HMRC has released information that is currently conducting 13 Corporate Criminal Offences investigations on active criminal grounds, and is considering bringing charges in 3 other cases.
The Criminal Finances Act 2017 created the crime category of Corporate Criminal Offences (“CCO”). As of 30 September 2017, it has been a crime for companies to “fail to put in place reasonable procedures to prevent associated persons from criminally facilitating tax evasion”: whether in the UK or abroad. Companies (which in effect means their directors) could be criminally liable if they failed to prevent those who act on their behalf from facilitating tax evasion.
HM Revenue and Customs currently has 13 live CCO investigations (i.e. where they are actively working the case towards prosecution); 3 ongoing enquiries where no charging decision has been made yet; and has 18 potential new CCO cases under consideration. They cover 10 different business sectors: including financial services; software development; oils; construction; and labour providers: from small businesses to some of the country’s largest concerns.
There are potentially unlimited fines for organisations found guilty of the offences.
What does this mean for me?
If you are the director of a UK company you need to ensure that the culture of your business, and your risk management and due diligence procedures, are such to discourage and identify any such action by your staff and associates. If you do come under investigation by HMRC for this offence you need specialist help.
How can Lynam Tax Investigation Experts Help Me?
We have decades of extensive practical experience in managing tax fraud investigations. If you are under investigation by HMRC we can advise you on your best course of action. If appropriate, we will help you with any disclosure. If you are already under criminal investigation we can assist in the preparation of the defence case. We can help get the best possible outcome for you, your business and your family.
*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710