The Phoenix Taskforce was established in 2014. It comprises 32 Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies, including the ACIC, the ATO, ASIC, Department of Jobs and Small Business, and the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Phoenix Taskforce provides a whole-of-government approach to combatting illegal phoenix activity.
The Phoenix Taskforce has developed sophisticated data matching tools to identify, manage and monitor suspected illegal phoenix operators. The Phoenix Taskforce support businesses who want to do the right thing and will deal firmly with those who choose to engage in illegal phoenix behaviour.
Illegal phoenix activity is when a new company is created to continue the business of an existing company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying taxes, creditors and employee entitlements. This poses substantial risks to revenue, employee entitlements and the integrity of the corporate system. It imposes an unfair burden on honest Australians and businesses and it will not go untreated.
Phoenix Taskforce agencies continue to expand their programs targeting phoenix behaviour, including:
- an early intervention strategy—businesses exhibiting early phoenix behaviours are contacted with the aim of discouraging and deterring the owners from becoming repeat offenders, thereby treating non-compliance at an early stage
- a 'Top Phoenix Targets' program which focusses on the worst offenders—and their facilitators—to remove their profits and prosecute them to the full extent of the law
- working with government to inform legislative changes to stamp out this illegal behaviour.
The Phoenix Taskforce strategies will make illegal phoenix activity unviable in a financial sense and bring justice to those who persist with ripping off the community.
We are also involved in several joint initiatives, networks and coordination centres that support national and international collaboration to strengthen Australia's response to crime and criminal enterprise.