Dealing with non compliance: help and assistance for businesses
Where there is a genuine misunderstanding it may be better to adopt an enabling approach to improve compliance rather than to apply a sanction. Enabling should be seen as an important part of a compliance visit.
Giving advice to get somebody on the right track for future compliance should not be seen as either a failed compliance visit or secondary to penalty action. Where any advice is given it should always be recorded as it may be needed as evidence for a future penalty.
The types of assistance available from HMRC are:
- Verbal guidance and advice. An experienced officer will be very well placed to give a business practical day to day advice on how anti-money laundering procedures and controls can be improved, even when only very minor weaknesses are found.
- Written guidance and advice. Where appropriate, businesses should be directed to the HMRC guidance on the Money Laundering Regulations section of the HMRC website. There may be some occasions where specific written advice will be required after a visit. If there is any doubt officers should contact the MLR Policy Team for clarification on any specific technical points.