Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Act
You may (or may not!) remember that we have previously advised that as a firm, there were certain services we were unable to provide in order to stay out of the AML rules, e.g. company incorporations. We have recently received an update from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (“the institute”) (our professional body), which has advised that if we (as tax agents) are to request IRD to transfer refunds on your behalf (even with your written instruction), then we are caught by the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism laws.
This is a huge blow for AMSCA as there had previously been ambiguity and we had been advised that your instruction should have been enough to keep us out of the rules as we did not have “control of the funds”. AMSCA wanted to be outside of the rules, not because we do not agree with them, but because the compliance costs of being in, and being regularly audited, are huge.
The Institute has appealed the decision, but in the meantime, that is the ruling that we must work to. So, what does that mean for you? Well, it means that until the appeal has gone through the processes and hopefully accepted, AMSCA can no longer do transfers on your behalf. Instead, you will have to request transfers directly with IRD through the secure mail feature of your MyIR. If you are unsure how to get to secure mail, please get in touch and we can help you.
We totally understand that this will be frustrating for you and we appreciate your support to work within the confines of the AML rules.
We are continuously reviewing these decisions, so if you feel strongly, please let us know. We want to offer services that are relevant to you, so your opinion is heavily weighted in our decision making process.