Dirty Cash: Cleaning Up Money Laundering

While New Zealand is hardly the money laundering capital of the world, we do see around $1.35 billion of fraud and drug-related money laundered through legitimate New Zealand businesses every year.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) came in to full force on 30 June 2013. This legislation ensures that businesses take appropriate measures to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing. This enhances the reputation of individual businesses, and of New Zealand as a safe place in which to do business.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Act 2017 puts in place “Phase 2” of New Zealand’s AML/CFT laws, extending the reach of the Act.

Phase 2 will include:

  • extending the current AML/CFT Act to cover more businesses (including real estate agents and conveyancers; many lawyers and accountants; some businesses that deal in expensive goods; and betting on sports and racing)
  • making some changes that affect “Phase 1” businesses (including banks, casinos and a range of financial service providers) who have had to comply with the Act since 2013.

From 1 October 2018, all accountants will be required to comply with this revised Act. So you might notice us asking for information about your business that we haven’t asked for before – especially if it involves large cash transactions, or multiple companies or trusts.

If you deal in high value goods, you will need to consider these new rules as cash payments of $15,000 or more in one transaction or which add up to $15,000 or more in a series of cash payments will be caught by the Act from 1 August 2019. The Department of Internal Affairs has also set up a team to help businesses comply. Go to justice.govt.nz and search for AML/CFT supervision and support for businesses.

Even better, call us and we can advise you on what the Act means for your business.