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The corporate criminal offences: two years on

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Two years after the introduction of the corporate offences of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion, awareness and preventative action continues to be low. All companies are within scope, regardless of their size or sector and potentially face unlimited financial penalties, so it would be prudent to ensure reasonable prevention procedures are in place. Many businesses appear to have been slow to act, perhaps because the legislation does not specify a deadline or filing requirement; the lack of clarity within the business over where responsibility rests; uncertainty over how best to engage advisers; or over-confidence that they are low risk. However, it may be that some businesses are overestimating the work involved. HMRC expects businesses to take reasonable prevention procedures that are proportionate to the risk, so the steps expected need not be unduly burdensome.

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