On 11th June, the CIOT published its comments on the HM Treasury consultation on the EU Directive. Amongst its comments are that it believes that the planned expansion of the definition of “tax adviser” is unlikely to greatly impact the position of its members or of firms in which they work. It says that the government proposes to mandate requirements to verify all directors and senior officers of corporations, but the CIOT preference is to retain the current risk-based approach, saying that the change risks a return to a “box ticking” situation. It says that it believes that, for EDD purposes, tracing an ownership right through the corporate client may not be necessary where ultimate beneficial ownership is not in doubt. It expresses some concerns in relation to the proposal to require obliged entities to directly inform Companies House of any discrepancies between the beneficial ownership information they hold, and information held on the public register at Companies House. On control of trusts, it says that, as the Directive is aimed at registration of the beneficial ownership of ‘entities’, only where a UK trust may constitute an ‘entity’ comparable to a corporate, should it be fall to be registered; and most bare trusts and nominee arrangements would not require registration. It also has some concerns that there are currently insufficient safeguards to prevent disclosure of personal information about trustees and beneficiaries to someone claiming to have a ‘legitimate interest’ in such disclosure, and believes that an ombudsman should determine such requests.
The consultation document was available at –