxation issues. He regularly appears in the mainstream media, and presents at tax seminars and discussion groups. Arthur has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide 2015 as a recommended tax lawyer in Victoria. - Current at 17 October 2017
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Mark Gioskos FTI
Mark specialises in tax advice, particularly in complex tax litigation and tax audit matters. He has extensive experience in negotiating and settling tax-related disputes, with an emphasis on achieving efficient and commercial outcomes for his clients. Mark regularly advises clients on various tax structuring and compliance issues in a range of areas, under both federal and state-based revenue laws. He also advises clients on various other legal issues, including financial and reporting obligations, and compliance with corporate and competition laws. Mark has been a member of The Tax Institute's Professional Development Committee in Victoria since February 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from La Trobe University, and is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne. - Current at 30 August 2017
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