FinCEN head: Agency seeking to educate, not punish, BOI reporters

Treasury Department

The Treasury Department agency enforcing new beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting requirements for businesses will focus its attention on education and outreach during the first year of implementation, although “willful violations” will still merit punishment.

Andrea Gacki, director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said Wednesday in testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services that “FinCEN has no interest in hitting small businesses with excessive fines or penalties” regarding BOI reporting.

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which established the beneficial ownership registry and the requirements for limited liability companies to report their BOI to FinCEN, took effect Jan. 1. The CTA does contain provisions to penalize those who willfully violate the law, including fines of $500 for each day the violation continues and criminal penalties of up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000, but Gacki said FinCEN is “not seeking to take ‘gotcha’ enforcement actions.”

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