- The U.K. Criminal Finances Act 2017 introduces new criminal offences where a company fails to prevent its “associated persons” from facilitating tax evasion by a third party.
- “Associated Persons” defined broadly as any person or entity that provides services “for or on behalf of” the company, can include a company’s employees, agents, intermediaries, subsidiaries, JV partners etc.
- The Act applies to the evasion of both U.K. and non‑U.K. tax and duties.
- The offences will apply to any company that is incorporated in the U.K. or is carrying on a business—or part of a business—in the U.K. It will also apply to companies that have no connection to the U.K. where their associated persons facilitate the evasion of U.K. tax or duty.
- The legislation will come into force on 30 September 2017.
- The legislation resembles the U.K. Bribery Act 2010 (“Bribery Act”) by (i) holding corporations liable for acts of their “associated persons” and (ii) having