Tax Fraud Investigations
HMRC has confirmed it is investigating 153 suspected ‘enablers of tax evasion’, including both regulated and unregulated tax advisers.
Cracking down on ‘enablers of tax evasion’ has been a key area of focus for HMRC since it established its Fraud Investigation Service in 2015. Continue reading “HMRC probes 153 people suspected of aiding tax evasion”
New Service – Customer Verification Biometric Facial Recognition
Under COVID-19 social distancing rules, many prospective clients are no longer able to present their documents in person, while sending them through the post brings a whole new set of issues. With continuing restrictions on personal in place to stop the spread of coronavirus means firms that rely on paper-based ID checks are facing huge business disruption.
Not only is it now almost impossible to get to a post office under the new rules, but sending physical documents also risks contamination. And with so many people now working from home, there is the added risk associated with sending sensitive personal data to the home addresses of staff. Continue reading “Customer Verification Biometric Facial Recognition”
Money Laundering (Amendment) Regulations 2019
On 10 January 2020 changes to the Government’s Money Laundering Regulations came into force. They update the UK’s AML regime to incorporate international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and to transpose the EU’s 5th Money Laundering Directive. Specific changes to the regulations that may affect your business include the following categories:
New Obliged Entities
- regulation 11(d) provides an expanded definition of what a tax adviser is, which means anyone who provides support with tax matters will now come under the definition of an accountancy service provider.
- regulation 13 (3) to (7) defines letting agency businesses.
- regulation 14 defines what an art market participant is and what a ‘work of art’ is.
Compliance under MLRs
- regulation 19 means that businesses need to carry out a money laundering risk assessment of new products, business practices, or technologies before they implement them.
- regulation 20 sets out requirements in respect of business group-wide policies on the sharing of information about customers, customer accounts, and transactions for money laundering/terrorist financing purposes.
- regulation 24 agents of money service business principals who are delivering the regulated business must receive relevant training from their principals.
- regulation 26 (7)(b) sets out requirements to ensure individuals convicted of relevant offences do not act in key roles in regulated firms.
- regulation 27 requires art market participants to apply customer due diligence measures on all transactions of 10,000 euros or more regardless of payment method.
Customer due diligence
- regulation 27 sets out requirements for relevant persons to apply customer due diligence measures where there is a legal duty under the relevant international tax compliance regulations, or a duty to review information relevant to the risk assessment or beneficial ownership of the customer.
- regulation 28 sets out requirements for measures to be taken to understand the ownership and control structure of persons, trusts and companies as a customer, and to verify the identity of senior managing officials responsible for managing corporate bodies, particularly when the beneficial owner cannot be identified.
- regulation 28 sets out circumstances in which information may be regarded as being reliable and independent of the person providing it where it has been obtained by means of an electronic identification process.
Reporting discrepancies to Companies House
- regulation 30(a) sets out a requirement to check trust and company beneficial ownership registers before establishing a business relationship, and to report any discrepancies found to Companies House.
- regulation 33 sets out requirements to apply enhanced due diligence, explains what a ‘relevant person’ is, and what ‘being established’ means.
- regulation 33 extends the factors a responsible person must consider when assessing the risk of money laundering to include whether the customer is third country national applying for residency rights in an EEA state.
- regulation 33 extends ‘risky’ products to include oil, arms, precious metals and tobacco.
E-money thresholds for customer due diligence (CDD)
- regulation 38 reduces the threshold for which low risk electronic money products can be exempt from customer due diligence from 250 euros to 150 euros.
Registration with HMRC
regulation 56 explains that money service business and trust or company service businesses who apply to register from 10 January 2020 will not be able to carry out relevant activity until they are registered with HMRC
Fifth Money Laundering Directive
This latest directive revisits certain areas of the Fourth Directive to further strengthen transparency and counter-terrorist provisions. The requirements of 5MLD must come into effect through national law by 10 January 2020 in line with Article 4 of the 5MLD.
The Fifth Directive introduces a number of elements to strengthen the UK Regime;
- New obliged entities
- Electronic money
- Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
- Obliged entities: beneficial ownership requirements
- Enhanced Due Diligence
- Politically Exposed Persons
- Mechanisms to report discrepancies in beneficial ownership information
- Trust Registration service
- National register of bank account ownership
- Reporting by Treasury
- Pooled client accounts Continue reading “Implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive”
Fifth Money Laundering Directive
The consultation invites comments, evidence and views from stakeholders. Responses to this consultation will then be used to inform final government decisions on transposition. The government intends that the new provisions will come into force in national law by 10 January 2020, in line with Article 4 of 5MLD. Continue reading “Government Consultation of fifth Money laundering Directive”
In the budget speech the Chancellor announced further measures to tackle professional enablers of tax avoidance and evasion.
The government is investing a further £155 million in additional resources and new technology for HMRC. This investment is forecast to help bring in £2.3 billion of additional tax revenues by allowing HMRC to tackle tax leakage through avoidance and evasion.
In particular, the resource is earmarked for further tackling those who are engaging in marketed tax avoidance schemes, enhancing efforts to tackle the enablers of tax fraud and hold intermediaries accountable for the services they provide using the corporate criminal offence and increasing HMRC’s ability to tackle non-compliance among mid-size businesses and wealthy individuals.
People with Significant Control (Amendment) Regulations 2017
The Government enacted the legislation necessary to implement changes required by the Fourth Money Laundering Directive to the UK regime for the disclosure of people with significant control (PSCs). Two sets of amending regulations were made at the last minute, both of which came into force on 26 June 2017.
- the Information about People with Significant Control (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/693); and
- the Scottish Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/694).
Both sets of regulations were laid before Parliament on 23 June, just three days before they came into force. Continue reading “People with Significant Control (Amendment) Regulations 2017”
Changes to PSC registers Transitional Arrangements
Under the transitional arrangements set out in the Schedule to the 2017 Regulations, the obligation in s. 790VA to notify changes to Companies House applies to a change to a company’s PSC register made before, on or after 26 June 2016 unless the company has already notified the change in a confirmation statement. Any change to the PSC register made before 26 June 2017 that is notifiable under this rule, must be notified to Companies House before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with 26 June 2017. Continue reading “Changes to PSC registers Transitional Arrangements”
SmartSearch is Ready for the 2017 Anti-Money Laundering regulations
Access to the SmartSearch Platform through Business Tax Centre is on a ‘pay as you have used basis’ with no formal contractual amount payable, pay for your usage only.
The unique SmartSearch Anti Money Laundering verification platform is enabling regulated businesses to comply with the latest 2017 Anti Money Laundering (AML) Regulations and fulfil their AML, Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance obligations. With no requirement for clients to provide identity documents, the SmartSearch is much more convenient and cost effective for both your firm and your clients.
Full details of our searches can be found on our money laundering compliance website
The unique platform brings together both Individual and Business searches for the UK and International Markets with automatic Worldwide Sanction & PEP screening.” It will give you complete functionality to process any type of AML search all from a single and easy to use platform.
The Real-time hosting of all your businesses search activity and AML outcomes enables you to recall on-demand any AML outcomes to support an internal audit or an external visit from your supervisory body or regulator.
From 26 June details of PSC Information will no longer be updated on the confirmation statement (CS01). Instead, companies will need to inform Companies House on forms PSC01 to PSC09 whenever changes occur. Companies will have a 14-day window in which to update their internal registers and a further 14 days to send the new information to Companies House. Therefore, a maximum filing time of 28 days from the date of the event. Continue reading “Changes to PSC Information Filing Requirements”