FinCEN Launches Regulatory Process for New Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirement

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit public comment on a wide range of questions related to the implementation of the beneficial ownership information reporting provisions of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). 

This ANPRM is the first in a series of regulatory actions that FinCEN will undertake to implement the CTA, which is included within the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act).  The AML Act is part of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law on January 1, 2021.  

The CTA amended the Bank Secrecy Act to require corporations, limited liability companies, and similar entities to report certain information about their beneficial owners (the individual natural persons who ultimately own or control the companies).  This new reporting requirement will enhance the national security of the United States by making it more difficult for malign actors to exploit opaque legal structures to launder money, finance terrorism, proliferate weapons of mass destruction, traffic humans and drugs, and commit serious tax fraud and other crimes that harm the American people.

The CTA requires FinCEN to maintain the reported beneficial ownership information in a confidential, secure, and non-public database.  Furthermore, the CTA authorizes FinCEN to disclose beneficial ownership information subject to appropriate protocols and for specific purposes to several categories of recipients, such as federal law enforcement.  Finally, the CTA requires FinCEN to revise existing financial institution customer due diligence regulations concerning beneficial ownership to take into account the new direct reporting of beneficial ownership information.

FinCEN strongly encourages all interested parties, particularly those that would be affected by the beneficial ownership information reporting provisions or would seek access to reported beneficial ownership information, to submit written comments.  Such written comments will help inform FinCEN’s implementation of all aspects of the beneficial ownership reporting rulemaking.   

Comments should be submitted by May 5, 2021.

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