Tax evasion facilitation case studies—law firms
Tax evasion facilitation case studies—law firms

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Tax evasion facilitation case studies—law firms
  • The failure-to-prevent facilitation of tax evasion offences
  • Questions and answers
  • If a client engages our firm on a matter involving a foreign jurisdiction and our retainer does not include advising on associated foreign tax issues, what obligation do we have to consider foreign tax matters?
  • What should we do if we are advising on a transaction and get sight of tax advice from an independent third-party adviser which we believe is incorrect? 
  • If the client brings an adviser with them to a meeting who the firm did not recommend or choose, does that adviser become an associated person?
  •  What due diligence is required on a foreign law firm?
  • Is the important issue to check on the foreign adviser’s credentials rather than their advice? 
  • How does legal professional privilege (LPP) apply to investigations into offences under the Act?
  • Case studies
  • More...

Tax evasion facilitation case studies—law firms

This Practice Note summarises case studies and Q&As provided by the Law Society in its Criminal Finances Act 2017 guidance in relation to the offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. It is intended for use by law firms. The Law Society’s Criminal Finances Act 2017 guidance was approved by the chancellor on 21 November 2018 but this approval does not extend to the questions and scenarios that accompany the guidance, which are summarised in this Practice Note.

The failure-to-prevent facilitation of tax evasion offences

There are two potential offences, depending on whether the tax evaded is owed in the UK or in a foreign country. Each offence has three core stages, all of which must exist for criminal liability to arise:

For more guidance, see Practice Note: Failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion—compliance issues—The offences.

There is only one defence, ie when the tax evasion facilitation offence was committed:

  1. your organisation had in place such prevention procedures as was reasonable in all the circumstances to expect, or

  2. it was not reasonable in all the circumstances for you to have any prevention procedures in place

For guidance on reasonable procedures, see Practice Note: Failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion—proportionate risk-based prevention procedures.

Questions and answers

The following questions have been posed by firms to the Law Society.

If a client engages our

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