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SARs: Your “Get out of jail free” card

SARs: Your “Get out of jail free” card
Posted by: Tony Margaritelli | Last modified on 26/04/2019

Monopoly is one of the biggest selling board games in the world and has been played by families everywhere usually ending in a temper tantrum from one or other of the children or maybe the adults.

“Community Chest” is the pile of cards that contains the very useful “get out of jail card” that can be proffered in circumstances where you have landed up in Jail.

On the 25th April I ran a webinar on Money Laundering issues along my guest Richard Simms MD of the Anti Money Laundering Compliance Company and we were discussing the impact the first report of the Money laundering supervisor’s supervisor OPBAS which was to say the least damming.

Inevitably questions were asked about making a SARs (Suspicious Activity Report) with comments such as “Why should I bother when nothing happens”. Richard covered the fact that with SARs relating to tax they are sent to HMRC and as he pointed out they have always been busy but with Brexit they are even more busy than before so 12 to 18 month is not unusual and you will probably never know what HMRC actually did because they don’t send out letters or emails.

The point Richard made was that please don’t be reluctant to submit a SARs because proof of submission was as he wonderfully called it “Your get out of jail free” card It was proof to your supervisors that you had fulfilled your legal obligations, you had done what the law prescribes. What happens after that is out of your hands but if your Supervisor says did you make a SARs given the circumstances? And you have no get out of jail free card be prepared for the cost.         

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