Anti-Tax Evasion Policy

In light of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, the M&J Evans group of companies has adopted a statement of our corporate policy on anti-tax evasion. 

It is our policy to conduct all of our business dealings in an honest and ethical manner.  The policy statement governs all our business dealings and the conduct of all persons or organisations who are appointed to act on our behalf.

We request all our employees and all who have, or seek to have, a business relationship with the M&J Evans group of companies, to familiarise themselves with our anti-tax evasion policy and to act at all times in a way which is consistent with our anti-tax evasion policy.

ANTI-TAX EVASION VALUE STATEMENT

The M&J Evans group of companies (the “Group”) has a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of tax evasion, whether under UK law or under the law of any foreign country.

Employees and Associates of the Group must not undertake any transactions which:

  • cause the Group to commit a tax evasion offence; or
  • facilitate a tax evasion offence by a third party who is not an associate of the Group.

We are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter tax evasion facilitation.

At all times, business should be conducted in a manner such that the opportunity for, and incidence of, tax evasion is prevented.

WHO MUST COMPLY WITH THIS POLICY?

This policy applies to all persons working for the Group or any subsidiary company within the Group or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, officers and Associates (as defined below), including but not limited to agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners, sponsors or any other person associated with us, wherever located.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS POLICY?

The Board of Directors of the Group has overall responsibility for ensuring that this policy complies with our legal obligations, and our employees and associates comply with it.   This policy is adopted by the Group.  It may be varied or withdrawn at any time, at the Directors’ absolute discretion.   Employees in leadership positions are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy and are given adequate and regular training on it.

WHAT IS THE FACILITATION OF TAX EVASION?

Associates includes Group contractors or an agent of the Group (other than a contractor) who is acting in the capacity of an agent, or any person who performs services for and on behalf of the Group who is acting in the capacity of a person or business performing such services.

Tax Evasion means an offence of cheating the public revenue or fraudulently evading UK tax, and is a criminal offence.  The offence requires an element of fraud, which means there must be deliberate action, or omission with dishonest intent.

Tax Evasion Facilitation means being knowingly concerned in, or taking steps with a view to, the fraudulent evasion of tax (whether UK tax or tax in a foreign country) by another person, or aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of that offence.  Tax evasion facilitation is a criminal offence, where it is done deliberately and dishonestly.

Tax evasion is not the same as tax avoidance or tax planning.  Tax evasion involves deliberate and dishonest conduct.  Tax avoidance is not illegal and involves taking steps, within the law, to minimise tax payable (or maximise tax reliefs).

Tax means all forms of UK taxation, including but not limited to corporation tax, income tax, value added tax, stamp duty, national insurance contributions and includes duty and any other form of taxation (however described).

Examples of tax evasion can include (but are not limited to):

  • Under-reporting income; or
  • Inflating expenses or allowances; or
  • Hiding money or not declaring assets; or
  • Hiding profits in offshore accounts; or
  • Not submitting a tax return.

Indicators of tax evasion can include (but are not limited to):

  • Sounds too good to be true; or
  • Pay in the form of loans that are not expected to be paid back; or
  • High benefits which are disproportionate; or
  • Money is moved around in circles; or
  • Anything unusual about the way an associate or third party is conducting their relationship with the Group; or
  • Anything unusual about the associate’s or third parties conduct or behaviour in your dealings with them; or
  • Any unusual payment methods; or
  • A reluctance to provide applicable documentation on request.

GROUP RESPONSIBILITIES

The Group has completed a risk assessment and is developing procedures governing certain transactions designed to prevent specific areas of possible tax evasion. 

The Group is responsible for offering employees appropriate training to understand tax evasion, and actions to take to prevent tax evasion. 

WHAT TEAM MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES MUST DO

Employees and Associates must at all times adhere to the M&J Evans group of companies’ anti-tax evasion policy statement and must ensure that they read, understand and comply with this policy.

WHAT TEAM MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES MUST NOT DO

  • Engage in any form of facilitating Tax Evasion; or
  • Aid, abet, counsel or procure the commission of a Tax Evasion offence by another person; or
  • Fail to promptly report any request or demand from any third party to facilitate the fraudulent Evasion of Tax by another person, in accordance with this policy; or
  • Engage in any other activity that might lead to a breach of this policy; or
  • Threaten or retaliate against another individual who has refused to commit a Tax Evasion offence or who has raised concerns under this policy.

PREVENTION THROUGH VIGILANCE

There is not an exhaustive list of Tax Evasion opportunities.  At a more general level, the best defence against Tax Evasion and facilitation of Tax Evasion remains the vigilance of our employees and Associates and the adoption of a common-sense approach supported by our clear whistleblowing procedure. 

HOW TO RAISE A CONCERN

Our employees have a responsibility to take reasonable action to prevent harm to the M&J Evans group of companies and we hold our employees accountable for their actions and omissions.  Any actions that breach the Criminal Finances Act and the tax laws of wherever we operate brings harm to the M&J Evans group of companies and will not be tolerated.

You are responsible for properly following the M&J Evans group of companies’ policies and procedures.  These should generally ensure that all taxes are properly paid.  If you are ever asked by anyone either inside or outside our Group to go outside our standard procedures, this should be reported without delay, as someone may be attempting to evade tax.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE EMPLOYEE PREFERS NOT TO REPORT THEIR SUSPICIONS?

This should never happen.  If there is any suspicion of tax evasion whether actual or intended, the Group Directors are at risk of being criminally prosecuted, subjected to a large fine and be publicly named and shamed.

 

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