Newsletter

Criminal Finances Act

The Criminal Finances Act 2017 took effect on 30 September 2017. It makes companies and partnerships, a 'relevant body', criminally liable if they fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion being carried out by an employee, anyone acting on their behalf or someone acting as an agent. If found guilty, the business could face unlimited fines and potentially further consequential sanctions within their industry or profession.

This Act has the effect of creating an offence at corporate and partnership level which does not require the directors/partners to have had any knowledge of the offence in question. Broadly, the offence is the failure to prevent the crimes of those who act for or on behalf of the corporate body or partnership instead of the need to attribute criminal acts to that body.

For a firm to be criminally liable under the new Act, there are three elements of the offence:

  • There must be the execution of a criminal act of tax evasion.
  • The crime must have been facilitated or carried out by a person associated with a relevant body.
  • The relevant body failed to initiate adequate prevention procedures in relation to the act carried out by the associated person.

A defence is available when it can be shown that 'reasonable prevention procedures' were in place to prevent the associated person from committing or facilitating the crime; or that it would have been unreasonable or disproportionate to expect such procedures to be in place.

The government advises that any reasonable prevention procedures should be based on six guiding principles:

  1. Risk assessment - the relevant body should assess the nature and extent of its exposure to the risk of an associated person committing a criminal act;
  2. Proportionality - the procedures should take into account the nature, scale and complexity of the relevant body's activities;
  3. Top level commitment - the management of the relevant body should be committed to preventing illegal acts and should foster a culture that tax evasion and its facilitation is never acceptable;
  4. Due Diligence - with appropriate procedures put in place with respect to all people who perform services for the relevant body;
  5. Communication - training staff and ensuring the message effectively gets across to all employees and agents;
  6. Monitoring and reviewing - ensuring that whatever procedures are put into place are regularly reviewed and updated and amended where necessary.

Please contact us if you require further information on this issue.

Internet link: GOV.UK Tackling tax evasion corporate-offence



Our other services...

Financial Accounts Financial Accounts

We can help with the preparation of accounts for all types of business. Whether you are a Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership or a Charity, AGP has the expertise to deal with you. We help you fulfil all your obligations with HMRC, Companies House and any other regulatory body that you are required to report to.

Audit Audit

An audit provides a high level of independent assurance of the financial position and results of an organisation. This gives shareholders confidence that the reported performance of the business is accurate as well as providing external users with certainty that the accounts show a true and fair view. An audit lends credence to the company accounts in a number of ways.

Tax Planning Tax Planning

It is important to ensure your tax planning reflects any changes to your circumstances which is why we work very closely with all our personal clients. AGP are trusted to manage tax efficiently. Sometimes just a simple review of your personal tax circumstances can reveal significant tax saving opportunities which can be realised quickly and at minimal cost..

Payroll Services Payroll Services

AGP can become your own part-time Payroll Manager. An expert who knows the complexity of the relevant legislation inside out and for a fraction of the cost of an internal manager. Why not outsource this obligation and spend the time saved doing what you do best, running your business?

Corporate Taxation Corporate Taxation

Corporation tax can be a huge outgoing for your company if it is not managed correctly and planned appropriately. You can trust AGP to employ a holistic approach to your tax planning whether you are a medium sized SME, an international organisation or a small owner-operator.

Management Accounts Management Accounts

Management accounts allow business owners to exert a far greater degree of control over their business, recognising and addressing problems and identifying opportunities soon after they arise.

Bookkeeping & VAT Bookkeeping & VAT

When running a business, priorities are often focused on the operational side of your business. Bookkeeping & administration can often be put off until it becomes quite a major task. By taking advantage of our bookkeeping service, we can take this problem away so you can get on with running your business while we manage your accounting books.

Company Formation Company Formation

We take away the hassle. Whether starting a new business or restructuring an existing one, our extensive knowledge of company formation means we can advise you on the merits and possible pitfalls of incorporation.

Contractor Accounts Contractor Accounts

We have a wealth of experience in the contractor market and as a result there are not many firms of Chartered Accountants that can claim they know the contractor industry as well as AGP. This leads to a number of benefits.