TupperS Law

Financial Crime Policy

This policy applies to all directors, employees, consultants and other people or bodies associated with TupperS Law. It describes the procedures, systems and controls designed to support compliance with the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA 2017).

We are committed to providing services to the highest ethical standards and in accordance with our regulatory and legal obligations. Compliance with the CFA 2017, and our commitment to avoiding the facilitation of tax evasion, is one aspect of this.

The facilitation of tax evasion is a serious criminal offence. You are likely to find yourself in breach of the CFA 2017 and also subject to regulatory scrutiny. You could also expose the firm to legal and regulatory liability.

Our expectation is that you will resist any temptation to engage in any activity that facilitates tax evasion and that you will report any improper activities by others. It is a criminal offence to facilitate tax evasion. Offences carry individual criminal liability and there are corporate offences carrying unlimited fines for firms.

Criminal Finances Act 2017

The CFA 2017 creates a criminal offence for any entity that fails to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion by associated persons.

  • The offence of tax evasion will be committed where an associated person:
  • Is knowingly concerned in, or takes steps with a view to, the fraudulent evasion of tax by another person; or
  • Aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of a UK tax evasion offence by another person; or
  • Is involved in the commission of an offence consisting of being knowingly concerned in, or taking steps with a view to, the fraudulent evasion of tax.

There are three stages to the offence:

  1. The criminal evasion of UK tax, i.e. the underlying tax evasion offence
  2. The criminal facilitation of this offence by an associated person to the firm
  3. The firm failing to prevent the associated person from committing that facilitation

An associated person is defined as a person who is an employee of the firm who is acting in the capacity of an employee (including members/partners and consultants), an agent of the firm who is acting in their capacity as an agent, or any other person who performs services for and on behalf of the firm who is acting in the capacity of a person performing such services.

Those who act as an agent may be experts, such as counsel, that we instruct. Most if not all such parties will be regulated persons themselves and will be subject to both their own regulators’ requirements and the CFA 2017 and therefore, we consider these associated persons as being low risk.

However, if you are instructing a non-regulated person to provide a service which may cause them to be regarded as associated persons, and they are providing advice which may include tax advice, you need to consider whether we should ask questions concerning their own anti-tax evasion policy.

Foreign Tax Evasion

We must also consider foreign tax evasion offences. This means evading tax in a foreign country provided that the conduct is an offence in that country and would be a criminal offence if committed in the UK.

What constitutes the facilitation of Tax Evasion?

Tax evasion is fraudulent activity.

It is different from tax avoidance or mitigation, which is the lawful minimisation of tax liability. It is also different from honest errors in tax affairs, even where such errors amount to an offence.

Fraudulent activity is intended to divert funds from the public revenue thereby constituting the common law offence of cheating the public revenue. In addition, there are statutory offences of fraudulently evading various taxes. It is not necessary that any tax liability is successfully evaded.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of opportunities which might arise to facilitate tax evasion:

  • Delivering a misleading or inaccurate bill which enables a client to evade tax. For example, billing a company for work actually done for its directors or shareholders in order to assist clients to claim a tax deduction to which they are not entitled. This is a VAT fraud
  • Assisting in creating corporate or trust structures designed to conceal an individual’s taxable income or assets
  • Helping a client to put forward financial information which you know to be false. This is likely to trigger a number of offences possibly including conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and tax evasion offences

Individual Responsibilities

You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy. You are required to avoid any activity that might trigger, or suggest, a breach of this policy.

In addition, you are expected to be open and report any concerns about any issue or suspicion about questionable behaviour and, if any doubt, seek guidance.

If anyone outside the firm suggests anything which might be regarded as tax evasion, you must report it.     

Issues and concerns must be raised in a timely manner with Stephen Tupper, Managing Director.

TupperS Law Limited
12 February 2024