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ICAEW reminds members to consider corporate criminal offence rules

15 September 2020: After HMRC confirmed that it has 10 live corporate criminal offence (CCO) investigations, ICAEW is reminding members to ensure they are familiar with the legislation.

The CCO legislation, introduced in September 2017, can hold a corporate liable if it fails to take reasonable steps to prevent any associated person from facilitating tax fraud. No cases have come before the courts yet, but HMRC does have some live investigations.

The CCO can apply regardless of the size of business or the type of service provided, if there is a chance someone associated with the business could facilitate fraud through their actions.

HMRC has recently provided an update on its list of CCO cases. On 31 July 2020 it had:

  • 10 live CCO investigations, and
  • a further 22 opportunities under review.

HMRC confirmed that these cases covered 10 different business sectors, including financial services, oils, construction, labour provision and software development, and that they sit across all HMRC customer groups from small business through to some of the UK’s largest organisations.

To find out more about the CCO and how it might apply to your practice, read ICAEW’s guidance for members.