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New Tax Offence

24 Oct 2017

Important information for staff regarding tax evasion

The University is carrying out a risk review to ensure that it is complying with new regulations being introduced by the Government to prevent tax evasion.

Tax evasion (deliberately misrepresenting the true position to reduce tax liability) is already an offence with which an individual or entity can be criminally liable. Aiding in a third party’s tax evasion, sometimes called facilitation, is also a crime. The University is committed to ensuring that it does not evade tax itself, nor assists others seeking to do so.

As of 30 September 2017, a new corporate offence of “failing to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion” came into force. This means the University could be criminally liable if (i) a third party has undertaken tax evasion, (ii) a University staff member (or other associated person) has aided the third party in that, and (iii) the University has not acted to prevent such facilitation.

The potential penalties that the University could face, if found to have failed in its obligations under this new law, include unlimited fines, confiscation orders and serious crime prevention orders. It would also be a major reputational issue, with likely disclosures to regulators.

It is therefore essential that our University can show it has in place “reasonable prevention procedures”, and that the facilitation has taken place in spite of these.

The risk review aims to identify potential areas where facilitation could arise, and the review will consider whether existing controls are “reasonable”. Where appropriate, new procedures will be introduced.

Colleagues may be asked to assist in this risk review, and may also be asked to introduce or adhere to new practices. If you need further information contact the appropriate person below (dependent upon the nature of the issue and/or the part of the University affected):

  • Directorate of Finance: Neil Turner, Laurence Clarke
  • Legal Counsel: Sam Bibby
  • Contracts: Lisa Murphy
  • Procurement: Simon Ross
  • Directorate of Compliance and Risk: David Barker
  • Directorate of Human Resources/Payroll: Michelle Bebbington
  • Faculty of Humanities: Nicola Smith
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering: Ian Rodd
  • Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health: Chris Trask
  • Library and Cultural Institutions: Neil Turner
  • Subsidiaries: Louise Bissell