Q&As

What are the differences between the two proposed corporate offences involving the facilitation of tax evasion, who can commit the offences and what defences are going to be available?

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Produced in partnership with James Brockhurst of Gowling WLG
Published on LexisPSL on 28/04/2017

The following Corporate Crime Q&A produced in partnership with James Brockhurst of Gowling WLG provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What are the differences between the two proposed corporate offences involving the facilitation of tax evasion, who can commit the offences and what defences are going to be available?
  • The three steps
  • Differences between the two offences
  • Who can commit the offences?
  • What defences will be available?

What are the differences between the two proposed corporate offences involving the facilitation of tax evasion, who can commit the offences and what defences are going to be available?

Disclaimer

This Q&A is based on the draft Criminal Finances Bill (CFB) 2017 as at 23 April 2017, at which point it had not received Royal Assent. For information on the current stage of the Bill in Parliament, see Practice Note: Criminal Finances Act 2017—progress through Parliament [Archived]. Relevant Bill documents can be accessed via the Parliament website here.

The three steps

The two offences are (i) the domestic and (ii) the foreign tax evasion offences. Both offences have three steps that apply, which require that:

  1. there is tax evasion by a taxpayer

  2. the criminal facilitation of the tax evasion by an 'associated person' of the relevant body who is acting in that capacity. This requires deliberate intent to commit the offence—negligent or careless actions resulting in tax evasion will not be caught, and

  3. the relevant body failed to prevent its representative from committing the criminal facilitation act at step 2.

Differences between the two offences

Domestic OffenceForeign Offence
For the domestic offence it is irrelevant whether the relevant body is established in the UK or abroad. A foreign incorporated company can still commit the domestic offence. It is also irrelevant whether the associated person is

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