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FinCEN embraces reports on beneficial ownership.

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has begun accepting beneficial ownership reports through a new online registry, as mandated by the Corporate Transparency Act of 2021. The new reporting requirement aims to deter money laundering, corruption, and other criminal activities by shell companies. Existing companies have one year to file their reports, while new companies must file within 90 days of their creation or registration. The American Institute of CPAs has supported a bill to delay the new rules, but unless the Senate acts, the requirement stands.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the launch of the beneficial ownership registry is a significant step towards protecting economic and national security. The registry will eliminate vulnerabilities in the financial system and enable the detection of illicit finance enabled by opaque corporate structures.

The reporting requirement is not an annual requirement, and a report only needs to be submitted once, unless updates or corrections are necessary. Reporting companies must provide information about each beneficial owner, including name, date of birth, address, and identifying documents. Companies also need to provide information about themselves, such as their name and address.

FinCEN has provided guidance and a Small Entity Compliance Guide to help companies navigate the new requirements. Filers can also access informational videos, webinars, and a contact center for support.

Key Points:

  • FinCEN has begun accepting beneficial ownership reports through a new online registry.
  • The reporting requirement aims to deter money laundering and other criminal activities by shell companies.
  • Existing companies have one year to file their reports, while new companies must file within 90 days of creation or registration.
  • The American Institute of CPAs supports a bill to delay the new rules, but unless the Senate acts, the requirement stands.
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen states that the registry will protect economic and national security by eliminating vulnerabilities in the financial system.

For more information, visit the FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information website.

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