The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR2017) requires all businesses acting as trust or company service providers (TCSPs) in the UK to be registered with HMRC where they are not already registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Firms that are not registered are not permitted under the MLR2017 to provide TCSP work.
Under MLR2017 a trust or company service provider is any firm or sole practitioner whose business is to:
- form companies or other legal persons
- provide a registered office, business address, correspondence address, administrative address for a company, partnership, other legal person or arrangement
- act or arrange for another person to act as a:
- director or secretary of a company
- partner (or in a similar position) for other legal persons
- trustee of an express trust or similar legal arrangement
- nominee shareholder for another person, unless the other person is a company listed on a regulated market which is subject to acceptable disclosure requirements
A person is still considered to be a TCSP provider even if these services are provided incidentally to other accountancy services, or they are provided infrequently or on a one-off basis.
HMRC's TCSP registration guidance provides further information on what constitutes a TCSP.
HMRC'S TCSP REGISTER
In order to maintain the TCSP register, HMRC has requested that AIA (along with the other professional body supervisors) to notify HMRC of all the firms that we supervise that perform TCSP work.
AIA adds relevant firm details to HMRC's TCSP register based on your firm return information. The details on the register include:
- the name of your firm or your name if you are a sole practitioner
- the registered address of your firm
- confirmation by the AIA that the beneficial owners, officers and managers are fit and proper.
ACCESS TO THE TCSP REGISTER
The TCSP register will be made accessible to law enforcement agencies on request and to the extent permitted by the regulations. Details from the TCSP register may also be given in response to requests from other UK or overseas supervisors or other authorities to the extent permitted under the MLRs.
PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE
If a firm provides TCSP work and it is not on the TCSP register, the firm is breaching the MLR2017 and action may be taken by HMRC, AIA or both. Penalties for breaching the regulations include HMRC criminal and civil penalties as well as disciplinary action by AIA.
CHANGES TO YOUR FIRM DETAILS OR SERVICES PROVIDED
You must notify AIA immediately by email using firstname.lastname@example.org of the following changes in order that AIA can update HMRC's TCSP register and you can maintain compliance with the regulatory requirements.
Changes to the name of your firm or your name if you are a sole proprietor, the registered address of your firm or changes in beneficial owners, officers and managers must be communicated to AIA.
If there are changes to beneficial owners, officers or managers then AIA will need to confirm to HMRC that they are fit and proper. Further guidance will be provided on notification.
If you do not undertake any TCSP activity, and do not have any plans to undertake TCSP activity in the future, then you should notify us to have your business removed from the TCSP register.
If you later wish to undertake TCSP work then you will need to notify AIA and wait until your business has been registered with HMRC prior to undertaking any TCSP activity.
If you are not sure whether or not your business will undertake TCSP activity in the future, you may remain registered with HMRC in order that you can legally perform TCSP activity if and when you decide to do so.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
See the Frequently Asked Questions for further information.