Liable or Not?

The Criminal Finances Act came into effect on the 30 September 2017.  It makes companies and partnerships criminally liable for the activities of any employee or subcontractor who facilitates tax evasion.  On the one hand there is no minimum for the tax evaded, and on the other hand no maximum for the fine that can be levied.  So, whilst this legislation might well be targeted at the big firms of accountants and lawyers, and their international clients, in theory taking home a box of paperclips without making a tax adjustment would seem to be caught.

Whilst businesses guilty of infringement will be liable whatever, the Act provides that putting in place appropriate procedures to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion will be a fair defence.

We therefore recommend that all clients with limited companies or partnerships go through the following processes.

  1. Assess the risk to your organisation
  2. Create appropriate policies and procedures
  3. Document the risks posed by staff, third parties and clients
  4. Make top level commitment clear
  5. Train staff as required
  6. Design follow up procedures
     

You can write and implement your own procedures or we can

  • provide a standard procedure for a one man band limited company free of charge
  • for larger companies we can help you design a customised procedure for your business, by phone and email, for a standard £100 plus VAT.
     

In spite of promises to cut red tape this is just one of a raft of legislation in the pipeline that will impact on even the smallest companies.  We will continue to keep you abreast of the important changes as they come in.

Yours 
Phil

ps:  if you are not a client and find this article interesting and fancy a chat please feel free to call me on 01603720424 or email phil@hornbeam-accountancy.co.uk