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Corporate Criminal Offence
The Criminal Finance Act 2017 came into force in September 2017 and introduced two new ‘corporate criminal offences’, enabling the easier prosecution of businesses which fail to prevent the facilitation of UK or overseas tax evasion. There are strict financial penalties for getting it wrong and the risk of reputational damage.
Now that the legislation has been in place for a year, charities should review the work done so far and ensure that compliance remains on the risk management agenda.
This legislation applied to all companies and businesses and therefore also captures charities that are incorporated, those limited by guarantee, Royal Charter, charitable incorporated organisations and community interest companies.
The only defence against the CCO rules is to demonstrate that the organisation has reasonable procedures in place to prevent facilitation. The six guiding principles which should underpin any defence are:
- Risk Assessment
- Proportionate Procedures
- Top level leadership
- Due diligence
- Training and communication
- Monitoring and review