Jan 2015 | Fourth AML Directive agreed

The much debated full text of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and its associated regulations are now available. After much lobbying and submissions by the Law Society of Ireland and STEP Ireland, involving considerable input from this firm, we are delighted to see that there will not be a public mandatory register of trusts and the register that does apply will only apply to taxable trusts. 

See extract of summary from STEP org

"Trust beneficiaries have been granted a measure of confidentiality in an agreement just reached between EU national governments and the European Parliament on the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4ML). The requirement for central public registers of beneficial owners of trusts, as well as companies and other structures was not included in the European Commission's initial proposal for 4ML, but was added by members of the parliament during the negotiations. The serious privacy implications of this were raised with member governments before trilogue negotiations began on the final form of the Directive this autumn. STEP in particular has consistently pointed out that trusts in common-law countries are regularly used to protect vulnerable beneficiaries, some of whom could be at significant risk if their identities were published. In the event it appears that an agreement has been struck that will see corporate registers of beneficial ownership become mandatory throughout the EU, but it is less than clear on the issue of public access to such a register, allowing access to be limited to those with a ‘legitimate interest’. There will also be registers of trusts, but these will be simply based on information already due to be collected by tax authorities as a result of automatic exchange of tax information agreements. Moreover the information on such registers will only be available to competent authorities, with no suggestion of any requirement for broader public access."

 

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Aileen Keogan | Solicitor & Tax Consultant | 21 The Avenue | Louisa Valley | Leixlip | Co. Kildare | Ireland

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