Estate agents face further cost next year if HMRC decides to implement an ‘economic crime levy’ on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulated firms within the property industry.
The details have been revealed after the government department announced a consultation on the proposal yesterday, which would affect regulated sectors covered by current AML legislation.
It will be a big ask – the government wants to raise £100 million extra to fund the policing of its dirty money detection activities via the 90,000 regulated organisations who will be asked to contribute.
This includes estate agents, letting agents, financial and credit institutions, legal services providers, accountants, trust or company service providers, money services businesses, casinos and dealers of high value goods.
The consultation follows on from the government’s decision to increase its AML activities but says this will only be possible via contributions from both the private and public sectors.
The government also believes it is right that those who contribute towards the risks within the UK economy should ‘pay towards the costs of addressing those risks’.
“To help sustainably fund those actions, and wider new government action to tackle money laundering, we will introduce a levy upon the AML-regulated sector,” the consultation says.
“The government is of the view that a levy would provide the fairest and most simple method for the AML-regulated sector to contribute further.”
After the consultation ends on 31st October 2020, the government intends to implement the new funding initiative by 2023.
Agents are already charged £300 a year per branch AML renewal fees by HMRC.