Offence Referral

Allegations of criminal conduct

What is a referral?

Trustees have a duty under section 19(1)(h) of the Act to consider whether the bankrupt has committed an offence. Trustees also have a duty under section 19(1)(i) of the Act to refer matters where there is evidence an offence may have been committed. 

Registered debt agreement administrators have a duty under sections 185LA(1)(d) and 185LA(1)(e) of the Act to consider and refer evidence of an offence to the Inspector-General.

You can submit a referral if you believe an offence may have been committed against the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (the Act). 

For contraventions of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, please see the Report suspected misuse page on the PPSR website. 

If you suspect wrongdoing, misconduct, dishonesty, or fraud you can report it confidentially to AFSA. You do not have to provide your personal details. Submit a tip-off using the online tip-off form.

How do I submit a referral?

You can submit a referral using our online form.

When lodging an alleged offence, provide as much information as you can. You may include supporting evidence or documents to help us investigate whether an offence has been made.

What evidence or supporting documents do I need to provide?

Examples of information and evidence used to support referrals might include:

  • Statement of Affairs/Bankruptcy Form
  • correspondence with the alleged offender
  • proof of delivery/service of any relevant correspondence
  • financial or banking statements
  • proof of ownership

This evidence is required to determine whether an offence has occurred. Upon review, we will consider whether there is sufficient evidence to prove an offence to the criminal standard, beyond reasonable doubt.

We will review your referral and advise you of the outcome.

Illegal phoenix activity

Illegal phoenix activity occurs when a new company is created to continue the business of an existing company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying outstanding debts, including taxes, creditors, and employee entitlements.

This illegal activity impacts employees, contractors, and the wider community, including unpaid entitlements to employees and non-payment to suppliers.

We are a member of the Phoenix Taskforce – a network of government agencies who are working together to combat this illegal activity.

If you suspect phoenix activity, you can report it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by calling 1800 060 062 or read more about making a tip-off and information about illegal phoenix activity on the ATO website

Need more help?

For help with supporting documents or more information on how we investigate see Referrals frequently asked questions.

For detailed guidance about referring alleged offences see Inspector-General Practice Statement 14 – Referring offences against the Bankruptcy Act 1966 to the Inspector-General.

Watch the video: Guidance video: Referring alleged offences

Alternatively, visit our Contact Us page.