Corporate Criminal Offence (Tax Evasion)

Offences will be committed where a relevant body fails to prevent an associated person criminally facilitating the evasion of a tax, either owed in the UK or a foreign country.

Tackling tax evasion: Government guidance for the corporate offences of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion.

This guidance explains the policy behind the new offences and is intended to help relevant bodies understand the types of processes and procedures that can be put in place to prevent associated persons from criminally facilitating tax evasion. It will inform the conduct of a risk assessment and the creation of procedures proportionate to that risk. The guidance is designed to be of general application and is formulated around the following six guiding principles:

  • Risk assessment (assessing the nature and extent of exposure to the risk of an associated person criminally facilitating tax evasion offences – documented and kept under review)
  • Proportionality of risk-based prevention procedures (adopting reasonable procedures to prevent associated persons from criminally facilitating tax evasion, proportionate to the risk of associated persons committing tax evasion facilitation offences)
  • Top level commitment (senior management/partners should be committed to preventing associated persons from engaging in criminal facilitation of tax evasion, fostering a culture in which activity intended to facilitate tax evasion is never acceptable)
  • Due diligence (applying due diligence procedures, taking an appropriate and risk based approach, in order to mitigate identified risks)
  • Communication (including training) (ensuring that prevention policies and procedures are communicated, embedded and understood throughout the organisation, through internal and external communication, including training)
  • Monitoring and review (monitoring and reviewing preventative procedures, making improvements where necessary)

Protect your practice by:

Carrying out a risk assessment of the likelihood of tax evasion (VAT, NI, Income tax etc – see also  IR35 rules)

Developing a policy and procedure, including reporting procedures, for staff members

These should be well publicised and included as part of staff training and included in the staff handbook

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