Recruitment agency owners now face greater financial scrutiny and risk as the latest phase of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA) comes in to force, according to contractor management solutions firm, 6CATS International.
As of this month (Monday 16th April), HMRC has been granted additional powers to seize valuable property in relation to cases of fraud. Officers now have increased authority surrounding the search for, and seizure of, cash – including gaming vouchers, fixed-value casino tokens and betting receipts. Officials have also been granted the ability to forfeit cash without first obtaining a court order.
Michelle Reilly, CEO of 6CATS International, commented on this latest phase of the Criminal Finances Act 2017:
“HMRC has sent a clear message with the introduction of the CFA: fraudulent behaviour will not be tolerated. This latest phase in the roll-out of this legislation provides officers with greater powers to investigate possible illegal activity. More importantly, it leaves wrong-doers with fewer places to hide. With the addition of greater abilities to search for and detain cash, contractors and recruiters who have attempted to go ‘offline’ in order to save on tax payments will soon find themselves facing the wrath of HMRC.
“The introduction of this latest phase is of particular concern when we factor in the level of unfamiliarity that’s prevalent across the recruitment industry. In a survey we carried out in conjunction with Camino Partners, we found that almost half – 43% – of recruitment firms are unaware of the impact the CFA could have on their business. As HMRC continues to clampdown on tax fraud, remaining unaware of the possible consequences is simply not an option.”