On 27.8.2018, the ATO announced on its website that ‘public examinations’ commenced, in the Federal Court, in relation to a group of entities connected to pre-insolvency advisor Philip Whiteman. The examinations will look at the suspected promotion and facilitation of phoenix activities and tax schemes.
Deputy Commissioner Will Day confirmed that more than 45 service providers, clients and employees of these advisors, and alleged ‘dummy directors’ of phoenix companies, will be examined. The ATO has funded court appointed liquidators, Pitcher Partners, to investigate the affairs and conduct of these entities before any further legal action by the Commonwealth is considered.
The ATO said that ‘According to our most recent estimate, illegal phoenix activity costs businesses, employees and the government up to $5.13 billion per year.’
The also said: ‘Our focus is on detecting those who promote and facilitate illegal phoenix behaviour, and disrupting those who willingly engage in phoenixing.’