In the Republic of Ireland, accountancy firms are required to implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering legislation.
The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2018 was signed into law on the 14th November 2018 and commenced on 26th November 2018 (other than section 32). The Act amends the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 to give effect to certain provisions of the 4th AML Directive.
The legislation increases the obligations on a range of entities, such as credit and financial institutions, lawyers, accountants, and high-value goods dealers, in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing. In particular, it imposes requirements on those entities relating to assessing the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing involved in carrying out their businesses; putting policies in place to mitigate that risk; and carrying out customer due diligence measures. It also sets out the functions and powers of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Garda Síochána.
An explanatory memorandum is available here. Further details and guidance will issue shortly.
An AML webinar to be held on the 11th December 2018 will explore and provide guidance on these changes. The end of year CPD Wrap Ups will provide an update in this area.
AML Obligations on Designated Persons
The Act places obligations on designated persons to guard against their businesses being used for money laundering or terrorist financing purpose and provides for the supervision of all “designated persons”.
“Designated persons” coming under the supervision of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland include those members who are;
- external accountants;
- tax advisers;
- trust company service providers.
Section 24 defines external accountant as a person who by way of business provides accountancy services (other than when providing such services to the employer of the person) whether or not the person holds accountancy qualifications or is a member of a designated accountancy body and tax adviser as a person who by way of business provides advice about the tax affairs of other persons.
The Institute is obliged to register such members and supervise them for the purposes of the Act. If you currently provide such services, please notify the Professional Standards Department of the Institute outlining the nature of the services that you provide.
Those members currently holding CPA practising certificates will continue to be supervised under the Institute’s Quality Assurance programme and will not need to register for this purpose.
Tax Advisers/External Accountants
Under Section 25 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 as amended by Criminal Justice Act, 2013.a ‘designated person’ is defined as including tax advisers/external Accountants i.e. persons who are not regulated by a designated competent authority providing the following services:
- Tax Advice
- Tax Returns