New AML Controls Coming in Europe

March 12, 2014 International Tax CooperationTaxation in EU

AML Laws in EuropeBRUSSELS – The European Parliament is making progress towards instituting new international rules for reporting suspicious transactions, doing business with politically exposed persons, and using corporate structures to obscure identities.

On March 11th the European Parliament approved in the first reading of the draft of the anti-money laundering directive (AMLD) aimed at helping fight international tax evasion specifically by stamping out opportunities to maintain anonymity behind corporate entities and trusts.

The draft of the new legislation centers around the creation of publically accessible registers in each EU country listing the ultimate beneficial owners of all the companies, trusts, and foundations formed or operated in Europe.

According to lawmakers, the new databases will create an effective new mechanism to allow tax agencies and law enforcement authorities to identify international and national politically exposed persons, known criminals, and also to facilitate investigations into “dodgy transactions” involving shell companies and sham trusts.

As a new step, the AMLD expands the requirements of reporting entities, to include not just banks and financial institutions, but also lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, and some casinos.

Commenting on the prospective for changes in European legislations, a representative of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs Krišj?nis Kari?š said that “…today is a good day for law-abiding citizens, but a lousy day for criminals.”

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