UK Criminal Finances Act 2017 Commences with New Tax Evasion Offences, Anti-Money Laundering Rules, and Asset Forfeiture Provisions

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October 10 2017

On 30 September 2017, Part 3 of the UK Criminal Finances Act 2017 (the “CF Act”) came into force creating new corporate offences for failing to prevent the facilitation of UK or overseas tax evasion.1 Similar to the standard set forth for bribery in the UK Bribery Act 2010 (the “Bribery Act”), the new tax offences effectively impose strict liability on a company whose employees are found to have facilitated tax evasion, unless the company can show it had reasonable prevention procedures in place. At the same time, the law creates new measures, which are set to come into effect in the near future, aiming to tackle money laundering and corruption, facilitate the recovery of the proceeds of crime and terrorist financing and provide authorities with new investigative and recovery powers. It is the latest effort in a global trend among UK, US, and other international regulators to aggressively battle tax evasion, money laundering, and other financial crimes worldwide.