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In a recent survey carried out by Ipsos Mori, only a quarter of businesses questioned had heard of the Criminal Finances Act 2017. Perhaps even more concerning, is that only 20% of those who were aware had gone on to make changes to their businesses as a result.

What is the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA 2017)?

Under the CFA 2017, a company can be prosecuted for failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion committed by persons associated with the company (“the Corporate Criminal Offences (CCO)”). In other words, a company could be prosecuted even if it was unaware that someone acting on its behalf was criminally facilitating the tax evasion of a third party.

In such circumstances, unless it can be shown that “reasonable prevention procedures” are in place, a company will be found guilty and face potentially unlimited fines and ancillary orders along with significant reputational damage.

Overview of the Corporate Criminal Offences