New Director ID laws proposed

It is being proposed that all existing and future directors of registered corporations be required to apply for a permanent identification number which will keep track of their various directorships.   

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2019 proposes amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 making it compulsory for all newly appointed directors to apply for a unique Director Identification Number (DIN) within 28 days of becoming a director.  For existing directors, it is proposed that there will be transitional provisions giving a currently appointed director 15 months to apply for a DIN once the new requirement commences.  Those considering becoming a director within 12 months could also apply for a DIN.

With the current system, directors are only required to lodge their details with ASIC but there is no process in place to verify their identity. The new requirements will improve the traceability of a director’s relationship across all companies and allow the regulators to quickly investigate a director’s involvement in what may be repeated unlawful activity, in particular illegal phoenixing.

There will be civil and criminal penalties introduced for directors who do not have a DIN or that fail to apply for a DIN within the applicable timeframe.  A director also commits an offence if they knowingly apply for multiple DIN’s or misrepresent a DIN to a registered body or government agency.

Whilst the draft legislation was introduced to Parliament in February, experts recommend that companies prepare for its enactment.  We will keep you updated on its progress. 

Cove Legal provides legal advice on a wide range of commercial issues. We specialise in dispute work, but Principal Roger Blow’s 20+ years working in some of the largest commercial law firms allows us to address a wide range of client legal needs with fee structures that are tailored to the commercial issues being addressed.  Give us a no-obligation call to see if we can help.

 Roger Blow

P: +61 8 6381 0326 or e: roger@covelegal.com.au

This publication is not intended to provide and does not provide legal advice. You should seek professional legal advice relating to your specific situation(s) before taking any action based upon its contents.

Tax Litigation Update

At Cove Legal we are very active in the tax litigation space and two recent decisions particularly caught our eye.

Firstly in Arbuckle v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] WASC 7 Martin J dismissed Mr Arbuckle’s Appeal against the sentence imposed by the Magistrate’s Court.

The Court found that Mr Arbuckle’s long-standing failure to meet his tax obligations did warrant a 6- month suspended prison term. He was released on the undertaking to be of good behaviour for a period of two years.   

In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Huston said he needed to “send a message very clearly to Mr Arbuckle that he needs to be discouraged from engaging in this form of unlawful behaviour ever again.” 

“I also need to send a message to the broader community that the expectations in the legislation for lodging income tax returns and business activity statements is not something to fit in when life is convenient. They have to be prioritised because it’s a legislative requirement to do those things.” 

The second decision is Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Nore [2019] WADC 27 which saw the District Court dismiss an ATO summary judgment application against Mr Nore on the basis that there was sufficient uncertainties in the ATO’s case (despite the ATO claiming Mr Nore had no defence to the claim) to justify the matters being aired in court. 

Mr Nore had been issued with a Director Penalty Notice with respect to a company that failed to remit superannuation guarantee charges.  There are a number of steps a Director can take in order to avoid personal liability in that scenario. Some of those actions were undertaken by Mr Nore with the Court observing “In the circumstances … I am struggling to see what the defendant could have done.”

The two decisions perhaps sit at opposite ends of the true litigation scale: the Supreme Court showing a willingness to endorse custodial sentences for more serious personal tax omissions whilst the District Court is resisting the Commissioner’s attempts to rely upon his procedural/legislative advantages so as to prevent arguable defences from being properly considered by the Courts.  Both show that tax disputes can very much turn on their own particular facts and circumstances and require specialist guidance.

Roger Blow

P: +61 8 6381 0326 or e: roger@covelegal.com.au

 This publication is not intended to provide and does not provide legal advice. You should seek professional legal advice relating to your specific situation(s) before taking any action based upon its contents.

 

New Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code for 2019

Here is some important news for all our health care sector clients. 

The Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No.2) 2018 (the No. 2 Code 2018) came into effect on 1 January 2019, replacing the 2018 Code.

All advertisers of therapeutic goods need to be aware of their responsibilities under the Code to ensure that they advertise their products in a socially responsible manner.  Those advertisements must comply with the requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and the Code and there are strict penalties for those who do not comply. 

Some of the changes introduced include:

  • Streamlining and clarifying the general requirements for advertisements of therapeutic goods that have a health warning;

  • Clarifying the requirements for scientific or clinical claims and those relating to endorsements and testimonials;

  • Removing a requirement for an advertiser to be aware of all possible public health campaigns when preparing an advertisement.

It is important for all our health care sector clients to assess their existing advertising to ensure it complies with the new No.2 Code.

To read more on the changes and how they might affect your business see the attached summary released by the Department of Health. (https://www.tga.gov.au/summary-changes-therapeutic-goods-advertising-code-2018)

Cove Legal is experienced in helping our health care sector clients navigate through the highly regulated waters of that sector. If you are unsure about the application of the 2018 Code and whether your advertising is compliant call Selina Gates today.  

 Selina Gates

P: +61 8 6381 0326 or e: selina@covelegal.com.au

 

This publication is not intended to provide and does not provide legal advice. You should seek professional legal advice relating to your specific situation(s) before taking any action based upon its contents.

 

Corporate Battle of the Bands rocks on for 10 years

It’s time to rock the Corporate Battle of the Bands at the Charles Hotel on Saturday 16 February. 

Cove Legal’s Practice Director Roger Blow is the founder of the competition, which this year proudly celebrates its 10th anniversary. 

Cove’s band, CoveFefe, will be locking musical horns with bands sponsored by St John Ambulance, Lockton, Arup, Grain King and CIA Solutions.   

All money raised, including your ticket entry price, goes to two charities, Youth Focus and Cystic Fibrosis WA.  Youth Focus is a WA charity focused on combatting youth suicide and depression and helps young people every year across the State.  Each year Roger rides in support of Youth Focus as part of the ‘Ride for Youth’, a cycling fundraiser travelling from Albany to Perth.  More information on that charity can be found at www.youthfocus.com.au

These nights have a reputation for being great fun for both the bands and their supporters and we would love to see clients, colleagues and contacts there to support CoveFefe on the big night.  Your ticket entry price of just $35 available online at the link below or on the door, gets you a whole night of live music, a live DJ between performances and The Charles’ very reasonably priced bar selection.  Expect energetic performances, enthusiastic cheer squads and some questionable stage outfits!

For more info on the event check out the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/corporatebotb/

To buy tickets (bring friends!) click here: https://www.rideforyouth.com.au/2019/event/corporate-battle-of-the-bands1/