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Criminal Corporate Offence obligations for charity trustees

The Charity Commission News no 63 included important information regarding the obligations of Charity Trustees to prevent facilitating illegal tax evasion.

We have summarised the content here and urge Community members and trustees to become familiar with this content:

  • HMRC’s criminal offences for failing to prevent tax facilitation: what they are and what to do
  • HMRC is reminding companies and partnerships (including charities) that they can be criminally liable if they fail to prevent their staff or those that represent them from facilitating illegal tax evasion

The offence, which came into force in September 2017, does not substantially alter what is illegal tax evasion, but focuses on who is held accountable for enabling or allowing it.

Rather than try and attribute illegal tax evasion to an organisation, it focuses on the failure of that organisation to prevent those who work for, act for or on behalf of from committing criminal tax evasion.

HMRC has published information about this, including what organisations can do to build their internal procedures in light of the offences. The ‘corporate criminal offences’ can also be found in Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

HMRC has also launched a new dedicated self-reporting route for organisations that have failed to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. Find out how to self-report, and why it may be in an organisation’s interest on the Tell HMRC your organisation failed to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion page on GOV.UK. If you have any queries about preventing tax facilitation please contact HMRC.