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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Agent operational guidance: dishonest tax agents: establishing dishonest conduct: referring tax agents to Anti-Money Laundering Supervision teams

You must ensure that tax agents who are Accountancy Service Providers (ASP), and who are not members of professional bodies, are registered with HMRC under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (MLR 2007).

MLR 2007 includes provisions covering the business activities of ASPs. Regulation 3(1)(c) provides the regulations that apply to auditors, insolvency practitioners, external accountants and tax advisers.

The definition of ‘external accountant’ is contained within Regulation 3(7) which states: an external accountant is ‘a firm or sole practitioner who by way of business provides accountancy services to other persons, when providing such services.’

Regulation 3(8) defines ‘tax adviser’ as ‘a firm or sole practitioner who by way of business provides advice about the tax affairs of other persons, when providing such services.’

If an ASP, as defined above, is not affiliated to any of the accountancy bodies listed in Schedule 3 of the Regulations they must register with HMRC under MLR 2007.

Regulation 19 requires tax agents who are ASPs to retain records for five years from the end of a business relationship. A breach of this regulation could result in penalties under the Money Laundering Regulations and would also impact on the ASP’s ability to demonstrate to HMRC how and when they have applied customer due diligence (Reg 7) and any enhanced due diligence (Reg 14) for their clients.

HMRC’s Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (AMLS) supervises ASPs. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  ML, NIU (RIS) (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  

Details about who must be registered as an ASP can be found in the Registration Guide for Accountancy Service Providers (HMRC website).

If you want to check whether a specific agent should be registered or not, contact the AMLS MLR Risk Targeting Team. For general queries about HMRC’s supervision of ASPs please contact the ASP Sector Lead Graham McGinnigle(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  

Once you have made contact with AMLS you must keep the MLR Risk Targeting Team informed of developments in the case at all key stages.

Where the agent is a member of a professional body, see CH881600 about making public interest disclosures.