Could you face an unlimited penalty for not putting the right procedures in place to prevent tax evasion in your business?

The Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into effect on 30th September 2017 which criminalises those corporations that allow associated persons (employees, subcontractors, agents or anyone working on their behalf) to facilitate tax evasion. The consequences include an unlimited fine, reputational damage, blocking from bidding on public contracts and removal of licenses. The only defence for those corporations is to have ‘reasonable’ procedures in place to prevent their associated persons from committing this crime of tax evasion facilitation.

All businesses therefore face the greater risk of being prosecuted due to the actions of a rogue, dishonest or easily led colleague that helps customers, suppliers or other staff, to evade tax. Some issues to consider are:

  • Have you considered and documented the risk your business faces?
  • Are you as the owner-manager setting the tone from the top?
  • Do you have clear reporting and whistle-blowing procedures?
  • Do your staff have contracts of employment?
  • What training do you give your staff?
  • What systems does your business currently have in place?

If you don’t have enough suitable prevention procedures in place then you need to take action now. A4G have vast experience and knowledge of systems development for all types of businesses, so please speak to one of our advisers to find out what we can do for you.

This new legislation is of course particularly relevant to accountants and tax advisers and as always we will continue to work with our clients to assist with structuring tax affairs in the most efficient manner, within the law. We also help to ensure that our clients’ affairs are kept in order, with an emphasis on forward planning and proactive advice.

Increasing amounts of legislation and the looming implementation of ‘Making Tax Digital’ means that retrospective action is almost impossible and those disorganised businesses will be the first to suffer. More than ever it is crucial to have accurate bookkeepingmeaningful management accounts and completed dividend documentation.

If you would like to know more about this offence or how A4G can help you prepare for this legislation, please get in contact with us today.