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The EC’s 4th directive on money laundering

Whilst at first blush tax professionals may welcome the draft EC 4th directive on money laundering published by the European Commission on 6 February the proposed new meaning of beneficial ownership is likely to complicate the customer due diligence process in a hideous manner if it remains in its present form.

The headline change for tax practitioners is that tax crime is now to be treated as a predicate criminal activity for the purposes of the anti-money laundering regime across Europe. This is good news since it establishes equivalence between the position in the UK and the rest of Europe where in some countries tax evasion has not needed to be reported to the enforcement authorities. Tax crime is to be defined as applying to all offences relating to direct taxes and...

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