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ATO kills McGrath franchisee overnight … 

We’ve been researching the circumstances of a number of once successful real estate businesses which have recently gone into receivership, administration or closed.

One business, a McGrath franchisee with dozens of off the plan sales, a large rent roll and the backing of head office (seemingly), was killed by the ATO.

Another business, Castlecrag Realty Pty Ltd (receivers and managers appointed), trading as Stone Castlecrag is presently in receivership.  It is understood the owner was experiencing personal difficulties.

Our research, which we’d like to share with agents in competition, indicates some or all of each of these situations might have been avoided by more thoughtful structuring and asset protection arrangements.

The McGrath business was wound up, more or less overnight, by the ATO.

The Castlecrag business is seemingly in very real financial distress.

Business Asset Protection, applying the research these cases (and others) have uncovered, is offering free business structuring health checks for estate agencies – particularly in the current slow and falling market where finance is difficult to obtain, overheads are fixed and the present election cycles may be causing distress.

To arrange a free structuring health check call now on 1300-327123 or complete the below form.

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Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (i.e. the ATO) v GSFPA

(Work in progress, more details to follow on this page).

  • Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (i.e. the ATO) v GSFPA – this matter involved an alleged tax debt of sum $800,000+, a creditors statutory demand and Federal Court proceedings to set aside the demand.
  • We were ultimately successful in defeating the ATO based upon deficiencies in the method of service of the creditor’s statutory demand.
  • Such deficiencies are discussed generally in our blog – What to do when served?

Call anytime on 1300-327123 (till late) or complete the form below.

To view related blogs, case notes or otherwise, follow the following category links and tags below.

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It might seem like a question with an obvious answer, but what is a fixture? What is a fitting?  And, what is equipment?

We are presently working on a project where our client is claiming title to commercial equipment.  The equipment was placed in a function space which features elsewhere in our blogs – current projects & past projects.  The land has recently been sold by the mortgagee in possession.

In the last couple of days these questions have arisen:

  • what is a fixture?
  • who can have title to it?
  • can a person abandone title to goods? and,
  • what is required to secure title to the fixture/s?

In this instance the equipment is commercial kitchen equipment.


The purchaser from the mortgagee seems to be suggesting in correspondence that portable equipment is nevertheless a fixture.

The implied threat is to abandone the purchase from the mortgagee unless the secured lender, who owns the equipment, waives their title?

The answer to these questions is this. 



Typically a fixture is a chattel which is annexed to land in such a way that it becomes ‘part of’ the land and ceases to be the personal property of the person who attached it.

Have a think about your workspace.  What are some chattels and what are fixtures and what might be fittings.

Take the kitchen sink for instance.  It’s probably quite impractical to remove that.  It would perhaps rip off the tiles in the process.  But what about for instance shelving.  Sure the shelves are screwed into the wall, and so it might be argued that they become part of the land.  But do they cease to be personal property?  And why were the shelves put there in the first instance?

These are all relevant questions in considering what are fixtures and what aren’t.  

We may discuss fixtures in further detail as this dispute is worked through.  

If you have any thoughts or comments or questions, please feel free to direct message me at:  [email protected] – thank you.

14 August 2018