HMRC launches online anti-money laundering tool

The UK’s tax authority will introduce an online system for businesses to register to its anti-money laundering schemes next year.

HMRC will go live with the service for people to register and renew their business online next year – Photo credit: Fotolia

Under anti-money laundering regulations, all businesses working in the financial and credit industries, as well as accountants, tax advisers, auditors and estate agents, have to register with HMRC.

At the moment businesses have to print off and post their completed form to HMRC, but the new system – to go live in 2017 – will allow them to apply to a register, renew their registration, update their account and make payments online.

HMRC said it would reduce errors by flagging up mistakes in applications instantly, rather than having businesses have applications “rejected” and returned to them.

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The system will also store details, meaning that renewal will be quicker and easier, the authority said.

It added that the system had been developed with a “selection of customers”, but that it wanted further feedback from people who use the system.

The system will require a Government Gateway ID, which is HMRC’s online identity assurance system – the department does not use the Government Digital Service’s GOV.UK Verify.

Although critics see HMRC’s decision to continue using Government Gateway as a sign that Verify is struggling to gain buy-in from departments with major digital programmes, GDS executive director Kevin Cunnington has said that it “isn’t an issue”.

This is because Verify requires the more stringent checks that are needed to ensure government pays the right person – rather than accepting a payment – and that Verify does not offer agent verification, which HMRC needs.


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