A Phoenix Activity or also known as illegal Phoenix Activity is a when a company is basically created for the purpose of continuing the existing business of another company which has been liquidated just for avoidance of repayment of debts, tax evasion or avoid payment of dues to creditors and its employees.
There are generally a few warning signs that everyone must look out for. These indicate if something wrong is going on in a company. Here are a few:
- Any kind of payments that is supposed to be made to the employees is not being made or is being partially paid. This can include salaries, benefits related to retirement or superannuation or any other type of employee entitlements
- The quote for any service or product is significantly lower as compared to the market for the same item.
- The pay slip that the employee receives is not in the name of the company or has different amount than what is entered into the records.
- The management and staff of the company remains same but the company’s director name changes.
On detecting any of these signs, try to find out more about the company like where it is registered, how the business is done, what is the credit history of the company, who are its debtors and so on.
Australian Tax Office has many sophisticated tools that make use of data matching to help in locating any phoenix activity being done in particular are and also the operators of the activity. A special team named as Phoenix Taskforce has also been set up to keep a check on these phoenix activities. More than 20 states and federal governments are working together to target such activities and put an end to them. These activities are a source of direct loss to the governments that has a huge effect on the economy.
How to report an illegal phoenix activity:
In case you come across any phoenix activity being done or suspect a phoenix activity occurrence, then you can call on 1800 060 062. You can also go to the link: ato.gov.au/forms. Here a form is present by the name of ‘Tax evasion reporting form’. You can fill this and submit.
If you are an employee of a company and the company owes you entitlements (outstanding wages and superannuation)
Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman or call 13 13 94.
Contact the Australian Taxation Office or call 13 28 61.
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