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HMRC quietly drops AML application fee for estate agents

Decision is made to remove the £100 fee just 24 hours before the latest and 5th EU Anti Money Laundering directive passes into UK law.

Nigel Lewis


HMRC has dropped its £100 Anti Money Laundering (AML) application fee that used to be charged to each estate agency when first registering to be supervised.

The announcement came just 24 hours before the latest regulations became a legal requirement.

This sop to agents follow HMRC’s decision to hike its Anti Money Laundering (AML) registration and annual renewal charges earlier this year to £300 per branch.

The howls of protest from the industry over the increased charges appear to have persuaded HMRC to drop its additional application fee.

HMRC has been raising the fees it charges the businesses it oversees for AML compliance for several years.

“Estate agents are required by law to register for AML supervision and renew the registration annually,” says David Cox (left), Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark. “Agents should be aware that the fees for AML supervision are changing”

Back in 2015 HMRC charged £110 for a single branch to register which increased to £115 in 2017 and then £300 last year. This fee is payable when registering for AML and also paid each year as a renewable fee.

Agents then pay £40 per employee to have them screened for any criminal convictions, which it calls an ‘approval process fee’.

This means a ten-branch estate agency will pay £3,000 to register for AML and may have to pay the costs of checking the nominated officer in each branch, costing another £400.

Following the new legislation that went live today, letting agencies dealing with rentals over €10,000 per calendar month will also now have to pay these charges.

Read the full HMRC fees guidance.

January 10, 2020

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