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  • Tax crime

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    Illegal phoenix activity

    Illegal phoenix activity is when a new company is created to continue the business of a company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying its debts, including taxes, creditors and employee entitlements. This illegal phoenix activity impacts the business community, employees, contractors, the government and environment. Illegal phoenix activity costs the Australian community between $2.85 billion and $3.15 billion each year.

    We target illegal phoenix activity as part of the Phoenix Taskforce, which involves over 30 Federal, State and Territory government agencies, including Australian Securities & Investments Commission, the Department of Employment and the Fair Work Ombudsman. The taskforce provides a whole-of-government approach to combatting illegal phoenix activity.

    We have developed sophisticated data matching tools to identify, manage and monitor suspected illegal phoenix operators. We support businesses who want to do the right thing and will deal firmly with those who choose to engage in illegal phoenix behaviour.

    See also:

    Refund fraud, identity crime and organised crime

    Tax crime affects the whole community by reducing the revenue that is used to fund essential community services. Those people who try to evade or cheat the tax and super system will get caught and we will prosecute them accordingly. We will not tolerate this behaviour.

    We take all forms of tax crime seriously and we are constantly increasing our ability to tackle it. We partner with domestic and international intelligence, and regulatory and law enforcement agencies, to disrupt perpetrators of serious financial crime and bring them to account. Our focus is on activities involving refund fraud, identity crime and organised crime and those who enable them.

    As part of our fight against tax crime, we are a member of a number of taskforces, including the:

    • Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5)
    • Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT)
    • Illicit Tobacco Taskforce (ITTF).

    Support our community by making a confidential report about tax evasion or crime at ato.gov.au/reportaconcern or by phoning 1800 060 062.

    See also:

    Find out about other areas that attract our attention:

    Last modified: 03 Apr 2019QC 58475