Regulations on the beneficial ownership of trusts SI No.16/2019 has now been enacted by the Minister for Finance to bring into effect the Fifth Anti- Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) of the EU which came into force on 9 July 2018. Trustees resident in Ireland or where the trust is administered in Ireland must record and maintain up to date a beneficial ownership register for the trust to be made available to the Revenue Commissioners and Irish competent authorities on request. Such competent authorities include the Central Bank of Ireland and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. This information can be disclosed by the competent authority on request to a corresponding competent authority in another Member State.

The information to be listed is the name, date of birth, nationality and residential address of each beneficial owner of the trust, the date the person was entered into the register and the date if relevant the person ceased to be a beneficial owner.

A beneficial owner includes persons with at least a 25% interest in possession, remainder or reversion of the capital of the trust property and now a person holding any vested interest in the property is a beneficial owner as now may be settlors, trustees and protectors.

Furthermore where trustees dealing with trust property enters into a business relationship or makes an ‘occasional transaction’ (one where €10,000 or more is involved) with a designated person for AML purposes, the trustees must inform the designated person in writing that they are acting as a trustee and provide the information identifying all the beneficial owners or potential owners of the trust. Designated persons include lawyers, auditors, accountants, tax advisors, trust or company service providers, banks and other credit and financial institutions.

Once all of the provisions of 5AMLD are transposed (Ireland is obliged to do this prior to 10 January 2020), beneficial ownership information will be placed on a central register and available to a wider list of permitted persons and bodies including persons who can demonstrate a ‘legitimate interest’. For further commentary on this an article written by the Chair of STEP Europe, on which body Aileen Keogan is a representative for STEP Ireland.

Regulations for the beneficial ownership of Corporate Entities were also enacted by the Minister recently, see here.