The ATO is investigating claims of a major tax fraud in the construction industry. 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reportedly investigating a suspected $180 million tax fraud involving Dalma Form Specialist, a prominent formwork contractor in the construction sector. 

This case, potentially the largest in Australian corporate history, centres around allegations against the company and its director, Igor Cikes, for orchestrating a tax evasion scheme through a network of 30 companies over 15 years.

Voluntary administrators from Jones Partners, Bruce Gleeson and Daniel Soire, appointed to oversee the affairs of the now-collapsed New South Wales-based company, disclosed the ATO's concerns. 

“The ATO informed us that their investigations suggest that the company may be part of a group of over 30 companies over the past 15 years that have allegedly operated in a way to defraud the ATO of $150 million in unpaid taxes,” they reported. 

The investigation further implicates Igor Cikes as the possible “controlling mind” behind the elaborate scheme.

The investigation follows a history of alleged underpricing by Dalma, which competitors claim has submitted bids 15 to 20 per cent lower than others for major projects like the $476 million Victoria Cross Station development in North Sydney. 

The inquiry into Dalma's practices adds to a growing list of tax fraud investigations within the construction industry, including the cases of Titan Cranes and the Queensland-based contractor led by Gerhard “Hoss” Heinrich.

The ATO's efforts to unravel this alleged fraud have led to the funding of Helm Advisory liquidator Stephen Hathway to take control of the investigation into Dalma and its associated entities. 

Despite complexities, including previous administrations and the involvement of shadow directors, the focus remains on uncovering the full extent of the purported tax evasion.

The ATO has not commented on the ongoing investigation, maintaining its policy on confidentiality during such processes.