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Disclosure of beneficial ownership information

Disclosure of beneficial ownership information

Disclosure of beneficial ownership information

TaxWatch

TaxWatch

Access KPMG's client-only portal of publications on topical tax issues.

The 5th European Union (EU) Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) includes rules on the disclosure of beneficial owners of corporates and trusts. It adds to and changes disclosure requirements included in the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4).

In this article, Andrea Sherlock and Liam Lynch of KPMG’s Legal Services and Private Clients practice take a look at the disclosure requirements set out in these directives as they apply to the beneficial owners of Irish corporates and trusts operating within the EU.

Notwithstanding that EU Member States were required to transpose AMLD4 into their national laws by 26 June 2017, Ireland, like other Member States, has yet to implement many of the directive’s requirements. For example, Ireland has not yet set up central registers to hold details of beneficial owners of companies and trusts.

In addition to implementing AMLD4, Ireland will also be required to implement AMLD5 into national law by early 2020. AMLD5 was drafted following terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels which explains, in part, its focus on measures to counter terrorist financing. It also made changes to clarify the scope of the requirements in AMLD4 in relation to the disclosure of beneficial owners of trusts. AMLD5 requires EU Member States to make publicly available information on the beneficial owners of companies incorporated under their local laws. It was hailed on introduction by the EU Money Laundering Policy Officer, as a “bold leap to end secrecy that facilitates corruption, tax evasion and other crimes”.

Andrea and Liam explore the impact these directives will have on disclosure of beneficial owners of Irish companies and trusts operating within the EU including:

  • Public access to beneficial owner information on a central register of companies
  • Access to those with a legitimate interest to information on a central register of trusts, and
  • Initiatives for jurisdictions outside the EU to make details on the beneficial owners of companies publicly available.
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