In order for the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) to wind up a company it must first deliver a creditors statutory demand which will provide details of the amount that is due, what your options are and when the amount must be paid by. Do not ignore this document. Instead, contact your accountant, legal or professional advisor who are aware of your circumstances and give independent advice so you can satisfy the requirements of the document.
If you choose to ignore a statutory demand the ATO will usually issue a creditors petition (“CP”). A CP is lodged on the website of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and advertised on insolvency notices (www.insolvencynotices.asic.gov.au). This site is public and the notice may be viewed by parties including your competitors, customers and bankers.
Be wary of any unsolicited calls from insolvency seeking to be appointed as external administrator or other firms claiming they can provide special assistance. If you need to seek professional help consult your legal advisor of a member of the Australian Reconstruction Insolvency & Turnaround Association (“ARITA”). ARITA members are bound by high standards imposed by that body.
Remember to keep on top of your taxation obligations, always lodge on time and if you fall behind ring the ATO to arrange a payment arrangement, talk to your professional advisors as it is in their interests to help you in these circumstances.