Synopsis: New corporate criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion will be introduced in the current parliamentary session as part of the Criminal Finances Bill.
The new corporate criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion will be introduced in the current parliamentary session as part of the Criminal Finances Bill.
The bill, which was announced in the Queen’s Speech, will also include tighter money laundering controls and civil powers to recover the alleged proceeds of crime.
The facilitation of tax evasion offence is currently the subject of a second consultation by HMRC and is open until 10 July.
The money laundering and confiscation measures to be included in the bill are expected to be based on the Home Office’s new anti-money laundering strategy which will require those who file suspicious activity reports to supply further customer information to law enforcement agencies.
A new confiscation measure may also allow the issue of ‘unexplained wealth orders’ requiring individuals to declare the source of their wealth or forfeit their assets where their answers are unsatisfactory, with an associated seizure power for law enforcement agencies.
While there are no details of the bill’s measures available as yet, the government’s view is that these changes will ‘cement the UK’s leading role in the fight against international corruption, crack down on money laundering and people profiting from crime, so that we root out corruption.
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