Preventing tax evasion policy


2.1 The Criminal Finance Act 2017, which became law in the summer of 2017, sets out how those organisations categorised as ‘relevant bodies’ under the Act will be considered criminally liable where they fail to prevent those who act for, or on their behalf from criminally facilitating tax evasion.

2.2 The Act introduced new offences that will be committed where a relevant body fails to prevent an associated person criminally facilitating the evasion of a tax, and this will be the case whether the tax evaded is owed in the UK or in a foreign country.

2.3 Organisations, including Councils, could be liable to severe penalties if they fail to implement adequate procedures to prevent tax evasion.

2.4 On 1 September 2018 Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) issued guidance for relevant bodies formulated around the following six guiding principles:

  • Risk assessment;
  • Proportionality of risk-based prevention procedures;
  • Top level commitment;
  • Due diligence;
  • Communication (including training); and
  • Monitoring and reviewing