DON’T DO IT. “Why not?”, you ask. Read on ….
Do you know about the Criminal Finances Act 2017? Probably not – 76% of UK businesses are unaware of the new measures. Maybe you think it doesn’t affect you because you are very honest and have absolutely no intention of defrauding anyone. Don’t be fooled – if you run a business you need to know what the implications for you could be.
The new law will make businesses liable of criminal acts committed by employees who encourage or assist tax evasion by other individuals eg customers and suppliers. Businesses will be liable even in cases where senior management were either uninvolved or unaware of the acts. They apply to UK and non-UK businesses.
So if anyone in the business encourages “cash in hand” transactions which mean a lower rate either to your business or their business, then you will be caught by the act. It will result in a criminal prosecution and in many cases such action could ruin a business. Other more complicated transactions with the purpose of evading tax will also be caught by this legislation.
This means as a business owner you not only have to ensure your business is run properly, you have to be aware of the actions of your staff. You cannot hide behind the defence of ignorance and anything illegal, worst case scenario could destroy your business and send you to prison.