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U.S. Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Begins

FinCEN’s Compliance Guide provides an exemption qualification checklist.

Reporting Timelines and Requirements

First, you only must file an initial report once. There are no annual reporting requirements. Filing deadlines vary based on when a company was created or registered with the relevant secretary of state.

  • Before Jan. 1, 2024, => Deadline of Jan. 1, 2025
  • Between Jan. 1, 2024, and Jan. 1, 2025, => You have 90 calendar days after receiving notice of the company’s creation or registration to file.
  • On or after Jan. 1, 2025, => Deadline is 30 calendar days from the company’s creation or registration.

While there is no annual filing requirement, filing updates are necessary within 30 days of any changes. Ownership activity subject to change reporting includes registering a new business name, a change in beneficial owners, or a beneficial owner’s name, address, or unique identifying number previously provided.

What Do You Need to Report?

Beneficial ownership reporting must identify the following data.

At the company level, it must report:

  • Company name, both legal and trade (if applicable)
  • Company physical address (no post office boxes)
  • Jurisdiction of formation or registration
  • Taxpayer Identification Number

For each beneficial owner, the following must be reported:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Driver’s license, passport, or other acceptable identification

Depending on the situation, there also may be reporting requirements about the company applicant. This is generally a person involved in the creation or registration of the company. The same four pieces of data as for a beneficial owner would need to be provided.

As a general rule, a beneficial owner is someone who controls the company or owns 25 percent or more.

The full definition and all exemptions to whom constitutes a beneficial owner or company applicant can be found here.

No financial information or details about the business operations are required.

How and Where to File

You have the option to file online or via PDF. Filing online can be done through the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) E-Filing System on the FinCEN site.

There is no cost to file.

Conclusion and Cautions

While the reporting is simple, the requirements should not be taken lightly. Failure to report could result in civil penalties of up to $500 per day and criminal charges of up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

The message is this: Don’t wait – and don’t forget to file!

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The 2023 Tax Planning Guide

New Business Travel Per Diem Rates Announced for 2023-2024

follows:*

  •        Travel to high-cost locations is $309 ($297 prior year)
  •        Travel to other locations is $214 ($204 prior year)
  •        Incidental expense stay is the same at $5 per day, regardless of location

*Taxpayers in the transportation industry are subject to special rates

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IRS Announces End of Unannounced Taxpayer Visits (Mostly)

States. The change in policy does not impact Special Agents.

Safety

Why the shift to (mostly) eliminating surprise visits from IRS Revenue Officers? Safety is cited as the main concern. Unannounced visits to taxpayers, whether at home or their business, can be risky. Historically, IRS Revenue Officers faced contentious and sometimes dangerous conditions during their unannounced visits.

Taxpayer Confusion

There is also a growing number of scam artists pretending to be IRS agents or officers. As a result, taxpayers are increasingly wary of unannounced visits, and this causes confusion for both the taxpayer and law enforcement.

The difficulty in distinguishing between IRS representatives and fakes has caused concern for taxpayers already on guard for scam artists. The IRS believes that maintaining trust among the public will go a long way to maintaining the legitimacy of the organization.

Appointment Letters In Lieu of Visits

In place of these previously unannounced visits, the IRS will contact taxpayers through a 725-B letter, more colloquially known as an appointment letter.

An appointment letter will facilitate scheduling in-person meetings, with the opportunity for the taxpayer to prepare any information and documentation beforehand, allowing for quicker resolution of cases. These meetings occur at a pre-determined time, date, and place.

Limited Visits Will Still Occur

The policy change does not completely eliminate unannounced visits by the IRS. In “extremely limited situations,” such as serving summonses and subpoenas and the seizure of assets, unannounced visits will still occur. To give some perspective, these types of visits will account for only a few hundred per year compared to the tens of thousands of unannounced visits under the old policy.

Conclusion

Unannounced IRS visits are (almost) a thing of the past. They will be carried out only in rare, necessary cases, with most Revenue Officer visits being pre-scheduled. This should ease taxpayer anxiety and make case resolution more efficient.