HMRC has opened a consultation on a new offence aimed at businesses which fail to prevent tax evasion.
The consultation, entitled Tackling tax evasion: a new corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion, concerns draft legislation published last December, which would introduce a new offence for corporates that fail to take adequate measures to prevent those working on their behalf from committing, or helping to commit, tax evasion.
The planned offence will cover both UK and overseas tax evasion.
HMRC is of the view that current legislation places too high a burden of proof on prosecutors to be able to punish companies for tax evasion carried out by somebody who is working for them. The proposed legislation aims to overcome this by pushing more responsibility onto the board and encouraging internal checks and reporting.
The consultation will run until 10 July.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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