The Criminal Finances Act 2017 introduced a new criminal offence applicable to companies and partnerships ("businesses"), which will be effective from 30 September 2017. For a corporate to be liable under the new offence all of the following stages must have taken place:
Scope of the offence
The scope of the offence is broad and businesses will be caught if employees or other persons who perform services for or on behalf of the corporate commit tax evasion, and this can include employees, agents or third party service providers such as a trustee or an advisor.
The geographical scope of the offence is deliberately broad and covers UK as well as overseas tax evasion.
If someone associated with an organisation has committed a criminal act of facilitation, the only defence for a business will be having reasonable procedures in place to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.