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This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to the new corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion which applies from 30 September 2017.

Subscribers see Corporate Criminal Offence: failure to prevent tax evasion toolkit

At a glance

At a glance

As at February 2020 HMRC were investigating nine businesses using its corporate criminal offence powers with a further 21 possible investigations in the pipeline. There have not yet been any convictions however.

The offence of corporate failure to prevent criminal facilitation of tax evasion applies to:

It does not apply not to individuals, as they can be prosecuted under existing laws.

Circumstances:

If convicted a business will face an unlimited fine in respect of the acts of its employees.

In its defence the business may claim that:

How it works:

HMRC's guidance includes examples of what would constitute reasonable procedures to take to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. These include:

HMRC expect the business to:

Tax evasion includes offences of:

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has provided some specific examples of what might constitute the facilitation of evasion:

Self-reporting

As part of HMRC’s approach to dealing with this new offence, it has given details of how a company or partnership can ’self-report’ any acts of criminal facilitation that it has discovered.

The procedure involves the submitting of an online report to HMRC via the government gateway by an individual authorised by the company/partnership. Prior to February 2019 this was done by email. The report must contain the following:

More detailed information and links to follow to make a report can be found on HMRC's website.

Self-reporting does not guarantee that the company/partnership will not be prosecuted. It could do the following:

A submission reference will be issued once the report has been made and the report can be printed. HMRC may share the report with other agencies if they are legally permitted to do so.

Self-reporting offences related to foreign tax should be submitted to the Serious Fraud Office.


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