Did you know the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) went  into effect on January 1, 2024? What is this Act? This Act represents a significant shift in the way reporting companies in the United States must disclose their beneficial ownership information. As a Wisconsin estate planning law firm, we know how crucial it is to both understand the implications of this Act and share this with our clients, especially in the context of business succession, mergers, acquisitions, and the administration of estates.

First, it is important to understand that the CTA aims to curb illegal activities like money laundering, tax evasion, and financing of terrorism by enhancing transparency in the ownership of legal entities. It mandates the disclosure of beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

There are important 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

What will need to be reported? 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.

There will be more than just the initial reporting, however. 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.

The Corporate Transparency Act introduces significant changes in reporting requirements for legal entities. Staying abreast of these changes and guiding our Wisconsin 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.  As an estate planning and elder law firm, we urge our clients to take advantage of these tools and resources, ensuring comprehensive financial health and security. We want to help you protect your aging relatives. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.