On 29 July the ATO said that six search warrants were executed yesterday (Thurs 28 July 2016) as part of a cross-agency investigation into alleged illegal ‘phoenix’ activity on the Gold Coast. The operation stems from the work of the members of the multi-agency Phoenix Taskforce who are collaborating to help stamp out illegal phoenix activity.

The searches (under the warrants) were led by the ATO, with Australian Federal Police assistance, and were part of a criminal investigation into unpaid superannuation; employee withholding; GST; and income tax.

“This firm response forms part of our ongoing joint agency investigations into illegal phoenix activity, where a company deliberately liquidates to avoid paying creditors, taxes and employee entitlements. The perpetrators transfer the assets to a new entity, and continue operating the same or a similar business with the same ownership,” ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston said. He also observed that phoenix activity costs the Australian economy around $3.2 Billion each year.

[ATO website] [LTN 145, 29/7/16]