How money-laundering rules affect you

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Not a week seems to go by without someone being arrested or charged with Money-Laundering offences.

People like that must be really nasty organised criminals, terrorists or hoods.  Mustn’t they?

That couldn’t refer to you, or your neighbours, or the people with whom you do business.  Or could it?

The Money-Laundering legislation has a very wide remit and many readers could find themselves suffering at the hands of it.  This article is by way of warning.  Firstly if you are doing something bad you should stop it.  Secondly you should consider confessing to the authorities what you have done.  This may be better than waiting for a knock on the door.

Money-Laundering legislation could bite you if you do the following:

  • Accept part cash for a deal intending the cash bit not to ‘go though the books.’
  • Fail to declare some income which is not fully taxed at source.
  • Claim tax relief on something you know you shouldn’t.
  • Have money offshore and do not declare the interest from it.
  • Employ staff and not pay to HMRC the correct tax and NIC from their pay.
  • Receive tips as an employee and do not declare them.

This list may come as a surprise to you, and is by no means exhaustive.  But better you learn it from me that when an official or officer from one of the various agencies calls with you. Money-laundering covers using, handling or saving the ‘Proceeds of Crime’.  ‘Proceeds of Crime’ includes fiddling your tax.  And there’s no minimum level. Any fiddling counts.

If that didn’t make you sit up straight consider this.  There is further law on the subject of ‘Serious Organised Crime’.  That’s those guys in East London the Sweeney used to chase, or hiding in Spain isn’t it?  Well it includes them, but also thousands of UK people who are not hoods.

If you are not declaring all your income to the Revenue, and you owe over £5,000, then you come into the scope of Serious Organised Crime.  Just think what the neighbours would think of that!

Huston’s Hint

HMRC’s intelligence gets better every year, and anyone can grass you up.  Tax fiddling ain’t worth it anymore.