As many business law practitioners are aware, a new federal law called the Corporate Transparency Act took effect on January 1, 2024. The wide-reaching legislation imposes new reporting requirements on most small and medium-sized businesses, individuals with ownership interest or control in those entities, and the lawyers or other legal professionals involved in their formation. Failure to comply with the strict reporting deadlines may carry civil and/or criminal penalties.
Reports must be filed with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which has established a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) E-Filing System. The following alert appears on FinCEN’s BOI home page:
- Alert: FinCEN has been notified of recent fraudulent attempts to solicit information from individuals and entities who may be subject to reporting requirements under the Corporate Transparency Act. The fraudulent correspondence may be titled "Important Compliance Notice" and asks the recipient to click on a URL or to scan a QR code. Those e-mails or letters are fraudulent. FinCEN does not send unsolicited requests. Please do not respond to these fraudulent messages, or click on any links or scan any QR codes within them.
Lawyers who represent individuals or entities that may be subject to the Act’s reporting requirements should notify their clients about FinCEN’s alert and advise them not to respond to unsolicited requests purporting to come from FinCEN. Law firms should also inform their law office staff about the alert and instruct them to report any such unsolicited messages.
To learn more about the Corporate Transparency Act, please see this article and accompanying sidebar in the December issue of inBrief and this article in the December issue of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin.