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Is anyone concerned about tax evasion?

As TEAM Members literally broaden their horizons by ‘joint-venturing’ with each other and with the NPAworldwide network to make contract placements outside their domestic markets, it is vital whoever is feted (not fated!) with your in-house management of compliance and contracts is being treated by your sales team as a “Business Saviour” rather than the traditional ‘sales preventer’.

Directly prompting this change of attitude are astute recruitment directors and shareholders who not only crave current business success but also desire an eventual clean exit from their enterprises. Unfortunately, some are still praying past and irremovable compliance skeletons remain undiscovered by future owners.

Indirectly prompting this fresh approach are governments and clients across the globe. Cross-border conduits are being established between tax offices home and abroad to help address tax evasion and money laundering practices – not only by corporations but also by individuals, including expatriate contractors. Those same tax offices are increasing the number of tax audits at client sites. These can and do expose ‘non-compliant’ placements and, in turn, place clients at risk from becoming involved in investigations and being accused of collusion. Clients are now more in tune with their local risks whilst genuinely presuming their chosen agency is abiding by their contractual obligations.

Thankfully, many TEAM Members are taking professional advice to check, for example, if their placements’ UK personal service companies remain safe and secure vehicles for operating assignments abroad. Sadly, this is not always the case when determining safe and secure international umbrella companies. Placements are still being exploited by a few unscrupulous umbrellas promising, but ultimately not delivering, fully-compliant tax solutions.

As we all know, HMRC (in line with many overseas tax offices) is no longer keeping recruiters and their clients out of the firing line. ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Accountability’ are the new watchwords for recruiters across the globe building solid and successful businesses. In-house compliance & contract managers are not scaremongering when they openly discuss reputational and probable financial risks to a recruiter’s business. Clients can and do invoke their contract clauses regarding a recruiter’s responsibilities for its placement’s non-compliance. Such cases are rarely in the public domain because they are either settled “out of court” or the client has another agenda stopping him from litigation.

All business entails some measure of risk. With regard to ‘placement compliance’, it is critical every recruiter fully appreciates the level of risk before firming a placement. Make that recognition integral to your business making process. It is all about understanding the risk and potential ramifications. This will best help you reap the high, financial rewards from making contractor placements – especially in overseas markets.

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