The European Parliament approved the maintenance of public registers listing ultimate ownership of EU companies, as part of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The new rules must be introduced in all EU Member States within the next 2 years.
A KPMG Euro Tax Flash outlines details of this proposal:
- Beneficial ownership is broadly defined, covering individuals who ultimately (directly or indirectly) control the entity. The control threshold is premised on a 25% ownership criterion although Member States may adopt lower percentages.
- Information accessible by: competent authorities, financial intelligence units, “obliged entities” and persons/organisations that can demonstrate a “legitimate interest” (not a defined term).
- Member States have 2 years from adoption to implement its provisions into their domestic legislation.
In an ever-increasing quest for transparency, this Directive will fulfill EU’s obligation to meet that objective.