UK Treasury confirms artists exempt from anti-money laundering regulations
It’s official. The UK Treasury has confirmed artists will not be subject to the UK’s new anti-money laundering regulations when they come into effect on 10 June 2021.
Confusion previously reigned as to whether artists selling their work directly to collectors would be classified as Art Market Participants (AMPs), who are required to comply with the regulations where prices, or linked transactions, are the equivalent to €10,000 or more.
HMRC has just released an official statement to clarify the status, saying: “HM Treasury have recently confirmed that it is not intended that artists — persons who create original art — are in scope of the AMP definition and therefore they are not required to register as an AMP.”
A number of law firms and other organisations have been lobbying the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and HMRC to get this outcome.
Craig Davies, partner at the accountancy firm Rawlinson & Hunter, said: “Many artists do not have the financial resources or specialists within their teams to be able to cope with the practical demands that the regulations would have placed upon them.”
The result has been well received.
Fionnuala Rogers, director of the London-based law firm Canvas Art Law added: “Really excellent news for artists today. Whilst we never expected artists selling their own works to be caught by AML, understandably with the threat of criminal penalties and only a couple of weeks to go, many had started to get nervous and were thinking about registering with HMRC as a precaution, despite the £300 registration cost being a very hefty fee for most working artists.”
It has lifted a huge weight off the shoulders of artists like Hormazd Narielwalla, a London-based collage artist.
“Art is about creating with less bureaucracy and red tape, and we were confronted with things that our minds are not programmed to address,” Mr Narielwalla said.
Chris King, the co-founder and chief technology officer of the compliance company ArtAML, said the uncertainty over this issue was causing considerable distress, and it’s good for everyone now that uncertainty has been removed.
“The focus is now clearly on businesses dealing in art,” said Mr King.