Show download pdf controls
  • ATO protecting honest businesses from unfair competition

    Officers from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have visited sites linked to labour hire agencies supplying workers in the fruit industry in Queensland as part of the ATO’s efforts to protect honest businesses from unfair competition.

    The ATO’s action demonstrates our commitment to ensuring a level playing field for all businesses by tackling illegal phoenix activity, tax evasion and the operation of the black economy.

    ATO Assistant Commissioner Justin Untersteiner said labour hire businesses are a focus of the government’s efforts to deter and disrupt illegal phoenix behaviour and black economy operators.

    “The ATO follows up on all sources of intelligence and takes complaints and tip-offs seriously. The ATO seeks to protect and affirm the contribution of the majority of honest businesses within agricultural supply chains, while ensuring that workers who we believe are being exploited, receive their correct entitlements” Mr Untersteiner said.

    “Our action demonstrates the ATO’s commitment to protecting honest businesses, their employees and suppliers.”

    Businesses engaging in illegal phoenix activity cyclically create and liquidate companies in order to avoid paying taxes, creditors and employee entitlements. Illegal phoenix activity can occur in any industry or location. But it is prevalent in the labour hire industry, and is a major focus in our efforts to deter and disrupt illegal phoenix activity.

    Through the ATO-led Phoenix Taskforce we work closely with partner agencies including Queensland Labour Hire Licensing and AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance to identify, manage and monitor suspected illegal phoenix operators.

    The community can help us to deal effectively with those intentionally doing the wrong thing. We encourage you to report all known or suspect phoenix, tax evasion or black economy activity to our new Tax Integrity Centre by completing the tip-off form or by calling the Black Economy hotline on 1800 060 062. Reporting is strictly confidential and can be anonymous.

    Last modified: 04 Sep 2019QC 60051