News & Updates

  • Recent criminal changes to the Director Penalty Notice Regime 26-06-2019

    The Director Penalty Notice (“DPN”) regime has been around for many years whereby the corporate veil can be lifted, and the directors of an organisation held personally liable for certain obligations to the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”).  For the most part, this meant PAYG Withholdings.  In more recent times, obligations for superannuation have been included in the DPN regime.  

  • Gaol Time for Delinquent Company Directors / PPSR Update 02-04-2019

    There have been a number of cases determined in the last 6 months regarding the conduct of company directors, which has ultimately resulted in those parties receiving custodial sentences.  In each of the scenarios, the investigations of the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) have found that the directors engaged in activity to falsely claim refunds for GST, and / or, failed to report and remit the GST and PAYG Withholdings to the ATO. 

  • When is a Guarantee Not a Guarantee? 28-11-2018

    A debtor who gives a guarantee, then becomes a bankrupt (or subject to a Part X Arrangement) can avoid their obligations under the guarantee post bankruptcy if they take certain steps.  If they fail to take those steps, the debtor may face liability pursuant to the guarantee for goods and services provided after the date of the bankruptcy, ie the guarantee is still on foot.

  • Illegal Phoenix Operations & Determining Right to Income 22-02-2018

    Phoenix companies “rise from the ashes” with a new corporate structure that derives its assets (usually without providing adequate compensation for same), and director(s) from an old entity, leaving behind the debts of the old entity and giving the new entity a “clean slate”.

  • New & Proposed Legislative Changes Mike Smith 14-11-2017

    Effective 19 September 2017, the Federal Government introduced changes to the Corporations Act, 2001 (Cth) (“the Act”) (Section 588GA) which are commonly referred to as the “Safe Harbour Reforms”.  The reforms apply to courses of action taken before, at, or after that date and to debts incurred on or after that date.

  • Voidable Property Transfer & Director Liability 03-08-2017

    A Federal Circuit Court decision highlights the attitude that the judiciary takes towards transfers of property that are perceived as being intended to frustrate or evade legitimate creditors, even many years down the track.

  • Welcome to New Partner and Reforms to Insolvency Law Mike Smith 01-05-2017

    We are delighted to announce the appointment of Robert Kite as a Partner of Smith Hancock. This exciting appointment realises our long-term objective to be a full service insolvency firm, as we now have the ability to accept formal and informal personal bankruptcy appointments.

  • ASIC Statistics and Enforcement 08-02-2017

    It’s the start of another calendar year, so how are Australian businesses faring? Here is a review of the latest statistics and observations made by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC") following review of statutory reports lodged by liquidators, receivers and voluntary administrators for the year ending 30 June 2016. 

  • Government Targets Foreign Investors with New Tax Legislation 26-09-2016

    What do Google, Uber and foreign owners of Australian investment properties have in common? There is a widespread perception that they are failing to pay appropriate levels of tax.

  • Dodgy Advisers – Watch Out! Peter Hillig 22-08-2016

    Australian Securities & Investments Commission (“ASIC”) is once again baring its watchdog teeth by taking steps to advise company directors who have been subjected to a winding up application about the risks of engaging untrustworthy advisers. In doing so, ASIC is writing to directors of companies subject to winding-up applications to advise of the risks of retaining dodgy advisers.

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