Money laundering is big business in New Zealand. Every year $1.35 billion of fraud- and drug -related money is laundered through seemingly legitimate businesses. In response, the Government introduced specific Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism legislation to address this risk.
Previously, only a few types of organisation had to comply with the legislation. Following amendments to this legislation passed last year, it is now confirmed that this legislation extends to these groups taking effect from these dates (or earlier if the Government legislates by an Order in Council):
1 July 2018: lawyers, conveyancers and businesses that provide trust and company services
1 October 2018: accountants who provide particular kinds of business services
1 January 2019: real estate agents
1 August 2019: businesses trading in high-value goods, sports and racing betting.
If you are in any of these categories, of course you must make sure that your business complies. We can point you in the right direction. But please also note that as your accountant we are in one of the categories that must comply with the changes. And to do this, be aware that we will sometimes need to ask you for more information than we have in the past. This is because we need to be able to document that we have verified your ID and both you and your business entities are all above board.