Beneficial Ownership: What you may be wondering

Under EU Anti-Money Laundering directives all EU Member States need to implement a central register to hold beneficial ownership information. In Ireland, the Companies Registration Office (CRO) has been appointed as the statutory body responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the newly-established CRBO (Central Register of Beneficial Owners). 
 
Companies must file their beneficial owner’s details with the register. Once the company makes the filing, it will only need to file again if or when there is a material change in the composition of the beneficial owner/s.
 
The CRBO was originally due to open for filing on 22 June 2019, however it was postponed and opened for filing on Monday 29 July 2019. The deadline for existing companies to file details with the CRBO is 22 November 2019.
 
We have answered some frequently asked questions on the process below:
 

What is Beneficial Ownership?

A person who holds 25% or more of a company’s shares (whether directly or indirectly) is a beneficial owner.
 

What information will be needed for each Beneficial Owner?

To register companies will be asked for the following for each beneficial owner; 
  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Residential address
  • PPS number/social security number/passport number
  • Statement of the nature and extent of the interest held by the beneficial owner.
 

Who will have access to this information?

 
The general public will have access to limited information including name, extent of beneficial ownership, nationality, country of residence and part of date of birth (month and year).
High-level access to the CRBO will be granted to authorities with a ‘legitimate interest’ including the Revenue Commissioners, the Criminal Assets Bureau and An Garda Síochána.
 

Do I have to register?

 
Under EU Anti-Money Laundering rules it is a statutory requirement for all limited companies to register.
The only companies that are exempt are those subject to disclosure requirements, consistent with EU laws or equivalent national standards – for example, companies listed on the stock market.
 

What is the deadline for registering?

 
Existing companies must register by 22 November 2019. 
Newly established companies have 5 months from the date of incorporation to file their beneficial ownership details.
 
TaxAssist Accountants are strongly advising businesses to take steps to comply with this statutory obligation as soon as the register opens and well in advance of the busy autumn period for tax.  
 

What happens if I don’t register?

 
Failure to register can result in the company being fined and/or prosecuted.
 

What happens if my company’s Beneficial Owners change?

 
Any changes to Beneficial Ownership must be filed within 14 days.
 

How can I register?

 
You must register through an online portal on the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership website. It cannot be done by post, email or in person.
 

Can my accountant register my Beneficial Ownership information, or do I need to do it myself?

 
We at TaxAssist Accountants can file the return on your company’s behalf with the CRBO. 
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us 
 
 

By Niamh Gavin
Last updated November 2019

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