HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officers will shortly begin a programme of telephoning businesses registered with, and supervised by HMRC under the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR).
These calls will be in addition to and will complement ongoing HMRC compliance activity. HMRC will be contacting businesses to make sure that up to date information is held about their activities. The calls will also further improve HMRC understanding of customers and to find out whether they need any additional help.
HMRC can ask registered businesses for this information under Regulation 37 of the MLR 2007 and this has proved to be a very cost effective way for both customers and HMRC supervisors to conduct its compliance activity.
During the calls the HMRC officers will confirm their identity and ask businesses for their security information. They will ask for details of business activities, customers and also answer any questions. This will help HMRC decide whether a visit is needed and give businesses the opportunity to clarify any issues they may have.
The Revenue carrying out these checks by phone as they are quicker and less invasive than personal visits and if done correctly, HMRC should be able to distinguish based on the evidence gained form the phone call, between firms who understand their obligations under the Money Laundering Regulations and those who do not.
A minority of supervised firms will be not be up to standard on their compliance to MLR obligations, whereby follow-up action by the way of a personal visit may be appropriate.