The Economic Crime Levy (ECL) is a forthcoming annual charge that will impact businesses operating under the supervision of the Money Laundering Regulations.

Recently, HMRC has released guidance outlining the necessary steps to prepare for this new levy, which aims to raise £100 million per year for combating economic crime and supporting anti-money laundering (AML) efforts.

What does it mean?

Starting from September of this year, companies with UK revenue exceeding £10.2 million will be required to pay the ECL.

The levy amount will vary based on the size of the business, ranging from £10,000 for medium-sized businesses (£10.2m-£36m) to £250,000 for the largest businesses (revenue exceeding £1bn).

What needs to be done?

Eligible organisations will need to register for the ECL and submit an annual return, with the initial payments due by 30 September 2023.

The charge will apply to the financial year from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, and it will be collected by either HMRC, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or the Gambling Commission.

Additionally, HMRC will be responsible for collecting the levy from accountancy firms supervised by the 22 professional body supervisors.


Small businesses earning under the £10.2 million revenue threshold will be exempt from the ECL and will not be required to register with HMRC.

However, medium-sized businesses will need to pay an annual fee of £10,000, large businesses will pay £36,000, and the largest businesses will pay £250,000.

Why is it important?

It is imperative that businesses subject to the ECL to comply with the regulations and fulfil their obligations.

Failure to file an ECL return or maintain the necessary records may result in financial penalties, starting at £250 or 5% of the outstanding amount.

However, these penalties can be avoided if a reasonable excuse is established.

HMRC and the Gambling Commission are required to make assessments within specific timeframes.

Assessments must be made within four years of the submission of a return or within 20 years from the due date when no return was submitted.

To facilitate the ECL process, HMRC will continue to provide guidance, including information on how to register, submit ECL returns, and make payments. Further details can be found on HMRC’s official website.

How we can help

At Williamson & Croft, we understand the complexities and challenges businesses face when it comes to complying with regulatory requirements such as the Economic Crime Levy.

We are here to provide comprehensive assistance and guidance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process for our clients.

Our team of experts will help you navigate the registration process, accurately prepare, and submit ECL returns, and ensure timely payment of the levy.

Contact us today to discuss how we can support you in preparing for and meeting your ECL obligations effectively.