New money laundering prevention rules for tax consultants – project

According to a draft resolution recently released for public debate, the Chamber of Tax Consultants (CCF) is preparing a completely new set of rules to prevent and combat money laundering, which tax consultants and tax advisory firms will have to comply with.


More specifically, we are talking about rules for preventing and combating money laundering specifically dedicated to the activity of tax consultancy, which will be more complex than those currently in force.


We mention that the modification of the set of rules comes as a result of the replacement of the primary legal framework established by Law 129/2019.


Thus, the new set of rules will apply to both individuals who are tax consultants and legal entities operating as tax consultancy companies, regardless of their form and their mode of organization.


Basically, it concerns natural and legal persons registered in the Register of tax consultants and tax consultancy companies, which are supervised and controlled by the CCF.


Specifically, the document stipulates that internal procedures must be established for the application of money laundering prevention rules. These rules should broadly cover reporting to the authorities of breaches of specific legislation, customer awareness measures, risk management, internal control, protection of own staff and regular training and assessment of employees. The rules must be drawn up according to the specific nature and size of the economic activity carried out, but also according to the particularities of business relationships, customers, products and services.


As regards tax consultancy companies, their management must designate either one or more persons with responsibilities for the application of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering.


The persons in charge must have direct and permanent access to all data and information held at the level of the regulated entities, which are necessary to fulfil their legal obligations and duties, and there must be internal mechanisms at the firm level to protect them.


It is important to note that the CCF must be informed about who these responsible persons are. Individual consultants do not have this obligation to designate a responsible person.


Moreover, the draft foresees the need for regular training of employees of tax consultancy firms.


In terms of risk assessment, tax consultants and tax consultancy firms must carry out their own risk assessments to identify, assess and manage the risk of money laundering – at the client level, at the level of services and products offered and at the level of the whole business. Risk assessments should be updated regularly.


The recently proposed document of the CCF establishes the obligation to apply know-your-customer measures. Depending on the case, these measures may be simplified, standard or additional. In particular, consultants and consultancy firms must verify the identity of clients and beneficial owners before establishing a business relationship or carrying out an occasional transaction.


Last but not least, it is also relevant to know that reporting to the competent authorities in the field of money prevention and combating money laundering – the National Office for the Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering – is required. In short, reports of suspicious transactions and reports of cash transactions of at least €10,000 must be submitted.