Anti-Facilitation of Tax Evasion
The Criminal Finances Act 2017 creates two offences relating to corporate facilitation of tax evasion:
- Tax evasion is the criminal offence of cheating the public revenue or fraudulently evading UK tax, via a deliberate action, or omission with dishonest intent.
- Foreign tax evasion is a deliberate action, or omission with dishonest intent, to evade tax in a foreign country, provided that conduct is an offence in that country and would be a criminal offence if committed in the UK.
What is the Facilitation of Tax Evasion?
- Tax evasion facilitation means being knowingly concerned in, or taking steps with a view to, the fraudulent evasion of tax (whether UK tax or tax in a foreign country) by another person, or aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of that offence. Tax evasion facilitation is a criminal offence, where it is done deliberately and dishonestly.
- Under the Criminal Finances Act 2017, a separate criminal offence is automatically committed by a corporate entity where the tax evasion is facilitated by a person acting in the capacity of an "associated person" to that body. For the offence to be made out, the associated person must deliberately and dishonestly aid, abet, counsel or procure the commission to facilitate the tax evasion by the taxpayer.
- Associated persons include employees, contractors, third party service providers, suppliers and other group companies.
- The company does not have to have deliberately or dishonestly facilitated the tax evasion itself; the fact that the associated person has done so creates the liability for the company.
Our Guiding Principles
- LF Europe has zero tolerance to tax evasion and the facilitation of tax evasion.
- LF Europe requires its employees to follow the law and to use the “LF Europe Anti-Facilitation of Tax Evasion Policy” to prevent tax evasion and the facilitation of tax evasion, either in the UK or overseas.
- LF Europe requires its employees to be alert to anyone asking them to act outside of normal processes where they are unclear as to the reasons. Where they suspect the reasons are to facilitate tax evasion, they are to notify LF Europe as outlined in the “LF Europe Anti-Facilitation of Tax Evasion Policy”.
- LF Europe requires associated persons to adhere to similarly robust guiding principles.