News

The UK facilitating tax evasion offence – 14 live Corporate Criminal investigations

28/05/2021

The new criminally facilitating tax evasion offences came into effect on 30 September 2017.   And HMRC has 28 potential CCO cases underway.

As of 27 May 2021:

  • HMRC currently has 14 live CCO investigations.
    • No charging decisions as yet
  • A further 14 live opportunities are currently under review.
    • To date, we have reviewed and rejected an additional 40 opportunities

These investigations and opportunities span X10 different business sectors, including:

  1. Financial services,
  2. Oils,
  3. Construction,
  4. Labour provision and
  5. Software development

The investigations and opportunities sit across all HMRC customer groups, with approximately a third covering some of the UK’s most prominent organisations.

The number and spread of investigations demonstrate that HMRC is actively enforcing the legislation across all tax and duty regimes and organisations of all shapes and sizes.

Background

  1. At the March 2015 Budget, the government announced that it would make it a crime for corporations to fail to have reasonable procedures to prevent associated persons from criminally facilitating tax evasion.
  2. The intention being that relevant bodies should be criminally liable where they fail to prevent those who act for, or on their behalf from, criminally facilitating tax evasion.
  3. The Corporate Criminal Offences (CCO) for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion were introduced by Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Information released

  1. With potentially unlimited fines for organisations found guilty of the offences, organisations must take their responsibilities seriously and put in place reasonable procedures to stop the facilitation of tax evasion.
  2. This is not about simply increasing the number of corporate prosecutions but changing industry practice and attitudes towards risk, encouraging organisations to do more to prevent tax crime from happening in the first place.
  3. HMRC does not have a numerical target for these offences but will prioritise risks and sectors that will have the most impact on changing behaviour.
  4. The new offences came into effect on 30 September 2017 and apply to organisations that failed to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion from that date.
  5. HMRC has 28 potential CCO cases underway; see below for further details.
  6. Results will be made public as and when it is appropriate to do so.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/number-of-live-corporate-criminal-offences-investigations/number-of-live-corporate-criminal-offences-investigations

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