On 11th October, Kingsley Napley published an article asks – Do you remember the fallout from the Panama Papers? Do you remember HMRC’s response pledging to prosecute 100 wealthy individuals and corporates per year by 2020? Do you remember the new corporate offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion announced with much fanfare as part of the Criminal Finance Act 2017? The offence, which came into force on 30th September 2017, allows for the first time, a company or partnership to be prosecuted for failing to prevent its employees and other ‘associated persons’ (such as subcontractors or agents) from facilitating tax evasion in the UK and abroad. So, the article asks, how has HMRC done in holding corporates to account and prosecuting those businesses who have failed to prevent tax evasion? The answer, it seems, is that the response is or has been limited. The firm also approached HMRC directly to ask why there have been so few investigations and prosecutions.
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