Our July edition of UK Tax Round Up highlighted that this new corporate offence will come into effect from 30 September 2017. Our Tax Talks blog sets out more detail about the offence. There is a statutory defence if the organisation in question had in place reasonable prevention measures or if there were reasonable grounds for not having such procedures in place. Under the statute, the government is obliged to prepare and publish guidance about such procedures. Regulations have been introduced which bring HMRC's final guidancepublished on 1 September, and which largely replicates the draft guidance issued in 2016, into operation on 30 September 2017.
Organisations that might be within the scope of the rules need either to have reasonable prevention procedures in place (or be able to show that it is reasonable not to have any prevention measures in place), or at least to have carried out a risk assessment and have a plan for how they will put reasonable prevention procedures in place by 30 September. Organisations should consult with advisers if they think that they might need assistance in this regard.