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Timetable for public beneficial ownership registers in OTs extended

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The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2018 requires the government to legislate by 31 December 2020 for the British Overseas Territories to establish public registers of company beneficial ownership. While these registers were expected to become operational by 2021, foreign office minister Lord Ahmed has revealed that the legislation will not require the overseas territories to implement public registers until 2023.

In his evidence to the Commons foreign affairs committee’s Future of the UK overseas territories inquiry in December (, the minister explained that 2023, ‘was the date that was set as our priority for ensuring worldwide obligations on adhering to public registers across the globe, and we feel the 2023 deadline provides an appropriate target date’.

Josie Hills, a senior tax manager at Pinsent Masons, described the rationale behind the extension of the deadline as ‘logical’, and said: ‘The deadline has moved from 2021 to 2023 to allow for an aligned deadline for a more comprehensive approach as opposed to unilaterally targeting the BOTs. To expect that the obligations will be adopted worldwide may be an ambitious goal, but the change in timeframe suggests that it is more than just lip service’.

Issue: 1428
Categories: News , International taxes