At Risk of Losing Your Personal Assets?

You Can be held Personally Liable for a Company Tax Debt.

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Demands and Notices

Certain notices can’t be ignored as they may result in a Director being personally liable for Company Debts.

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Director Penalty Notice

A director may be held personally liable for a Company tax debt. The ATO does this by issuing a Director Penalty Notice.

A Director Penalty Notice is:

Issued By The ATO

Can Make a Director Personally Liable

Exposes Personal Assets to Loss

Personal Assets may be lost

A Director Penalty Notice (DPN) is issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and can make a director personally liable for a Company tax debt.

Tax debts for which a director may be held personally liable include unpaid PAYG and unpaid superannuation guarantee payments. Currently a director cannot be held personally liable for unpaid Company Tax or GST.

What is a Director Penalty Notice?

A DPN is a recovery tool of the ATO that may result in a director losing the protection of a company structure. If that occurs, a directors’ personal assets will be exposed and potentially available to meet a Company’s tax debt.

When is a Director Penalty Notice issued?

A Director Penalty Notice is usually issued when a company is significantly behind in remitting tax or lodging its BAS returns, or following a long history of broken promises, failed repayment arrangements, or when the ATO has lost faith in the credibility of the director.

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How does a Director Penalty Notice work?

A Director Penalty Notice works in 2 distinct ways.

1. Where a Director Penalty Notice is, or is likely to be issued, and where BAS & Super returns are up to date, with all returns having been lodged within 3 months of the due date for lodgement, (even though there is an outstanding PAYG and super debt), a director will be allowed 21 days to comply with the notice to AVOID personal liability for the Company Tax Debt.

To comply with a Director Penalty Notice and avoid personal liability for a Company tax debt, a Director must, within 21 days of the date on the notice:

  • pay the debt
  • appoint a voluntary administrator
  • appoint a liquidator

If a director fails to comply, strictly within the 21 days, he/she will become personally liable for the unpaid taxes of the Company.

2. Where BAS & Super returns have been lodged more than 3 months after the due date for lodgement, a director is immediately personally liable for the company tax debts.

This means that if the company cannot pay, the ATO may pursue the director for the unpaid PAYG and super debt of the company.

Where no returns have been lodged, the ATO can undertake an audit or simply issue an estimated assessment of the debt and then issue a Director Penalty Notice based on that estimate.

See the two types of Notices

  • Director Penalty Notice where 21 days is allowed to avoid personal liability
  • Director Penalty Notice with no escape of personal liability


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All you need to do is call to obtain answers, options and solutions to the most difficult financial situations.

The Insolvency Experts will tell you exactly what you need to know – not what you may want to hear. By doing this, we empower you, through the provision of correct information, to make the best and most informed decisions about your finances in difficult circumstances.

The Insolvency Experts who you will speak with are licenced professionals with over 30 years specialist insolvency experience. We have helped thousands of people just like you in the most dire financial situations.

We have a proven track record of honesty and trustworthiness and seek to maintain the highest ethical and moral standards while providing you with sound, professional advice.

Call – an ASIC licenced expert will assess your financial situation and provide expert tailored advice.

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Solutions – including both informal and formal solutions. These may include Company liquidation or Administration.

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