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To mitigate the risk of prosecution for the corporate criminal offence of the facilitation of tax evasion, the Council would have to prove that it had in place, reasonable prevention procedures. This would enable the Council to raise a defence.

HM Revenue and Customs have produced guidance to help the Council put in place preventative processes and procedures. The guidance contains six guiding principles:

  • Risk assessment
  • Proportionality of risk-based prevention procedures
  • Top level commitment
  • Due diligence
  • Communication (including training)
  • Monitor and review

Risk assessment

The Council adopts and is committed to a strong anti-fraud and anti-tax evasion culture. Members and Senior Officers should consider risks from the ‘Failure to prevent the facilitation of Tax Evasion’ within the established risk assessment procedures and add this to the Council’s risk register.

Proportionality of risk-based prevention procedures

Members and Senior Officers provide a high-level commitment to risk-based prevention procedures. The Council has governance and internal control procedures in place to meet the Council’s statutory requirements and duties. This Policy adds to the Council’s existing policies including the ‘Whistle Blowing Policy’ and ‘Counter Fraud & Corruption Policy’.

Top level commitment

This Policy has been approved by the Council’s Senior Leadership Team and the Council’s Audit committee.

Due Diligence

Reasonable care and caution is exercised when processing all transactions, particularly high value/ high risk area payments.

Communication and training

All staff, especially those involved in processing and approving financial transactions, will be made aware of this Policy. The Policy will be available on the Council’s website and the Council’s intranet. On-line training will be incorporated into the Council’s Fraud Awareness training. This training is mandatory for all staff. Further training will be developed for employees with the highest risk of exposure e.g., procurement, invoice processing, property transactions, BACS payments, payroll etc.

By the Council putting in place reasonable procedures that identifies and mitigates the risk of facilitating tax evasion, then prosecution is unlikely as it will be able to raise a defence.

Go to our Policy Statement