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Firms should check whether they need to register as doing tax advice work

The Law Society has reminded firms, including those practising family law, that they should have checked whether they need to register as doing tax advice work to fulfil their obligations under the money laundering regulations.

Law firms had until 10 January 2021 to check whether any tax advice work they carry out falls under a new and wider definition for anti-money laundering purposes. The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive brought in amended regulations, with the definition of 'tax adviser' widened to include more activities than before.

Any firm that finds it is now in the scope of the regulations should have applied to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or another AML supervisor, such HM Revenue and Customs, to be supervised for money laundering before 10 January. If your firm has not done so, you can still apply now.

The SRA has produced guidance for firms to help determine whether or not you fall within the scope of the regulations. The Law Society advises that even if a firm believes that it does not need to be regulated for anti-money laundering purposes it should read the guidance before being confident of this.

Family Law Week recently published an article, written by Matthew Moore of Infolegal, addressing this issue. Click here for the article.