By Steven Pinhey, Tax Director
Following Lee Facey's excellent blog piece on 'UK Corporate transparency and PSC registers' the Government has recently signed historic 'agreements' with its Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories for the sharing of beneficial ownership information.
To recap, from 6 April 2016 most UK companies and LLP's now need to identify and record the people who control or own them and disclose this to Companies House. Companies House will then maintain a 'register of People with Significant Control' known as the 'PSC Register'.
The agreements with the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) together with the British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands) will allow the tax and law enforcement authorities in those places to access the UK PSC register.
The flip side to these agreements is that the UK tax and law authorities will have equal access rights to similar 'registers' maintained in the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.
Is it envisaged that requests for information will be actioned within 24 hours although in some urgent instances this would be reduced to just one hour, allowing the tax man to quickly pursue individuals whom they believe have concealed income and gains abroad.
The full arrangements, allowing for the necessary legislative and technical implementations are to come into effect no later than 30 June 2017.
If you have concerns regarding the confidentiality of details that might become public under the PSC regime or want to know more about the disclosure requirements for the PSC register, please speak to your contact partner, to Lee Facey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Steven Pinhey (email@example.com).