Referrals and tip-offs

Allegations of criminal conduct

What is a Referral?

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. 

You can also make an anonymous tip-off if you suspect:

  • fraud
  • misconduct
  • wrong-doing.

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.

How do I submit a referral?

You can submit a referral using our online form or by emailing us.

Provide as much information as you can about the alleged offence.

You may include supporting evidence or documents to help us investigate whether an offence has been made.

Online

Complete and submit the online form.

(Note: 20mb maximum for attachments)

Email

Download and complete the PDF form and email to fraud.enquiries [at] afsa.gov.au

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

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.

For more information about supporting documents see Referrals frequently asked questions.

Need more help?

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

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

Watch the video: Guidance video: Referring alleged offences

Tip-offs

If you suspect wrongdoing, criminal misconduct, dishonesty or fraud you can report it to AFSA in a confidential way. You do not have to provide your personal details.

Submit a tip-off using the online tip-off form.

Who can I report?

You can report a person, business or organisation involved in:

  • personal insolvency (such as bankruptcy, debt agreements or personal insolvency agreements)
  • the Personal Properties and Securities Register (PPSR).

Personal insolvency tip-offs

For a tip-off related to personal insolvency, you can report:

  • practitioners such as trustees or debt agreement administrators
  • people who are bankrupt or in an insolvency agreement
  • creditors
  • others.

PPSR tip-offs

For a tip-off related to the PPSR, you can report:

  • using PPSR data in a fraudulent matter for financial gain
  • inappropriate access and use of PPSR data
  • actions that may affect the integrity of the PPSR data.

Illegal Phoenix Activity

Illegal phoenix activity is where 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 the business community, 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.

How to report phoenix activity

If you suspect phoenix activity, you can report it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

More information about illegal phoenix activity is available on the ATO Website.

The taskforce takes all reports seriously. Due to privacy laws, we can’t inform you of the outcome of the information you provide, or provide updates on progress.