Freezing order: The ATO can freeze your assets and bank accounts
A freezing order is a court order which prevents you from accessing and dealing with your money or assets.
The ATO can get a freezing order against you if the ATO believes that there is an “unacceptable risk” to the ATO that you will dissipate your assets to avoid paying tax debts to the ATO.
If you are under a tax audit by the ATO or have a big tax debt with the ATO, you should get legal advice from King Lawyers so you can deal with the ATO properly and avoid legal action against you by the ATO.
If the ATO has frozen your assets, your matter is serious and urgent. Therefore, you should contact King Lawyers immediately and get legal advice.
A freezing order will have major consequences for a taxpayer
A freezing order is a drastic option that is available to the ATO and it can have significant consequences for a taxpayer. Therefore, a court issuing a freezing order must exercise a high degree of caution before taking steps that will interfere with a taxpayer’s capacity to deal with his or her own assets.
The ATO can freeze your bank accounts
If the ATO freezes your bank accounts, your bank will block your account immediately and you will not be able to see it or deal with it at all.
The ATO can freeze your properties
If you own residential or commercial properties in Australia, the ATO can get a freezing order for those properties and you will not be able to sell, transfer or otherwise deal with those assets.
The ATO can apply for a freezing order without any notice to you
Generally, most court applications made by the ATO for freezing orders are made without any notice to the taxpayer. The reason for this is to prevent the taxpayer from dealing with, or disposing of, his or her assets before the ATO gets the freezing order.
Onus of proof for freezing orders
If the ATO applies to the Federal Court for a freezing order against you, the onus of proof is on the ATO to establish that the freezing order should be made by the Court.
To be successful, the ATO will need to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) can also freeze your assets
If you are suspected of being involved in serious tax fraud and your assets are suspected of being proceeds of tax crime, the Australian Federal Police can get a court order to freeze your assets and stop you from dealing with your property.
Legal advice from King Lawyers on ATO tax matters
This article is offered as general information only and should not be relied on as specific legal advice on ATO tax audits, ATO tax debts or ATO freezing orders.
To get legal advice from King Lawyers on your specific circumstances, please contact us to arrange an initial consultation with our experienced tax lawyers.