The following Corporate Crime practice note Produced in partnership with Rhys Meggy of QEB Hollis Whiteman provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note discusses the two ‘failure to prevent’ corporate criminal offences created by the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA 2017):
CFA 2017, s 45 creates the offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of a UK tax evasion offence(s) (UK tax evasion facilitation offence)
CFA 2017, s 46 creates the offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of a foreign tax evasion offence(s) (foreign tax evasion facilitation offence)
Both are strict liability offences, subject to a ‘reasonable procedures’ defence available to those who can prove that they have maintained reasonable procedures intended to prevent the facilitation of the underlying tax evasion offences. Further to providing some background, this Practice Note sets out the elements of the two offences as well as the defences created by CFA 2017.
Both offences came into force on 30 September 2017. Organisations falling within the scope of the offences should be able to show that they were developing and/or enhancing their reasonable prevention procedures in advance of the implementation of these offences.
UK prosecutors are likely to receive greater assistance from foreign investigators and prosecutors in respect of these offences, than had been the case in Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010) investigations. Foreign governments may will feel incentivised to co-operate with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or National Crime Agency (NCA) to prove foreign taxpayer evasion and its facilitation.
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