In mid June HMRC a paper, which went to some length to describe the activity of the HMRC supervisory team and publish various statistics.
HMRC now state that between the four sectors they have responsibility for supervision they now have over 18,000 registered firms, of which just over 14,000 are accountancy service providers (ASP’s) or trust and company service providers (TCSP’s).
HMRC has not yet, in any force, started compliance visits to either TCSP’s or ASP’s, so therefore there compliance visits have been focused upon the remaining 6,000 money service businesses and high value dealers.
In just the eight month period between September 2009 and April 2010 HMRC compliance officers carried out 908 visits to businesses, this is a tremendous figure, with almost 15% of all firms having a visit in that period. This rate of supervision has to be commended; however, unless the rate must fall considering the sheer volume of ASP’s that must come under the supervision of HMRC.
The other interesting statistic to come from these visits was that 193 warning letters were issued, which is just over 21% of the firms visited. If you look at it from the opposite point of view, almost 80% of businesses visited had made good attempts at coping with aml compliance. That has to be good news.