New FICA legislation: How you're affected

Category Industry News

Amendments to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (FICA) aims to combat financial crimes, such as money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing activities, by imposing certain duties on institutions that might be used for money laundering purposes, including the property sector.

The act requires companies to conduct a risk assessment or due diligence on all parties before entering into a business relationship or transaction. The deadline for all accountable institutions to meet the amendments was on 2 April 2019.

But what does this mean exactly for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants and how will the changes impact you personally?

The amendments mean your estate agent is legally obliged to collect and verify certain information such as proof of identity and proof of residence when entering into a transaction with you. In certain instances, additional information may be required. Estate agents will also require sight of all original documents. When providing original identity documents, these will need to be seen in the presence of the document holder. Depending on individual circumstances, estate agents may require additional documentation. While this may seem onerous, the amendments are designed to protect both you and the estate agency.

The main documents you need to provide are:

  • A certified copy of your ID
  • A certified proof of residence
  • Fill out a FICA form either as a Natural Person, Company, Trust or Partnership

What are acceptable FICA documents?

  • A copy of your green barcoded ID or the newly-introduced Smart ID card would suffice
  • A utility bill, such as water, electricity or rates (less than 3 months old)
  • A bank statement or financial statement from a financial institution (less than 3 months old)
  • A municipal rates and taxes invoice (less than 3 months old)
  • A mortgage statement from another financial institution, (less than 6 months old)
  • A telephone account, ie. a landline or cellphone account (less than 3 months old)
  • An official tax return/tax assessment (less than 1 year old)
  • Official correspondence from the South African Revenue Services ("SARS") (less than 3 months old)
  • A recent life insurance policy issued by an insurance company
  • Correspondence from a body corporate or share-block association (less than 3 months old)
  • A valid television license document
  • A recent short-term insurance policy document or a short-term insurance renewal letter (less than 1 year old)

Author: Adrienne Hersch Media Team

Submitted 10 Apr 19 / Views 458