The new Federal filing requirement for your business

Just in case you missed the news from your accountant, there’s a new form you need to complete for your business if you’re operating in the United States. On January 1, 2024 the Federal agency, FinCEN (the Federal Crimes Enforcement Network) began collecting Beneficial Ownership form submissions from businesses in the United States. So what is this form, and why does the government need it? 

The Beneficial Ownership form essentially tells government agencies who really owns your business and benefits from it. Many banks have already been collecting this information for several years, so there’s a chance you’ve filled one out already without realizing what it was. Now that you’ll have to report it directly to the government you might be concerned about your privacy, don’t worry – your clients won’t be able to access this information. It’s reserved for government agencies. 

This new level of transparency is designed to help law enforcement agencies find the bad actors who may be trying to hide their ill-gotten funds. In short, this is some Breaking Bad, shell company, financial crime kinda stuff. That’s probably not you, but you’ll still have to file. If you were in business before January 1, 2024 you have until January 1, 2025 to file, but you should probably file as soon as possible so you don’t forget. New businesses have different timelines, so be sure to check out the  FinCEN FAQ website for more details. 

And remember, this isn’t expert advice. We’re just spreading the word and if you have more questions talk to a financial professional like a CPA or tax advisor. 

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