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HMRC Issues Brief On New Beneficial Ownership Rules

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published a brief on how the UK will implement the G20's High Level Principles on Beneficial Ownership Transparency.

The brief explains that the UK will require companies to report beneficial ownership information to a central register. This register will be publicly accessible and is expected to become operational in June 2016. Financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions undertaking due diligence will be able to access the information held on this register. The UK will also hold in a central register the beneficial ownership information of trusts that generate tax consequences in the UK.

The brief adds that the Government will take steps to ensure that Company Law and UK Money Laundering Regulations clearly define the criteria for ownership and control that identify a person as the "beneficial owner" of a company. It will oblige companies to know who owns and controls them, by requiring that companies obtain and hold adequate, accurate, and current information on their beneficial ownership and make this information accessible to the relevant authorities.

The Government will also put in place effective mechanisms to share information on beneficial ownership in line with the UK's bilateral and multilateral agreements.