The new law is now in force. It makes firms criminally liable for the acts of their employees if they help clients to evade tax. To be safe firms must be able to prove that they had reasonable prevention measures in place.
Hence firms need to carry out a risk assessment, draw up a tax evasion policy, and give staff training to make clear what is not acceptable. Socrates provides all firms need to comply swiftly and effectively.
Meanwhile HMRC figures show that prosecutions for tax offences are already rising. The Revenue started prosecutions against 1,135 individuals for tax offences in 2015-16, easily beating the target of 1,000.
David Sleight, a partner at law firm Kingsley Napley comments “HMRC will be desperate to demonstrate that the new legislation has teeth and will be looking for unsuspecting scalps.”