The Corporations Act continues to provide a broad scope of areas that the FEG Recovery Program is only too willing to explore and exploit to maximise the return to the program. Whenever assets are sold during an insolvency, insolvency practitioners should be highly conscious that FEG is watching and willing to enforce the provisions of the Corporation Act to maximise its return. Care should be taken and if necessary legal advice obtained to ensure that the obligations to FEG are taken into account ahead of any potential issue.
Trustees of discretionary trusts with real property in New South Wales are reminded to amend their trust deeds by 31 December 2020 to avoid foreign surcharge stamp duty and land tax.
COVID-19 has changed the social and professional landscape as we know it. Whilst the restrictions in place have certainly been ‘unprecedented’ from a social point of view, it has also been a challenging period for many businesses who have had to go through something they have not had to do before (and hopefully will not have to again). Although The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendments Bill 2020 was passed by the Senate on 1 September 2020 which extends the Government's wage subsidy program by 6 months to 28 March 2021, and despite the Government announcing on 7 September 2020 an extension to the Omnibus laws to 31 December 2020 insofar as they relate to bankruptcies and insolvencies (which we note is still required to pass both houses of Parliament), the relief programs cannot last forever.
On 12 June 2020, the Federal Government passed the latest in a series of Bills aimed at improving corporate governance and combating illegal phoenix activity, the Treasuries Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2019. Significantly, the Bill makes provision for a director identification number (DIN) regime aimed at curtailing abuses of companies’ separate legal personalities by increasing transparency about those who control them.