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ASIC disqualifies director over ATO compliance failures

 ASIC has disqualified a construction company director over failures to comply with the ATO over related party transactions leading to multiple tax liabilities.

Tax&Compliance Reporter 11 February 2022
— 1 minute read

Christopher Hopkinson, of Calamvale, Queensland, has been disqualified from managing corporations for four years due to his involvement in four failed companies.

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Mr Hopkinson was a director of four companies that entered liquidation between 2016 and 2020. Enco Projects, Construction Industries Precast, and Enco Project Services were in the building and construction industry. Specialised Workforce Group provided labour hire to the related companies.

“ASIC found that Mr Hopkinson failed to ensure Enco Projects, Enco Project Services and Specialised Workforce Group complied with their Australian Taxation Office (ATO) obligations and allowed Enco Project Services to make payments to related parties avoiding its ATO liabilities,” ASIC stated.

“Mr Hopkinson gave an advantage to himself, related entities and his son to the detriment of the creditors of Enco Projects and Enco Project Services and failed to ensure Enco Projects and Enco Project Services correctly recorded the company’s financial position.

The regulator also found failures to ensure Specialised Workforce Group properly billed its commercial services to related parties resulting in insufficient funds to cover the company expenses and allowed Enco Projects and Enco Project Services to trade whilst insolvent.

The total amount owed to creditors across all four companies is estimated to be more than $1.982 million, of which approximately $825,911 is owed to the ATO.

In making its decision to disqualify Mr Hopkinson, ASIC relied on reports lodged by Geoffrey Davis and John Morgan of BCR Advisory for Enco Project Services and Enco Projects, and Chris Cook and Michael Griffin of Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants for Construction Industries Precast. 

ASIC assisted the liquidators in preparing the supplementary reports by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

Mr Hopkinson is disqualified from managing corporations until 19 January 2026.

Mr Hopkinson has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

ASIC disqualifies director over ATO compliance failures
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Tony Zhang

Tony Zhang

Tony Zhang is a journalist at Accountants Daily, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the accounting sector.

Since joining the Momentum Media team in 2020, Tony has written for a range of its publications including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and SMSF Adviser. He has been full-time on Accountants Daily since September 2021.

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