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Company Debts and Personal Liability

 

Whilst a company gives some limited liability protection, this may not apply for PAYG and superannuation.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has the power to make directors and associates personally liable for unpaid PAYG and unpaid superannuation contributions.

Director penalty notices can be issued when an obligation has not been met by the company.

Whilst it may have been possible to prevent personal liability by placing the company in administration, this defence has ceased to be available since 1 July 2012.  A limited protection would exist if the all obligations were notified within 30 days of them coming due and the company is placed in liquidation voluntarily within 3 months.  (i.e. without any prompting by the ATO).

The revenue protection policy by the Australian Taxation Office today is tougher than some years ago, with greater powers, greater use of garnishee action and even to taking security before registering an entity for PAYG withholding.

If directors expect the protection of limited liability, they need to be diligent and prompt and obtain immediate advice should they experience cash flow delays in meeting obligations promptly.



17th-February-2013