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Economic crime levy

23 March 2020

The chancellor has announced the government’s intention to introduce a new levy on anti-money laundering-regulated businesses (including law firms).

The proposals

The levy is intended to help the reforms outlined in the Economic Crime Plan which will look to raise approximately £100 million a year.

You can find the text of the announcement at paragraph 1.205 of the Budget 2020.

HM Treasury will publish a consultation on the levy later this spring. The intention is for the levy to commence from 2022/23 onwards.

The consultation will seek views on:

  • what the levy will pay for
  • which businesses should be paying the levy
  • how levy liability will be calculated
  • how the levy will be collected and enforced
  • how government can ensure there is transparency over levy spend

The Treasury has outlined the government’s current thinking in a Q&A (PDF 142 KB).

Next steps

Officials will be engaging with wider stakeholders ahead of the consultation.

These issues will be discussed at the forthcoming Economic Crime Strategic Board meeting at the end of the month (which Law Society CEO, Paul Tennant sits on and is chaired by the Home Secretary).

We’ll be using feedback from members to help shape our engagement with officials and ministers.

In due course, we’ll be seeking your input to shape our formal response to the government’s consultation.

For more information, email robert.cummings@lawsociety.org.uk.