An agent who paid in plenty of time to renew his firm’s annual anti-money laundering registration was surprised to be charged over double after he put right a mistake.
James Hayman-Joyce, of Hayman-Joyce in Broadway, Worcestershire, had handed over responsibility as ‘nominated officer’ to partner Charles Comber earlier this year.
On April 4 – ahead of the actual renewal date of April 30 – the firm renewed its annual AML registration with HMRC and paid the £130 bill.
Inadvertently the partner had not put Hayman-Joyce’s name as a ‘responsible person’ on the renewal form.
He said: “I had to fill in a long form giving all my information, which I found odd as I had been the ‘nominated officer’ since AML was introduced so they should have had my information in their records.
“Having successfully registered myself as a responsible person we were advised that we had not paid our fee in full and owed HMRC £170 plus £40 for my ‘new’ registration.”
Speaking to HMRC’s helpline, he was told that the renewal fee had increased to £300 on May 1.
Despite paying the correct fee in April, he was told that the new fee was payable as the firm had made an amendment to its registration after May 1.
Hayman-Joyce said that the firm was threatened with ‘ex-communication’ if it didn’t pay, which would have put it in breach of the law.
“Rather than continue to hit our heads against a brick wall, we paid up,” Hayman-Joyce said.
We approached HMRC, but it declined to comment on a specific case.
In the past, readers have experienced notable difficulties in renewing their registrations with HMRC after it took over AML supervision from the now-defunct Office of Fair Trading.