The numbers speak for themselves in the war on tax evasion

War on tax evasion

11th October 2017

We’ve long stressed that authorities across the globe are increasing efforts in the war against tax evasion. But for anyone still under the illusion that they can get away with fraudulent behaviour, take a look at the numbers and we’re sure you’ll soon be dissuaded.

HMRC steps up prosecutions

With pressure mounting on HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to tackle fraudulent activity, tougher targets were set for the authority. In 2015 it was tasked with tripling the number of its investigations into ‘serious and complex’ tax crimes and calls for more of an emphasis on complex cases were made.

While the focus on high profile cases certainly increased following the leak of the Panama Papers last year, overall prosecution numbers have also risen. According to data released in response to a Freedom of Information request, in the three years to 2015 / 16, tax evasion cases lined up for prosecution doubled to 1,135.

At the beginning of this month HMRC also received data from 50 countries as part of the Common Reporting Standard, which will open up offshore accounts to the authority. We can certainly expect to see further investigations launched as a result of this transparency drive.

Firms facing scrutiny in war on tax evasion

One important take away in all this for recruitment firms is that according to information provider Thomson Reuters, those facing prosecution are increasingly businesses rather than individuals. This is certainly backed up by the introduction of the UK Criminal Finances Act 2017 at the beginning of this month which is likely to further add to the number of companies facing prosecution.

In essence, this new legislation means that businesses are liable should they fail to prevent ‘associated persons’ from facilitating tax evasion. This means that recruitment companies could find themselves prosecuted by HMRC for the acts of contractors and partners. Read our blog on the Act to find out the full details.

Don’t become part of the statistics

The data really does demonstrate just how tough authorities are getting in the war on tax evasion. For recruitment business owners, ensuring you don’t become part of these statistics should be a top priority. Why not speak to our team of experts today to find out how we can help you stay on the right side of the law.


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