Tough break for Estate Agents as HMRC’s failing system leaves them in legal breach.

A recently published article by Property Industry Eye, reported that HMRC are upholding their April 1st date for re-registering for anti-money laundering, despite numerous reports of problems with their online registration system – with some agents waiting 45 days to reset their log-in details.

HMRC have stated that any agents who aren’t registered by this date will automatically be de-registered and in breach of their legal anti-money laundering obligations.

Subsequently, those who are de-registered will be charged £100 to re-apply, as they will be deemed new applicant following the 1st April 2018.

A common issue reported amongst agents the lack of communication from HMRC prior to the deadline regarding their AML, and their inability to access the online registration system.

HMRC spokesperson, as quoted on Property Industry Eye.

We are aware that a number of customers have forgotten or lost their log-in details, and we are assisting them to reset these so that they can access their AML accounts.

Businesses due to renew their registration are sent up to three emails in the 30 days before their renewal date, reminding them that they need to renew.

Once a business has paid and submitted their renewal, they are treated as registered regardless of how long it takes HMRC to review their submission.

For customers whose renewal year runs from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, the online system will automatically cancel their registration if renewal hasn’t been made by midnight on 31 March.

The EYE also highlighted issues detailed to them by agents, which include;

  • Once registration has been cancelled the business will need to reapply and pay a new application charge of £100 as well as their premises fees.”
  • The EYE also highlighted issues detailed to them by agents, which include; System failures and timeouts
  • 30 – 45 day wait for confirmation of re-registration
  • Unable to reset login details
  • Rejected payments
  • Insufficient assistance through the web portal and online.

Following this report, Nick Huntely – Head of Sales at Credas, said:

With GDPR regulation and HMRC deadlines, the fear of substantial fines, and of course Brexit, the next 12 months is going to be extremely tough for Estate Agents.

Whilst we are unable to assist agents in registering by the April 1st deadline, our AML solution provides peace of mind to registered agents that they comply with AML and GDPR – and ensuring data is secure, with a clear audit trail.

Help for agents following the April 1st deadline.

Our AML solution puts the Estate Agency in control of the due-diligence checks the required as part of the 4th directive that was rolled out in 2017.

We can provide three levels of checks, a simple identification check, standard due-diligence and enhanced due-diligence – dependant on the individual circumstances and risk assessment of each house sale or purchase – can help decide the most appropriate level of checks that need to be completed. For more information, visit our Estate Agent sector page.

Credas launched in May 2017, provides a simple, quick and secure way of verifying someone’s identity using real-time facial recognition technology. As well as confirming that the ID is real, the Credas app will also ensure that the same person is sending it. All files are then stored in a secure cloud environment, so all data is secure, and will help with incoming GDPR legislation.

The Credas app is compatible with all mobile devices (iOS and Android), ensuring that the verification process can happen swiftly, safely and at any time that’s convenient to the client and user – even on-site.