The UK is being accused of being slow to issue some £1billion in fines to Overseas Entities who own UK property and have failed in their UK reporting obligations under anti-money laundering and transparency measures.

Under the terms of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, the Register of Overseas Entities launched on 1 August 2022. 

Overseas entities who own, buy, sell, or transfer property or land in the UK required to register with Companies House to provide details of their beneficial owners or managing officers.

Non-compliance with this regime can result in:

  • Being unable to register or dispose of land.
  • Fines of up to £2,500 per day.
  • Prison sentences of up to five years.

There was six-month transitional period for registrations to be completed from when the register came into force in August 2022.

BBC journalists who have reviewed the register at Companies House, estimate that some 4,000-5,000 Overseas Entities have yet to report their details. Potentially the UK could earn fines of £10million per day.

A spokesman for the Department for Business and Trade said 'it was building cases against companies who have failed to register by the deadline and working with law enforcement to "prioritise action against the most egregious offenders".

It is thought that many Overseas Entities may simply be unaware of the measure: if so the UK will need to take steps to track down owners. Many beneficial owners may also be on the UK's Sanctions Lists and will not be located due to use the offshore shell companies abroad.

Useful guides on this topic

Register of Overseas Entities
Freeview guide: Overseas owners of UK property to register and report their beneficial ownership to Companies House when they own, buy or sell UK property.

Registration of Overseas Entities: Agent Guide
Registration of Overseas Entities: How to register an Overseas Entity that owns, buys or sells UK property. A detailed guide for Overseas Entities and their UK Agents.

External link
BBC News

Squirrel ad

Are you enjoying our content? 

Thousands of accountants and advisers and their clients use as their primary TAX resource.

Register with us now to receive our receive our FREE SME Topical Tax Update & newletter