HMRC have released additional data on the number of live cases being investigated and reviewed under the Corporate Criminal Offences (CCO) for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion legislation. It has 28 ongoing potential investigations, a slight drop from the 31 cases in October 2020.
There are two offences under the CCO rules, introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017 with effect from 30 September 2017.
- The facilitation of UK tax evasion.
- The facilitation of foreign tax evasion.
Organisations found guilty of the offences face potentially unlimited fines.
- A business may commit an offence under the rules when a person providing a service for or on its behalf criminally facilitates tax evasion and they did not have procedures in place to prevent it.
HMRC say that they do not have a numerical target but certain risks and sectors will be prioritised if they are identified as having more of an impact on changing people’s behaviour.
The last time data was released, in October 2020, HMRC reported 13 live cases with a further 18 opportunities under review.
As of 27 May 2021 HMRC report that:
- They currently have 14 live CCO investigations and a further 14 live opportunities are currently under review.
- To date, HMRC have reviewed and rejected 40 opportunities.
- The business sectors affected remain financial services, oils, construction, labour provision and software development.
- Around a third of the investigations and opportunities continue to lie within some of the UK’s largest organisations.
HMRC have said that they will update this information biannually.
Useful guides on this topic
Corporate Criminal Offence: failure to prevent tax evasion
A new corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion applies from 30 September 2017.
Corporate Criminal Offence: failure to prevent tax evasion toolkit
This is an interactive tool to determine whether there has been an offence committed under the Criminal Finances Act (2017) in respect of a corporate failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion.
Corporate Anti-Tax Evasion Policy Template
S.44 - s.52 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 lays out the corporate criminal offences of facilitating tax evasion. As part of the qualifying defence to such a charge, HMRC expects all corporate entities to have an Anti-Tax Evasion policy in place.
Source HMRC FOI release