Anti-money laundering

Check if your firm needs to register as doing tax advice work

Firms need to check whether they need to register as doing tax advice work to fulfil their obligations under the money laundering regulations.

Man using calculator and laptop to give tax advice

Law firms had until 10 January 2021 to check if any tax advice work they carry out falls under a new and wider definition for anti-money laundering (AML) purposes.

The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive brought in amended regulations, with the definition of ‘tax adviser’ widened to include more activities than before.

Any firm that finds it is now in the scope of the regulations should have applied to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or another AML supervisor, such HM Revenue and Customs, to be supervised for money laundering before 10 January.

If your firm has not done so, you can still apply now.

Do you fall into scope?

Areas where tax adviser services may be provided as an ancillary service and now in scope of money laundering obligations include standard work in:

  • litigation
  • employment law
  • estate planning
  • wealth management
  • corporate
  • family

Some areas already in scope of the money laundering regulations and might also involve tax adviser services in particular include:

  • mergers and acquisitions
  • conveyancing

Next steps

The SRA has produced guidance for firms to help determine whether or not you fall within the scope of the regulations.

Even if a firm believes that they do not need to be regulated for anti-money laundering purposes, they should read the guidance before being confident of this.

Read the SRA guidance

Read the SRA press release

Watch the SRA webinar on AML and what tax advisers need to know

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