Why all the extra paper work
Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT Act)
New Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act). The law is the result of New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiatives to counter the detrimental impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community.
From 1 October 2018, Accountants are required to comply with its requirements. The AML/CFT Act does this because some services we as accountants offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activity This Act requires accountants to do a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Firstly, accounting firms must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and identify potentially suspicious activity.
To make that assessment, we must obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. This is part of what the AML/CFT Act calls “customer due diligence” (‘CDD’).
CDD requires a us to undertake certain background checks on clients or customers ( “a warm body”) before providing services to clients or customers. Accountants must take reasonable steps to make sure the information we receive from clients is correct, and so we need to ask for documents that show this.
We will need to obtain and verify certain information from you to meet these legal requirements. This information includes:
• your full name; and
• your date of birth; and
• your address.
To confirm these details, we need to have a copy of identification documents such as your driver’s licence or passport and documents that show your address, such as a current bank statement.
If you would like us to complete work for a company or trust, we will need information about the company or trust including the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and named beneficiaries).
We may also need to ask you for further information. We will need to ask for details confirming the source of funds to meet the legal requirements.
If we are not able to obtain the required information from you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you. The work you are asking us to do may need to be delayed until CDD is completed.
The documents need to be sighted by us or a trusted associate.
Before we start working for you, we will let you know what information we need, and what documents you need to show us and let us copy.
Please contact us if you have any queries or concerns.