Were you aware that the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) went into effect on January 1, 2024? This Act represents a major change in the way reporting companies in the United States must disclose their beneficial ownership information. Because we are a Florida estate planning law firm, we know how important it is to both understand the implications of this Act and share this information with our clients, especially in regards to business succession, mergers, acquisitions, and the administration of estates.
To begin, it is crucial to understand that the CTA aims to keep in check illegal activities, for example, money laundering, tax evasion, and financing of terrorism. How will they do this? By intensifying transparency in the ownership of legal entities. It mandates the disclosure of beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
The following are key compliance dates to know and understand including, but not limited to, the following:
- Existing Entities. For reporting companies in existence as of the effective date, January 1, 2024, the initial reporting deadline is within one year.
- New Entities. Companies created or registered after the effective date must file their initial reports within 30 days of their creation or registration.
- Notably, FinCEN has proposed extending this initial filing deadline to 90 days for entities established in 2024.
Will there be information to be reported? Yes, right now, we understand that the CTA requires the following information for each beneficial owner and company applicant:
- Full legal name.
- Date of birth.
- Residential street address.
- Unique identifying number and issuing jurisdiction from a government-issued identification document (e.g., US driver’s license, US or foreign passport).
- An image of the document that shows the unique identifying number.
However, there will be more than just the initial reporting. It is important to note that reports must be updated within 30 days in the following scenarios:
- Change in beneficial ownership (e.g., through sale, merger, acquisition).
- Death of a beneficial owner.
- Discovery of inaccuracies in previously filed information.
As Florida estate planning attorneys, the CTA has multiple implications including:
- Considerations related to succession planning. In other words, when a business is part of a Florida estate plan, the change in ownership due to the death of a beneficial owner will necessitate a timely update under the CTA.
- For clients involved in mergers or acquisitions, due diligence that ensures compliance with CTA reporting is vital.
- The sensitive information required by the CTA may raise privacy concerns, necessitating discussions about data security and privacy measures.
As you can see, the Corporate Transparency Act introduces significant changes in reporting requirements for legal entities. Staying on top of these changes and guiding our Florida estate planning clients through compliance is essential for us at this time and we look forward to answering your questions. Understanding and preparing for the CTA’s implications will be crucial in ensuring that your estate and business planning strategies remain compliant and efficient.
We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.