We have spent the last year or so coming to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has changed our daily lives beyond recognition. While we keep thinking mainly about the restrictions and outbreak statistics, it would be useful to figure out whether companies are now subject to a heightened risk of money laundering and terrorism and proliferation financing (“ML/TPF”) and whether the internal control systems set up by persons subject to the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism and Proliferation Financing Act are still as effective as they were before the pandemic.
Acting on requests from customers and readers to identify and interpret persons that are subject to the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism and Proliferation Financing Act, we approached the State Revenue Service for some practical insights into non-standard and complex corporate structures and their business activities in order to gain a broader understanding of how the Act should be applied. We have now summarised the information and reached conclusions, so here are the answers!
Information published by the Latvian State Revenue Service (“SRS”) on sanctions they have imposed on persons that are subject to the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (“AML/CTPF”) Act for breaching this Act and the International and National Sanctions Act, with data for 2020 and 2021, shows a large number of breaches and a lack of awareness of what the two Acts require and whether a company fits the definition of “subject” within the meaning of the AML/CTPF Act.
Draft rules that significantly change the system for reporting suspicious transactions were announced at the meeting of state secretaries on 14 January 2021. This article explores the current reporting requirements and the proposed changes relating to the new goAML app.
The UK left the EU on 1 January 2021 and now fits the definition of a “third country.” Having joined the European Community on 1 January 1973, the UK is the first country to have formally left the EU after spending 47 years as a member state. Changes brought about by Brexit are affecting not only taxation, immigration and trading but also the operation of the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (“AML/CTPF”) Act.
The pandemic has not only brought restrictions but also accelerated the digitisation of the customer identification process. Before the pandemic, the Latvian Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (“AML/CTPF”) Act had its subjects focusing on customer identification in person, yet the restrictions are forcing them to minimise direct contact and to create new ways of customer identification.
The topic continued from MindLink.lv news 24.07.2020. Based on EU and Latvian legislation, in 2019 the Financial Intelligence Unit drew up guidelines, describing methods for identifying politically exposed persons (“PEPs”).
Although the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (“AML/CTPF”) Act has been in force for more than ten years, some of the entities governed by the Act still find it difficult to identify the status of a “politically exposed person.”
Although Latvia is a European leader in P2P crediting, the fintech industry has also suffered from the Covid-19 crisis. According to financial blogger Kristaps Mors, four Latvian online platforms have closed down or stopped paying money in recent months. He says if this tendency continues, Latvia might become famous as a fraud centre of this industry. We assume that these signals have reached the State Revenue Service and the National Data Office, who are carefully monitoring the business conducted in this industry to ensure that fintechs comply with statutory requirements.
For an ever-decreasing number of businesses, financial return remains the top priority. For others, whether driven by investor demand, regulation or the desire to enhance societal value, there is now an expectation that organisations make environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and sustainability integral to their corporate strategy, philosophy and reporting. Where does your business lie on the spectrum?
If a stock option awarded to an employee does not meet the criteria for the tax favoured treatment and is consequently taxable at vesting, the Latvian employer is liable to report the award for personal income tax (PIT) and national social insurance contributions (NSIC) purposes and ensure taxes are paid.