The nitrogen removal potential of phosphate accumulating organisms under anoxic conditions has been evaluated using a laboratory scale sequencing batch reactor fed with synthetic wastewater and operated in a sequence of anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic periods. The phosphate uptake rate under anoxic conditions was lower than that under aerobic conditions. However, in the presence of an external substrate such as glucose and acetate, the fate of phosphate was dependent on the substrate type; phosphate release occurred in the presence of nitrate as long as acetate was present and glucose did not cause any phosphate release. The nitrate uptake rate was also much lower with glucose than acetate. The results implied that poly-hydroxyalkanoates could be oxidized by nitrate and phosphate uptake during the anoxic phase should be introduced into process modeling.