OECD – MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING AWARENESS HANDBOOK FOR TAX EXAMINERS AND TAX AUDITORS
OECD – MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING AWARENESS HANDBOOK FOR TAX EXAMINERS AND TAX AUDITORS. The purpose of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Awareness Handbook for Tax Examiners and Tax Auditors is to raise the awareness level of tax examiners and tax auditors regarding money laundering and terrorist financing. As such, the primary audience for this Handbook are tax examiners and tax auditors who may come across indicators of unusual or suspicious transactions or activities in the normal course of tax reviews or audits and report to an appropriate authority. While this Handbook is not intended to detail criminal investigation methods, it does describe the nature and context of money laundering and terrorist financing activities, so that tax examiners and tax auditors, and by extension tax administrations, are able to better understand how their contributions can assist in the fight against serious crimes. This Handbook is an update of OECD’s 2009 Money Laundering Awareness Handbook for Tax Examiners and Tax Auditors. This update enhances the 2009 publication with additional chapters such as “Indicators on Charities and Foreign Legal Entities” and “Indicators on Cryptocurrencies” relating to money laundering. In a separate chapter, the increasing threat of terrorism is addressed by including indicators of terrorist financing. While the aim of this Handbook is to raise the awareness of the tax examiners and tax auditors about the possible implications of transactions or activities related to money laundering and terrorist financing, this Handbook is not meant to replace domestic policies or procedures. Tax examiners and tax auditors will need to carry out their duties in accordance with the policies and procedures in force in their country. Financial crimes, including tax crimes, money laundering, and terrorist financing, undermine jurisdictions’ political and economic interests and pose a serious threat to national security. Law enforcement authorities working to combat these crimes operate in an environment with limited resources, and advances in technology mean that criminals are using ever more sophisticated methods to avoid detection. Combatting these crimes therefore necessitates a “whole of government approach” where different financial crime authorities can pool their knowledge and skills to collectively prevent, detect, and enforce these crimes. By their very nature, tax crimes are closely linked to other financial crimes and it is well recognised that tax authorities have a central role to play in identifying and reporting money laundering and terrorist financing. While the benefits of reporting and information sharing between tax authorities and anti-money laundering authorities are well recognised, both developed and developing jurisdictions alike face ongoing challenges when it comes to applying this cross-government co-operation in practice. The OECD originally developed this Handbook in 2009 as a practical tool to enhance cooperation between tax authorities and anti-money laundering authorities. This revised Handbook updates the 2009 version with respect to money laundering indicators, and includes, for the first time, material to raise the awareness of tax examiners, auditors, and investigators of issues concerning terrorism financing. There are substantial gains to be made by developing strong legal, institutional, operational, and cultural frameworks for tax authorities to report and share information with authorities responsible for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. Efforts to frustrate these criminal activities start with a firm commitment from political leaders but ultimately end with government officials implementing these policies on the ground. Authorities around the globe are encouraged to make use of this Handbook and adapt it to their jurisdiction’s particular circumstances, taking into account the varying roles that tax administrations have in terms of reporting unusual or suspicious transactions, receiving suspicious transaction reports, and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing offences. Doing so can strengthen the ability of tax examiners and auditors to identify and report money laundering and terrorist financing, thus enhancing the whole-of-government efforts to detect, deter and prevent these illegal and destructive activities.