Register tax advice work now or face SRA enforcement, law firms warned
Solicitor firms could face enforcement by the profession’s regulator if they do not register their tax advice work under new anti-money-laundering (AML) obligations, the Law Society of England and Wales has cautioned.
Earlier this month, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) stated that solicitors had until 10 January to check if any tax advice work they provide falls under a new and wider definition for AML purposes.
The amended regulations follow the introduction of the fifth anti-money laundering (AML) directive, which came into force last year. It included a widened definition of tax adviser, which now includes more activities than before.
Law Society president David Greene said:
“Any firm that finds it is now in the scope of the regulations should have applied to the SRA or another AML supervisor, such as HM Revenue & Customs, to be supervised for money laundering before 10 January. If they have not done so they can still apply now.
“Solicitors who may fall within the scope of the new obligations include those working in litigation, employment, estate planning, wealth management, corporate and family law, while those working in mergers and acquisitions and conveyancing are already included in the requirements.
“If you are unsure whether you fall within these new regulations or if a firm believes they do not need to be regulated for money-laundering purposes, we urge you read the guidance for peace of mind.”