….(UPDATE to post – 1 April 2017: In an email on 24 March 2017, Adrian Brown, leader of ASIC’s Insolvency Practitioners Team, informed practitioners that following a consultation process ASIC has worked with Treasury “to develop an alternative option for the Minister’s consideration”. The alternative option includes halving the fixed annual levy to $2,500.)….
….(SECOND UPDATE to post – 10 May 2017: The proposed fixed annual levy is now $2500 – SEE MY NEW POST.
A refined proposal for a government levy on registered liquidators – intended to recover costs incurred by the ASIC in regulating them – has been released as part of a Treasury consultation paper titled Proposed Industry Funding Model for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – November 2016.
The proposal in brief
Each registered liquidator would pay a minimum, fixed annual levy of $5,000. On top of that the liquidator would be required to pay an activity-based levy – estimated to be $550 per appointment – for each external administration appointment in the financial year.
External administration appointments includes appointment as a controller, provisional liquidator, liquidator, voluntary administrator or administrator of a deed of company arrangement.
Special rules and adjustments are to apply where registered liquidators are appointed jointly and where an external administration appointment transitions from one type of external administration to another.
The paper states that there are 710 registered liquidators and the levies are aimed at recovering ASIC regulatory costs of $8.5 million.(Supporting attachment to the Government’s Proposals Paper, Table 8)
(More details of the proposal are supplied below, under the heading Extracts from the Consultation paper.)
What the liquidators’ professional association thinks
The Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA) opposes the proposed quantum of the levy. In a statement on its website on 9 November ARITA describes the ASIC user-pays funding model for registered liquidators as “highly controversial”. It says:
“ARITA remains strongly of the view that the quantum per practitioner is excessive in every respect and will cause significant harm to the structure of the profession, regardless of the methodology used” , adding that “the quantum is completely disproportionate to other similar profession’s fees”.
ARITA’s detailed analysis and critique of the proposal will be made in a submission to Treasury, due by December 16.
Passing on cost of the per-appointment part of the levy to clients
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