Following the implementation of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 there is a requirement for the details of all UK businesses that act as Trust and Company Service Providers (TCSPs) to be held on a register. HMRC will be hosting the register for TCSPs supervised by professional bodies, including IAB members, as well as the TCSPs that it supervises.
Below is further information about the register and what being a TCSP involves.
Q. What is the Trust and Company Service Provider (TCSP) register?
The TCSP register is a register held by HMRC of all relevant persons in the UK that act or may potentially act as TCSPs, except for relevant persons that are registered with the FCA.
Q. What is a TCSP?
TCSP activity is set out in The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the “MLR 2017”) at Regulation 12 (2). It includes:
- company formation
- acting or arranging for someone to act as a director or secretary of a company, a partner of a partnership or in a similar capacity in relation to other legal persons
- providing a registered office, business address, correspondence or administrative address or other related services
- acting or arranging for someone to act as a trustee of an express trust or nominee shareholder for someone not listed on a regulated market.
HMRCs TCSP registration guidance provides further information about what constitutes a TCSP: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/money-laundering-regulations-trust-or-company-service-provider-registration
Q. What does this mean for my business?
Businesses must be registered with HMRC prior to undertaking any TCSP activity.
If you have a practising certificate with the IAB and you have confirmed with us that your business undertakes TCSP activity, or that your business may potentially undertake TCSP activity in the future, then the IAB will have registered your business with HMRC so that you are legally able to continue to act as a TCSP, or so your business may potentially undertake TCSP activity in the future.
If you have an IAB practising certificate and offer TCSP services, but have not yet made the IAB aware you must do so as soon as possible by emailing: email@example.com.
Q. Why am I now required to register with HMRC and what information has been passed to HMRC?
The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 introduced a requirement for businesses that undertake TCSP activity to register with HMRC, unless they are already registered with the FCA.
In order to register your business with HMRC, the professional bodies who are approved supervisors, including the IAB, have listed the following information about your business on HMRC’s TCSP register:
- your business name (or your name if you are a sole proprietor)
- your registered address
- confirmation that the beneficial owners, officers and managers of your business are fit and proper.
Q. I only undertake TCSP activity very occasionally. Do I still need to be registered with HMRC?
Yes. Any business undertaking any TCSP activity as defined in the MLRs 2017 must be registered with HMRC before undertaking any TCSP activity – even if only on an occasional basis.
Q. What if I don’t want to be registered with HMRC for TCSP activity?
You must be registered with HMRC before undertaking TCSP activity, unless you are already registered with the FCA.
If your details are not in the TCSP register, you must not act as a TCSP. If you act as a TCSP without being registered with HMRC or the FCA, you will have committed an offence and may be liable to civil or criminal action.
Q. Can my professional body supervisor legally pass HMRC this information?
Yes. Regulation 52 (1) of the MLR 2017 provides legal authority for professional body supervisors to disclose relevant information to HMRC for the effective exercise of their functions under the regulations. Regulation 54 (2) (c) gives HMRC a duty to maintain a register of relevant persons who are TCSPs.
Q. Will I now have two supervisors?
No. Being registered with HMRC as a TCSP is not the same as being supervised for anti-money laundering by HMRC. You will continue to be supervised for anti-money laundering by your professional body only, unless an existing dual supervision agreement is in place.
Q. Will HMRC get in contact with me?
HMRC is very unlikely to need to contact you directly about your TCSP registration and you can expect to receive communications about your registration via your professional body. If you have any questions about your TCSP registration, you should contact your professional body.
If HMRC does need to contact you directly, it will do so by letter to your registered address.
Q. What will HMRC do to protect our data?
HMRC will only use your information for relevant purposes within the law, and only disclose it further when permitted to do so in the law.
HMRC will store all of your data in accordance with their data retention policies, which means they will keep it for the duration of your registration plus five years, as allowed in the law. HMRC will also store all of your data securely and in accordance with central government standards.
Q. Is there anything I need to do?
You don’t need to do anything unless the details of your business change, for example, you change the name of your business, your registered address or your beneficial owners, officers or managers.
You should notify your professional body if any of your information changes, including any information that may impact on the fit and proper status of your beneficial owners, officers or manager. Your professional body will then update your registration information with HMRC if required.
Q. Will I be charged for this?
HMRC is not currently charging for your registration with HMRC through professional bodies.