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FOI Release on the Number of Live Corporate Criminal Offences Investigations

3rd Apr 2024
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Tax evasion always was and still is illegal. However, following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act in 2017, companies and partnerships are now criminally liable of a Corporate Criminal Offence (CCO) if they fail to prevent an employee or anyone acting on their behalf from criminally facilitating tax evasion. If found guilty of the offence, the organisation will face an unlimited fine, in addition to potential severe reputational damage. It is therefore important that organisations put in place reasonable procedures to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.

HMRC has recently published the number of live CCO investigations through a Freedom of Information release.

Within this, HMRC confirmed that, as at 1 January 2024, there are 35 potential CCO cases ongoing - comprising 11 live CCO investigations and 24 live opportunities under review.  In addition, HMRC have reviewed and rejected an additional 94 opportunities.

HMRC state that: “these investigations and opportunities span 10 different business sectors and sit across all HMRC customer groups - sectors include software providers, labour provision, accountancy and legal services and transport”.

In addition, HMRC stress that case numbers will fluctuate as the normal criminal investigation progresses, with not all opportunities leading to investigations and not all investigations leading to a charge. HMRC also highlight that whilst some investigations have not established a CCO, other tax and regulatory offences have been found and are being pursued.

HMRC intend to provide updated information on the number of live CCO cases twice a year.

Source:

Number of live Corporate Criminal Offences investigations - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)