As you may know the law in this area has changed.
There has been some interesting media coverage of these changes – especially on the impact that they have on Mr Babis and his trusts.
The new law was finally passed as 37/2021 Sb. Zákon o evidenci skutečných majitelů (Law on the Register of Beneficial Owners) and takes effect on 1 June 2021.
As we have mentioned previously, one of the promised benefits of the new law was that it can automatically extract all the necessary data from the Evidence SF. Our hope was that this would mean that most clients do not need to do anything.
Unfortunately, for most trustees, the reality does not live up to these hopes. The reason is that the definition of Beneficial Owner in the new act has been changed to include two additional groups of people:
- Anyone else (including Eligible Persons) in whose “main interest” the trust has been established.
As a result the data on the Evidence SF rarely includes all the needed information. In other cases, the information on the Evidence is ‘not good enough’ for the automatic extraction. For example, if the beneficiaries of your trust are “all my children” that’s not good enough. For the Register of Beneficial Owners it is necessary to include the names of each individual child.
Likewise, if your trust has Eligible persons, automatic extraction will also not work.
That means that almost all trustees will need to manually register their trust on the Register of Beneficial Ownership once the new law takes effect. (This applies even if you have already registered in the past because the definition of beneficial owner has now changed).
Unlike in the case of the previous law, there are significant penalties for breaches of your obligations in this regard, so it is important that you comply with them.
The records in the Register of Beneficial Owners are not public so for most clients, this will be a bureaucratic formality rather than any real change. The exception to this is in the case that your trust owns a larger shareholding in a Czech company – in which case your trust details will be visible indirectly (i.e. not via the trust by via the company).
If you need help with this, please contact us.