ATO and Customs blamed as reseller folds

ATO and Customs blamed as reseller folds

Local PC manufacturer, Beam Computers and Peripherals, has gone into voluntary liquidation after an alleged dispute with Australian Taxation Office and Australian Customs Service (ACS) officials.

Liquidator, Peter Hillig, of Parramatta chartered accountants, Smith Hancock, estimated the Auburn-based company would be left $2 million in the red after the sale of realisable assets.

“The return [to creditors] depends on whether the realisable values are achieved,” he said. “I expect it will be less than 50 per cent.”

Hillig would not name Beam Computers and Peripherals’ creditors but said they were major computer suppliers.

“There are some significant amounts owing to individual suppliers,” he said. “The largest claim is for $650,000.”

Beam Computers and Peripherals, a 12-year-old business that assembled PCs and distributed components, claimed an annual turnover of about $12 million, and employed 12 people.

Co-owner, Vijay Gulani, said that his company had successfully exported Beam-branded PCs to Vietnam.

However, ATO and Customs officials had made inquiries into the practice.

Gulani alleged this caused “substantial and irreparable” damage to his company.

“It took seven months for the ATO and ACS to realise they had made an error,” he said. “Seven months is too long for the business to stay in limbo.”

Gulani said it was a complicated story and declined to explain further.

He claimed the company took the case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the ATO conceded.

Gulani said former customers should not have any problems getting product repaired as most would have warranties.

He has since opened a service department that will operate under a new, but yet-to-be-decided name.

Hillig said he was appointed liquidator on April 12 and was now busy working with Beam staff on the disposal of stock. The company was no longer trading. The liquidation process would take about a month.

He confirmed there had been a dispute between Beam and the ATO and Customs but declined to comment further as it might become a legal matter.

A spokesperson for the ATO declined to comment as the Taxatation Act prevented it from commenting on individual organisations.

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