Are You Complying With The Criminal Finances Act 2017?

  • Published: 19 March, 2018.

On the 30th September 2017, Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (the Act) came in to force.

Did you know that the Act creates two new corporate criminal offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion?

The only defence you as a firm has is to have reasonable prevention procedures in place.

Here are 10 steps that you can take to help you comply with the requirements under the Act:

  1. Prepare an Implementation and Communication Plan detailing the steps you intend to take to ensure compliance. These will range from having policies in place, training personnel, gaining management commitment and the like.
  2. Put in place a policy in accordance with the Criminal Finances Act.
  3. Have a firmwide risk assessment.
  4. Have a Suspicious Activity Report which personnel can use to record and report any suspicious activity
  5. Have a Suspicious Activity Report Register, so that you as a business can monitor the overall risk to the firm and scenarios that are of particular concern.
  6. Add a Statement of Compliance to your website showing the firm’s commitment to compliance with the Act.
  7. Review your Client Care documentation and reaffirm your zero tolerance approach to the facilitation of tax evasion.
  8. Review and update your matter risk assessments so that you can document and evidence your compliance with the Act, amongst other risks on a case by case basis.
  9. Train your personnel on the Act, its implications and compliance.
  10. Review the other policies and documentation you have that are impacted by the Act, including Whistleblowing, Outsourcing, Compliance Plans and Risk Registers.

There is a great Practice Note that has been issued by the Law Society that can help you too.

Breaking tasks down, understanding the requirements and having a firmwide approach to compliance can make new legislation like this less challenging. The important thing is to identify the steps you need to take. A step in the right direction is always better than taking no steps at all.

The above article was created and provided by:

Priya Anand Patel

Director, Assurance & Risk Legal Eye Tel: +44 (0)20 3051 2049 Visit Legal Eye's Website

If you would like to discuss compliance and risk solutions for your law firm, please contact Legal Eye using their contact details shown above.

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