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Corporate failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion becomes a criminal offence

Makbool Javaid

Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into force on 30 September 2017 with S.45(1) creating the offence of corporate failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. A relevant body commits the offence where a person acting in the capacity of a person associated with it criminally facilitates another’s offence of tax evasion, i.e. being knowingly concerned in, or taking steps with a view to, the tax evasion of another, as well as aiding and abetting another person’s offence of tax evasion. An employer can raise a defence where it can show it has reasonable prevention procedures in place. HMRC have issued guidance (still in draft) and employers may wish to considers having relevant clauses in contracts and the staff handbook, as well as an anti-tax evasion policy.

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