HMRC cracks down on estate agents
12 Mar 2019
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a crackdown on money laundering in the property industry, which has seen a number of estate agent branches targeted in unannounced inspections.
Countywide has been fined £215,000 for "failing to ensure policies, controls and procedures at group level; and for failures in conducting due diligence; timing of verification and proper record keeping".
Online estate agent Teplio, which went into administration in December, has also been fined £68,959.
Last week alone, the Revenue undertook 50 inspections as part of a sustained in-depth look at the estate agency sector. Those which have been found to be failing to comply with regulations could face fines or criminal proceedings.
Simon York, Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, says: “These inspections are a wake-up call that if you continue to trade illegally we will come knocking.”
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