Cayman Finance hosts seminar on new UK bill

Cayman Finance will host a seminar on Thursday, March 23, at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman to discuss the U.K.’s latest Criminal Finances Bill. A team from U.K. Revenue & Customs leading the legislation will be present to provide attendees with the opportunity to hear about the “important” bill firsthand, Cayman Finance said in a press release, reports Cayman Compass.

Together with new civil penalties introduced this year, the Criminal Finances Bill gives HM Revenue and Customs new powers to tackle the enablers of tax evasion. The bill, which was introduced to the House of Commons on Oct. 13, includes new corporate criminal offenses of failing to prevent the facilitation of U.K. and foreign tax evasion. These new offenses are expected to come into effect this year.

In a draft guidance to the bill, HMRC explained that because of decentralized decision making, it can be difficult to hold large multinational organizations to account when it comes to tax evasion.

The common law method of criminal attribution may have acted as an incentive for the most senior members of an organization to turn a blind eye to the criminal acts of its representatives in order to shield the relevant body from criminal liability, HMRC said.

“The cumulative effect was an environment that could do more to foster corporate monitoring and self-reporting of criminal activity related to facilitating tax evasion.”

Significant implications

If the bill is passed, the new law will have significant implications on the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction and on businesses in the local financial services industry, Cayman Finance said.

Jude Scott, Cayman Finance CEO, said it is important to establish a direct line of communication between Cayman’s financial services industry and those in the U.K. who are working to pass this legislation. “All stakeholders within the industry are encouraged to attend this seminar where attendees will hear directly from the U.K. officials providing the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification on the bill to better understand how it will affect the financial services industry,” Mr. Scott said.

Featured speakers will include Governor Helen Kilpatrick; Jennifer Haslett, U.K. HM Revenue & Customs, Corporate Crime and International Engagement; Jude Scott; and representatives from the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment.

The seminar will be from 1-5 p.m. Registration is complimentary for Cayman Finance members; US$200 for all others.

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