VSCA highlights the importance of distinguishing between debt and damages in debt recovery claims

In the matter of Yang v Finder Earth Pty Ltd [2019] VSCA 22, the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal set aside a default judgement for recovery of an unpaid debt on the basis that the underlying claim was better characterised as one for damages. Ultimately, the case illustrates the importance of properly and clearly pleading read more »


Perth accountant sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for $250k tax fraud

A Perth accountant has been sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for tax fraud after he was convicted of both obtaining and attempting to obtain over $250,000 from his clients and the ATO. On 21 February 2019, the Perth District Court heard that during his time as an accountant at Finkelstein Hickmott between May 2016 and read more »


Full Federal Court clarifies tax obligations for Australian’s living and working abroad

When is a person living overseas no longer a resident for tax purposes?  A recent decision of the Full Federal Court provides an interesting perspective but will the Tax Office accept the determination or apply for special leave to appeal the High Court for reconsideration – Watch this space. In Harding v Commissioner of Taxation read more »


ASIC charges director and pre-insolvency advisers with dealing with proceeds of crime

Following an investigation into the affairs of Cap Coast Telecoms Pty Ltd, ASIC has charged a company director and two pre-insolvency advisers with dealing with proceeds of crime, alleging the trio were complicit in the removal of almost $750 000 in company funds. On 1 March 2019, the trio appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court read more »


Insolvency Rules construed by Court

Recently, in The Matter of 1st Fleet Pty Ltd (in liq) [2019] NSWSC 6, the New South Wales Supreme Court offered guidance on the scope and operation of the Insolvency Practice Schedule (Corporations) (IPSC), which provides rules on when creditors can request and are entitled to recover specified information and documents from external administrators. On read more »


Worried you’re trading insolvent? Here’s what to look out for

In 2003, the Victorian Supreme Court considered the case of ASIC v Plymin, Elliot & Harrison [2003] VSC 123, in which it was found that a number of companies had traded whilst insolvent. As a result, the associated directors were liable to compensate the creditors $1.4 million for debts incurred in the insolvent period. The read more »


Jail time for employers who fail to pay superannuation guarantees – A step too far?

On 12 February 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018 was passed in Parliament, introducing a number of laws designed to improve the integrity of the Superannuation Guarantee system and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding tax compliance. Of the changes, the most significant include new penalties for employers who fail read more »


FCA: Provisional liquidators appointed for companies failing to honour tax liabilities

In the recent decision of Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Ausmart Services Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 1912, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been successful in their application to have provisional liquidators appointed for eight labour hire businesses after they entered liquidation or were deregistered without paying their outstanding tax liabilities. Scott Shi was the read more »


HCA allows appeal in Chorley Exception case

In the matter of Bell Lawyers Pty Ltd v Pentelow & Anor [2018] HCATrans 264, the High Court has granted special leave to appeal an earlier decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court, after it held that the Chorley exception may extend to barristers. The case follows a lengthy legal battle between Sydney barrister read more »


Sydney property developer jailed for phoenix activity

In a recent decision of the New South Wales District Court, a Sydney business man was sentenced to six years in jail and ordered to pay $1.8 million in reparations, after he was convicted of tax fraud relating to illegal phoenix activity. On 25 January 2019, the court found that Benjamin Ensor had fraudulently lodged read more »