The Clock is Ticking: Register Your Business and Estate Planning Entities Under the Corporate Transparency Act

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Attention business owners and those with entities as part of their estate plan: We’re at the halfway point of the year, which means you only have a few months left to meet the deadline to file with FinCEN under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) or face hefty fines. This isn’t just about traditional businesses – if you’ve created entities as part of your estate planning, you may need to register too.

What is the Corporate Transparency Act?

The CTA is a federal law aimed at combating money laundering, tax fraud, and other financial crimes. It requires many businesses and legal entities to report information about their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). 

Who Needs to Register?

  • Most corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and other entities created by filing with a secretary of state or similar office
  • Foreign entities registered to do business in the United States

This includes many entities created for estate planning purposes, such as:

  • Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs)
  • Certain trusts with business activities
  • LLCs holding family assets

What’s the Deadline?

  • For entities created before January 1, 2024: The deadline is January 1, 2025
  • For entities created in 2024: You have 90 days from the creation date to file
  • For entities created in 2025 and beyond: You must file within 30 days of creation

What Information is Required?

You’ll need to report:

  1. Company information (name, address, jurisdiction of formation)
  2. Beneficial owner information (name, date of birth, address, unique identifying number from an acceptable document)
  3. Company applicant information (the individual who filed the formation documents)

The Stakes Are High

Failure to comply with the CTA can result in:

  • Civil penalties of up to $500 per day
  • Criminal fines of up to $10,000
  • Imprisonment for up to two years 

Estate Planning Implications

If you’ve set up entities as part of your estate plan, don’t assume you’re exempt. Many estate planning structures fall under the CTA’s requirements. This might include:

  • Family LLCs holding real estate or investments
  • Corporations set up to manage family businesses
  • Certain types of trusts with business activities 

Next Steps

  1. Review your business and estate planning entities to determine which ones need to report
  2. Gather the necessary information for each reportable entity
  3. Prepare to file or consult with a legal professional for assistance

Don’t let the deadline sneak up on you. The CTA represents a significant change in business transparency requirements, and it’s crucial to ensure you’re in compliance.

Whether you’re a business owner or you’ve created entities for estate planning purposes, now is the time to act. Consult with your attorney to ensure you’re meeting all CTA requirements. The clock is ticking – don’t risk hefty fines or legal troubles. Get your CTA filing in order today!

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