CIOT AML Registration Scheme
If you are self-employed and not covered by the AML supervision of another professional body, you are obliged to join the CIOT's AML Registration Scheme. Other firms may apply to be supervised by the CIOT if at least one principal in the firm is a member of the CIOT. To register, please complete the registration form. For firms with 50 principals or fewer there is an annual fee of £120. Firms with more than 50 principals should contact the CIOT for further details. The year's membership runs from 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018. You will be contacted in April/ May 2018 in order to assist you with renewal.
By applying to be supervised by the CIOT, your firm undertakes to:
- Comply with the UK Anti-Money Laundering legislation.
- Conduct its practice in accordance with the laws of the CIOT with particular regard to the Professional Rules and Practice Guidelines.
- Complete and submit an annual return, which will include questions about your firm's compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering legislation. You will be contacted in March/April each year about this.
- Permit and co-operate with inspection visits by the CIOT or its authorised representatives.
- Notify the CIOT of any relevant changes in the details supplied about the firm within 30 days of the changes taking place. For example if there is a change in the principals of the firm, particularly if the firm no longer has a principal who is a member of CIOT. As required under MLR 2017 this deadline is reduced to 14 days for notification of changes to the Money Laundering Reporting officer (MLRO) and senior staff member responsible for AML compliance.
Please also ensure that you familiarise yourself with the Scheme Rules.
Legislation & guidance
The Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for the Tax Sector is an appendix to the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies' (CCAB) Anti-Money Laundering guidance. It is not stand-alone guidance so both parts should be read together. It was developed in conjunction with ATT, ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA and HMRC and focuses on the interaction between anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and tax offences as well as covering the issues that a tax practitioner is most likely to encounter in practice. HM Treasury has approved this guidance and the main body guidance. Therefore Courts must consider the content of the guidance when determining whether an accountant’s or tax adviser’s conduct gives rise to an offence under either the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000 or the MLR 2017. Members and firms which are registered with the CIOT as supervisory authorities should follow this guidance. Members who are supervised by another supervisory authority will need to take account of the guidance issued by that authority. Members who are lawyers (even if they are acting as tax advisers) should consult the guidance issued by the professional body governing their legal qualification.
Draft CCAB guidance 2017 - will be sent to HM Treasury for approval later this year but in the meantime it is a helpful resource.
CIOT AML Supervision Scheme
Who needs to be supervised?
If you are a principal in a firm of auditors, external accountants, insolvency practitioners or tax advisers you will need to ensure you are supervised by a supervisory authority to be monitored for compliance with the money laundering legislation.
If you are carrying on a business in the tax and accounting sector you or your firm must be supervised. In essence this means sole practitioners and principals in partnerships/limited liability partnerships and companies. If you or your firm would like to be supervised by the CIOT at least one principal in your business must be a member of the CIOT. (Principal for these purposes means sole practitioner, equity partner, or company director).
You will not need to be supervised by a supervisory authority if you:
- Are an employee (but you will need to register if you provide tax or accounting services on a self-employed basis outside your employment e.g. paid weekend and evening work)
- Are a fully retired member
- Work entirely outside the UK
- Do not work in the tax and accounting sector
What if I work in another regulated sector?
Please remember that this advice only covers members working in the tax and accounting sector. Members working in other professions or industry sectors may also need to be supervised by a supervisory authority and they should seek further guidance where necessary.
Can my firm be supervised by the CIOT?
Your firm may apply to be supervised by the CIOT if at least one principal in the firm is a member of the CIOT.
How will my clients know that I am supervised for Anti-Money Laundering compliance?
The firm may use the following wording on its practice stationery or website: 'Supervised by the CIOT for the purposes of Anti-Money Laundering legislation'.
What happens if the firm does not comply with the CIOT Anti-Money Laundering compliance scheme rules?
In cases of relatively minor non-compliance the CIOT would hope to be able to resolve such matters on an informal basis. More serious and/or repeated failures to comply will be referred to the Taxation Disciplinary Board Ltd, which will investigate and take disciplinary action as appropriate.
The CIOT/ATT will follow the approach agreed by the Supervisory Authorities in the tax and accounting sector. If in the course of its role as a supervisory authority the CIOT 'knows or suspects that a person is or has engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing it must promptly inform the Serious Organised Crime Agency'.
What happens if the only principal who is a member of the CIOT leaves and the firm no longer has any members of the CIOT at principal level?
The firm should notify the CIOT straight away (and in any event no later than 30 days after the principal leaves). The CIOT will advise whether the firm will be de-registered or will be allowed to remain on the CIOT register until the next renewal of registration. If the firm is de-registered it will have to register with another supervisory authority. HM Revenue & Customs are the default supervisory authority for tax practitioners.
Can I describe my firm as Chartered Tax Advisers?
Registration with the CIOT for supervision does not enable the firm to describe itself as Chartered Tax Advisers. This may be applied for separately here.
As a supervisory authority, the CIOT participates in the Anti-Money Laundering Supervisors' Forum to keep abreast of new developments and share best practice with fellow supervisors which we will then pass on to you. We may also visit our supervised firms with a view to discussing and inspecting AML compliance procedures and records.
Other Supervisory Bodies can be found here.
ID verification and training providers - http://www.tax.org.uk/members/aml/id-training
We can provide helpline support for your AML queries by telephone 020 7340 0550 or email us. Please note that the helpline cannot and will not provide definitive legal advice.