This is the Criminal Finances Policy of Umbrella Company UK.
The Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA 2017) came into effect from 30th September 2017. Part 3 of the CFA 2017 introduces a new Corporate Criminal Offence (CCO) of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.
Whilst it has always been a criminal offence to evade tax, and for anyone to help someone else evade tax, the new Act means that if a person ‘associated’ to Umbrella Company UK, anywhere in the world, is found to have assisted a third party in evading tax in the course of their duties, then Umbrella Company UK could be deemed to have committed a corporate offence.
A successful prosecution could lead to an unlimited fine and a criminal record with associated reputational damage. There is a defence of having reasonable prevention procedures in place.
The purpose of this policy is to set out the responsibilities of Umbrella Company UK and those working for these organisations, in regards to upholding their position on tax evasion or its facilitation.
- Policy Statement
Umbrella Company UK conduct their activities with integrity, transparency and fairness. They are committed to the prevention of the facilitation of tax evasion as they recognise the importance of fostering a positive culture of tax compliance and maintaining the confidence of staff, partner organisations, clients and the tax authorities.
Umbrella Company UK do not and will not knowingly work with others who do not share their commitment to preventing the facilitation of tax evasion.
Umbrella Company UK operates to the highest legal and ethical standards and will not tolerate acts of criminal facilitation of tax evasion by its associates. The purpose of this policy is to set out the responsibilities of Umbrella Company UK and of those working for them, whether as an officer, employee, worker, subcontractor, agent or in any other capacity.
This policy statement will be published on the Umbrella Company UK website as a public statement of our commitment to CFA principles and will be communicated to all staff.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to evade paying tax of any kind, and also to help anyone to do so. Any individual found to be guilty of this could be subject to criminal proceedings under existing legislation.
However, under the CFA 2017 in the event of there being both:
- Criminal tax evasion by either a UK or overseas taxpayer (as an individual or an entity) under existing law, and;
- Criminal facilitation of this offence by an ‘Associated Person’ of Umbrella Company UK…
…then the Umbrella Company UK will automatically be charged with the corporate offence of failing to prevent its representatives from committing the criminal act of facilitation unless it can demonstrate that it had ‘adequate’ or ‘reasonable’ procedures in place to prevent that facilitation. If found guilty, the typical consequences for Umbrella Company UK could be an unlimited fine, reputational damage and the potential disbarment from public/governmental contracts.
The scope of ‘Associated Persons’ includes Umbrella Company UK’s officers, employees, workers, agents, subcontractors and other people/organisations that provide services for, or on behalf of, Umbrella Company UK. The new Corporate Criminal Offence (CCO) relates to situations where the Umbrella Company UK fail to prevent ‘Associated Persons’ from assisting in the evasion of tax by another party.
- Roles and responsibilities
Staff and associates should abide at all times by Umbrella Company UK policies – including this CFA 2017 policy, the anti-bribery policy and related governance documents. Failure to comply with these policies and the obligations detailed therein may result in disciplinary action for staff (up to and including dismissal) and termination of contract for associated persons.
Should staff and associates become concerned that a fellow employee or associate is facilitating tax evasion by a third party, they should immediately alert their manager, the Head of Financial Control, or the Chief Financial Officer, or they may raise concerns under the Whistleblowing Policy.
The Head of Financial Control is responsible for information, training, reports and queries in relation to the CFA 2017.
- Risk Assessment
A risk assessment and register of possible risks in relation to the CFA 2017 is maintained that considers the relevant controls, processes and procedures that should be in place, and is intended to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to prevent tax evasion or its facilitation. The risk register will be periodically reviewed and updated by the Head of Financial Control.
Relevant members of Umbrella Company UK staff will be provided with training on the key aspects of CFA 2017, as set out in this policy, with suitable frequency, including at induction. For the purposes of Umbrella Company UK, this includes (but is not limited to) staff who work in the Finance Department (including Procurement), Sales, Operations, Compliance, Agency Sales and Marketing.
- Related policies/procedures
The Criminal Finances Act 2017 has parallels with the UK Bribery Act and this policy should be read in conjunction with Umbrella Company UK’s anti-bribery policy and related governance documents.