by John Bodur, MBAMay 3, 2024

A Balancing Act Between Transparency and Practicality

The Corporate Transparency Act’s (CTA) mandate to disclose beneficial ownership information (BOI) has recently ignited a debate. In principle, the CTA’s reporting requirement aims to empower authorities to identify shell companies often employed in money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing.

However, a stark disconnect exists between theory and practice. While U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, the ranking Democratic member of the House Small Business Committee, contends that “reporting should be relatively simple,” small business owners express a different perspective.

Reports suggest that approximately 32 million businesses fall under the CTA’s purview. Notably, a significant portion of these businesses are:

  • Unaware of the requirements: Many lack crucial knowledge about the CTA’s regulations.
  • Resource-constrained: Even with awareness, many businesses lack the resources to comply.

Lawmakers from both parties have echoed these concerns, highlighting the challenges faced by their constituents. Additionally, data privacy anxieties have emerged among small business owners. The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the designated filing repository, has issued warnings regarding fraudulent solicitations exploiting the CTA.

The critical question remains: what lies ahead? The Small Business Administration estimates that small businesses employ nearly 47.5% of the American workforce, constituting a cornerstone of the U.S. economy. While there’s broad agreement on the CTA’s intended purpose and the benefits of BOI disclosure, the practical challenges are undeniable.

The House Small Business Committee is expected to address these practical concerns and discuss potential solutions. Ultimately, both sides seem to acknowledge the act’s theoretical benefits, contingent upon successful implementation.

Please contact our Global Business Services team with questions regarding the Corporate Transparency Act or any other international tax topic.

John Bodur, MBA is a Senior Tax Consultant in the firm’s Global Business Services practice and is responsible for assisting clients and adding depth in all areas of the firm’s international tax consulting services including transfer pricing, and the firm’s compliance expertise.

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