• Corporate Criminal Offences

Corporate Criminal Offences

What is CCO legislation?

The Corporate Criminal Offence (CCO) legislation means that if an “associated person” of a business criminally facilitates tax evasion, and the business is unable to demonstrate that it had reasonable procedures in place to prevent such facilitation, the business is guilty of a criminal offence.

An “Associated person” is defined widely and includes any person (individual or corporate) who represents (or provides a service for or on behalf of) the business - employees, contractors, agents, and in certain circumstances external suppliers.

The legislation is also broad in geographic scope, applying both to instances of UK and non-UK tax fraud and, in certain circumstances, both UK and non-UK corporates could be prosecuted. The consequences of a prosecution include unlimited fines, reputational damage and the likelihood of regulatory sanction.

We are increasingly seeing business disruption arising from non-compliance with the legislation – with CCO forming a part of transaction due diligence, new supplier take on and even the lending decisions of some financial institutions.  

CCO Experts to guide you

We are a market leader in supporting businesses in responding to CCO legislation. We have worked with over 250 clients from high-growth entrepreneurial businesses to large global, household names and multinationals across all industries. This includes leisure and hospitality, global engineering firms, the medical sector, media, construction, retail and financial services. Your business’s needs in regard to CCO will be unique but our significant experience means you will have assurance that you can demonstrate a defence to the legislation.

Our team are at the forefront of responding to the legislation. We were present at the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Economic Crime Strategic Board chaired by the Home Secretary and Chancellor as an accountancy representative alongside other senior representatives of the business community. We have also presented a number of times alongside senior HMRC stakeholders. You will benefit from our insight into and understanding of HMRC’s broader thinking.

Download our comprehensive guide to CCO and our services  

Your methodology for responding to CCO

We have developed and refined a methodology to give you assurance over your response to CCO. This has been formulated around the published HMRC Guidance and our direct conversations with HMRC. Our goal is to help you to;

  • identify and document your inherent and residual risk areas
  • identify and risk assess your “Associated Persons”
  • identify and involve stakeholders in the risk assessment process
  • adopt a pragmatic approach to compliance with the CCO legislation 
  • benchmark against leading organisations in your industry
  • develop a practical implementation plan
  • develop relevant and appropriate CCO policies and processes both internal and external
  • roll out training and communications for the right people within and outside the business
  • implement monitoring and review procedures to ensure you remain compliant

CCO Risk Assessment

To achieve these goals, we will work with you to undertake a risk assessment to determine the nature and extent of exposure to the risk of any “associated persons” engaging in activity to criminally facilitate tax evasion and identify those areas which are under close scrutiny by HMRC. We will facilitate workshops and discussion with relevant areas of your business such as legal, finance, HR and procurement.

CCO Implementation plan and resources – CCO Toolkit and eLearning

We will then work with you to develop a pragmatic implementation plan; a roadmap of prioritised actions to introduce and update your prevention procedures and processes. We will support this by providing CCO risk and policy templates. You can also use our tailored CCO e-learning module to deliver the required training

You will reach the end of the process with a CCO report evidencing your risk assessment and which will include a summary of key risk areas, recommended next steps and a CCO Risk Register.  All recommendations are tailored to update and enhance your existing control framework rather than reinventing the wheel.

Aimed primarily at lower risk SMEs, we can also provide our CCO Toolkit that has the tools you need to build your own CCO response.