The UK’s Corporate Offence of Failure to Prevent Facilitation of Tax Evasion

On 30 September 2017, a new corporate offence came into force in the UK aimed at businesses that fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. The new rules do not change the scope of what constitutes tax evasion in the UK, but puts a requirement on businesses to put in place various preventative procedures. In this webinar, we will walk you through the new offence, the defences available to businesses and the prevention procedures that you should be putting in place. 

The new rules apply to incorporated companies and partnerships. If found guilty a business will:

  • receive a fine (there is no maximum fine specified in the legislation) paid out of the business’ assets; and
  • could be subject to an ancillary order (e.g. confiscation order if a profit was made due to the criminal activity).

The new offence will be committed where a business fails to prevent staff members from criminally facilitating tax evasion, regardless of whether the tax evaded is owed in the UK or in a foreign jurisdiction.

As the new offence is a strict liability offence, the onus is on the business to show it has put in place reasonable preventative procedures to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. The UK Government has issued Guidance that sets out six principles it considers should inform business’ prevention procedures, including:

  1. risk assessment;
  2. proportionality of risk-based prevention procedures;
  3. top level commitment;
  4. due diligence;
  5. communication (including training); and
  6. monitoring and review.

With the above in mind, we invite you to this webinar which will include a presentation on the UK’s new legislation and a wider discussion on the importance of ensuring businesses have a robust tax risk management strategy to address the various changes to international tax that we have seen over the past few years. 

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