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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

Specific deductions: crime (expenditure involving): criminal payments: Terrorism Act

S15(3) Terrorism Act 2000

The Terrorism Act 2000 provides various sanctions to stop terrorism and terrorist organisations getting financial support. Such support is often extorted from the donor by an explicit or implicit threat to the donor’s person, family or property. To constitute a criminal offence under the Act the payer must know or have reasonable cause to suspect that the payment will or may be used for the purposes of terrorism.

The Act makes the giving of any such financial support, whether or not extorted, a criminal act by the giver. Thus, for example, a payment for ’protection’ extorted by a terrorist group might qualify as a deduction under ordinary tax principles but is disallowed as a criminal payment.

Some taxpayers attribute cash discrepancies to such payments. When this contention is made any omitted sales etc receipts must be brought in and any claim for relief for the payments must be considered separately in the light of the requirement to disallow criminal payments.

Where the payer states that the threat was from a criminal organisation with no known terrorist affinity the payment may fall to be disallowed as blackmail (see BIM43160 and, particularly, BIM43175).