The number of live cases being investigated and reviewed under the Corporate Criminal Offences (CCO) regime for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion has remained stable since HMRC's last update.

As of 1 January 2023, HMRC reported nine live CCO investigations and a further 26 'live opportunities' are under review. To date, HMRC have reviewed and rejected 77 opportunities. Cases span 11 business sectors including software providers, labour provision, accountancy and legal services and transport.

In May 2022, HMRC reported seven live cases with a further 21 opportunities under review. This was half of the number of live cases a year earlier. 

There are two offences under the CCO rules, introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 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 when it does not have procedures to prevent a person or company that is providing services on its behalf from criminally facilitating tax evasion.

HMRC say that investigations are not the sole measure of success. The legislation was introduced to drive behavioural change and to cause organisations to put procedures in place that reduce the opportunity for facilitation to occur.

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.

External link

Source HMRC FOI release

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