Anger As HMRC Hikes Anti-Money Laundering Fees By 250%..

HMRC is hiking its anti-money laundering supervision fees charged to estate agents by 250% from next month.

The annual renewal fee will go up from £130 to £300 per office.

Estate agents yesterday received emails saying:

“In continuing to strengthen its contribution to the UK’s fight against the threat of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, HMRC is introducing significant changes to tackling non-compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations.

“Key improvements include:

  • increasing the number of staff available for compliance activity. That means carrying out more face-to-face and desk-based interventions with registered and unregistered businesses
  • providing more educational products and activity, including webinars and online learning. Helping registered businesses to get things right first time.

“These enhancements come at a cost. Our anti-money laundering supervision fees are changing from May 1, 2019:

  • the annual registration fee is increasing to £300 per premises for businesses with turnover of £5,000 or above
  • the annual registration fee is increasing to £180 for businesses with a turnover below £5,000.

“All customers will pay the £300 premises fee when they renew. However, if your turnover is less than £5,000 you can apply for a reduction.”

HMRC declined to comment, but a spokesperson pointed us to a web page which was updated yesterday and includes information as to how for apply for a reduction if your business turnover is less than £5,000.

HMRC is increasing its AML fees for all the businesses it regulates, for example including accountants.

It is removing the £100 one-off charge levied when businesses first register for AML supervision, and will not proceed with plans to charge those who are late to renew for supervision.

HMRC will be using income from the increased fees to enlarge the number of staff working on compliance activity, and to carry out 80% more interventions.

In previous years – after responsibility for supervising the sector for AML was passed from the OFT to HMRC – a number of agents found it almost impossible to renew their registration online.

Last month, HMRC announced a major crackdown on agents, paying spot checks to a number of office.

For more information see fees