Accountants have reported receiving emails about anti-money laundering from HMRC, warning them that they had insufficient AML supervision and controls in place.
HMRC’s economic crime supervision unit has confirmed that these emails were sent in error and it is investigating what went wrong, the ICAEW is reporting.
The emails are not a scam but were intended for businesses supervised by HMRC for anti-money laundering (AML) purposes and should not have been sent to agents supervised by other bodies. HMRC has said that the emails can be ignored.
The email said: “Your Anti Money Laundering Online Supervision account shows that you do not have risk assessments, written policies, controls or processes in place to help protect your business from being used for money laundering and terrorist financing. You have previously been sent secure communication messages alerting you of this.
“As a registered business with HMRC, you have a regulatory obligation to have these in place. If a compliance check is done on your business and you do not have these in place, you will be issued with a penalty.
“If you already have these documents in place, but have not updated your online account to confirm this, you need to do so.
“If you don’t have these documents in place, you must prepare them and then update your online account to confirm this to avoid penalties.
“Update your account by logging into your Anti Money Laundering Supervision account on GOV.UK and ticking the risk assessment and policies/procedures questions. You do not need to send us copies unless requested to.
“Go to GOV.UK and search ‘register or renew your money laundering supervision with HMRC’. You’ll need the Government Gateway User ID and Password that you used when you registered.
“If you’ve lost or forgotten your User ID and/or password, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help to reset it.”
HMRC has now issued a correction email, apologising “for any confusion or concern that this may have caused.”