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HMRC tax evasion policy tough on companies, says CIoT

The government is drawing up plans to punish businesses that fail in preventing their employees from engaging in tax evasion. A tax institute has criticised the plan, claiming that it is difficult to hold a business accountable for the actions of

one person.

John Cullinane, policy director for tax from the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s (CioT), made his views known on the Criminal Finances Bill, as confirmed in the recent Queen’s Speech.

Cullinane expressed Ciot’s concerns over the proposal and its clash with not dissimilar existing laws designed to crack down on tax evasion.

Cullinane said that if the government feels that there needs to be harsher criminal sanctions in this particular area, they should be introduced gradually to enable firms to become familiar with them and implement the necessary procedures to comply.

He added:

“The key to this whole issue is clearly drafted legislation, supported by guidance containing practical examples, so that companies understand the practical steps expected of them which will actually help combat tax evasion and money laundering – as well as enabling the compliant effectively to protest their innocence.”

It appears that it isn’t enough, in the midst of a crackdown on tax evasion, for businesses to ensure that their own books are clean. They are now to be held responsible for the actions of their employees. It would seem more important than ever for businesses to hire an accountant in the Wirral if they wish to abide by the increasing number of sanctions being imposed by the government.

Posted by Peter
June 3, 2016

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