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Why is my Accountant asking me for proof of address and identity?

April 30, 2020

Q: Why is my Accountant asking me for proof of address and identity?  I’ve worked with them for years, they know me …


A: In summary, since 1 October 2018, Accountants were required to collect this information from all clients under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML Act”).  It is mandatory, if we do not collect this information and are audited by the Department of Internal Affairs (“DIA”) we may be prosecuted, the consequences of which to our business would be severe.


Want to know more?  Here’s the detail…


In addition to Accountants, Casinos, Banks, Lawyers, Real Estate Agents, Investment Brokers, Mortgage Brokers, etc, are all obliged to comply with the provisions of the AML Act.


Under the AML Act, Campbell Tyson is obliged to make certain records available for inspection by the Department of Internal Affairs should that Department make such a request as part of any investigation.  Aside from this, the main requirement which directly impacts our clients is the obligation we as an accounting practice have and that is to ask for documents proving identity and physical home address. 


These documents must be obtained from all Directors and Shareholders of a Company,all Partners of a Partnership, all Trustees of a Trust, all individuals; in other words everyone for whom we are providing accounting, advisory or trustee services.  The documents must be certified as true copies meaning the originals have to be sighted and copies signed off by an approved Certifier as true and correct (for proof of address) or as a true representation of the named persons’ identify (for ID documents).  Approved Certifiers are Chartered Accountants, Solicitors, Justices of the Peace, Registered Doctors, Registered Teachers, Ministers of Religion, Kaumatua or Members of Parliament.  At Campbell Tyson we have a number of Chartered Accountants, an in-house Solicitor and a Justice of the Peace who can provide this service.


Acceptable documents providing identification:  A Passport is the preferred document but in the absence of one then a Driver Licence together with one of the following: Firearm licence, Birth Certificate, embossed Bank Credit/Debit Card or Statement, Super Gold Card or Government Agency letter or statement.


Acceptable Proof of Address documents:  Utility (water, power, gas) or Rates bill, Telephone bill, Insurance policy, Bank Account Statement or Credit/Debit Card Statement, Government Agency Statement (IRD, MSD, WINZ,  VTNZ etc).


Any statements or letters provided must be no more than 12 months old and identification should be current.  If neither of these options are available please let us know and we will discuss alternative solutions with you directly.


In the course of providing accounting, trustee or advisory services we may require or be asked to provide evidence of source of wealth or funds.  Source of wealth is confirmation as to how you actually got the funds, for example from selling a property or business, an inheritance, capital gain, income accumulation,etc.  Source of funds is more specific and relates to where certain money is physically coming from whether that be, for example, a bank account or a lawyers trust account.  In most cases it will be the wider Source of Wealth which is required and the requests may come from real estate agencies or investment brokers, etc, who will be dealing with your funds or property.


With the exception of documents or information disclosed to a government department pursuant to any legislative demand, all client documents and information are treated as confidential pursuant to the provisions of The Privacy Act 1993 and he principles governing client confidentiality and will not be released without client consent first having been obtained.


You are welcome to submit any requests for more information or questions in relation to the AML Act to help@ct.co.nz.


Allison Sankey

Legal Executive

Campbell Tyson Ltd

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