Author: JW / / Latest News
On 30th September 2017, HMRC released a press release concerning Tax Evasion. This coincided with the Criminal Finance Act 2017.
The press release concentrated on how the HMRC will take a firmer stance on Tax Evaders, or those who deliberately aid those to Evade Tax.
Previously only organisations were liable if the most senior members of the organisation were aware. This was usually the board of directors.
Now, however, corporations and partnerships are liable when they prevent their employees, agents or anyone who provides a service on their behalf from criminally facilitating tax evasion.
How is a Firm Liable?
The Criminal Financial Act 2017 outlines 3 stages how a firm can become liable.
Stage 1 – Criminal tax evasion by a tax payer
Stage 2 – Criminal Facilitation of the offence by a representative of the Firm. As defined by the accessories and abettors act 1861.
Stage 3 – Firm failed to prevent its representation from committing the criminal act outlined at Stage 2.
What Can I Do?
HMRC have produced a guide to explain the policy and is intended to help relevant bodies understand the types of processes and procedures to prevent criminally facilitating tax evasion. This can be found here.
You can self-report a company that is facilitating tax evasion if you so wish. HMRC have also created a guide for this. It can be found here: Self-Report a Company Guide . It is advised to see professional advice before filing a self-report.
What will happen to those who get caught?
The implications from not complying with the criminal finance act 2017 are severe. Using the guide in the link above will help prevent falling short. If a company is found not complying, HMRC will use the full range of both criminal and civil powers to investigate cases. There has a 90% success rate for all prosecutions undertaken by HMRC.
HMRC always look to recover any proceeds from any crime commited. In 2016/2017 the amount recovered from was £26 billion.
Read the guide above to make sure your policies comply with the Criminal Finance Act, and don’t fall fowl of facilitating tax evasions. Risk assess products, services, internal data systems and client’s data that could be used for facilitating tax evasions.
If you need any more advice, the gov.uk website has documents and articles to help. Alternatively, if you wish to speak to someone in our team, don’t hesitate to call us for advice.