Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Hong Kong Updates- Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance

The Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance came into effect on 1st April.

The key features include:
i. Supervisory and enforcement powers to four regulatory authorities (RAs), the Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Insurance Authority and the Customs
and Excise Department.

ii. Codification into statutory obligations of previous due diligence and record-keeping obligations.

iii. Supervisory and criminal sanctions for non-compliance with the statutory requirements.

iv. Creation of a licensing regime and anti-money laundering framework for remittance agents and money changers.

The four RAs had already published (in January 2012) the Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing. Each of them has a slightly modified version. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has imposed a new reporting requirement for employers in respect of payments in lieu of notice made to employees on or after 1 April 2012.

In other words, they are now being treated by the IRD as taxable: previously, the IRD treated payments in lieu of notice as not taxable and therefore did not require them to be reported.

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