Failure to Prevent Tax Evasion

Corporate Crime

Under one of the more recent legislative developments in respect of corporate crime, the Criminal Finances Act 2017 has established two criminal offences brought about as a result of failing to prevent the criminal facilitation of criminal tax evasion. The two offences are derived from tax evasion within the UK and foreign jurisdictions.

The legislation does not impact upon the criminal conduct of tax evasion. It simply seeks to target those who are held to account for failing to prevent the crimes of those who act for or on behalf of the corporation. These new offences extend the scope of those who could potentially be prosecuted if tax evasion was to occur.

Individuals cannot be prosecuted under this piece of legislation. It is therefore essential that corporate bodies implement procedures to prevent those providing services on its behalf from facilitating tax evasion. Failure to implement these procedures could result in corporate bodies facing criminal prosecution if tax evasion was facilitated.

Richardson Lissack have advised corporate bodies under this new piece of legislation including reviewing current procedures and providing recommendations and guidance for new procedures to safeguard and prevent the potential for any criminal prosecutions.

If you as a director, or your company, are being investigated in respect of failing to prevent tax evasion then please contact us for advice and assistance.

Additionally, if your company would like our lawyers at Richardson Lissack to review your current procedures and whether they are reasonable enough to prevent a potential future prosecution under this legislation, please contact us.

Our lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you and provide legal advice. Contact London 020 3753 5352 or Manchester 0161 834 7284. Alternatively you can email

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Ben Richardson
Head of Corporate & Financial Crime

020 3753 5352

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