On 1/4/24, FinCEN published additional BOI FAQ’s to include new information about reporting companies, beneficial owners, company applicants, reporting requirements, and reporting company exemptions, as well as updated information about FinCEN identifiers. The 1/4/24 BOI FAQs includes eight questions versus the 12/12/23 update which included twenty-one questions.
BOI FAQs from the FinCEN 1/12/24 update are:
- Under the Corporate Transparency Act, who can access beneficial ownership information?
FinCEN will permit Federal, State, local, and Tribal officials, as well as certain foreign officials who submit a request through a U.S. Federal government agency, to obtain beneficial ownership information for authorized activities related to national security, intelligence, and law enforcement. Financial institutions will have access to beneficial ownership information in certain circumstances, with the consent of the reporting company. Those financial institutions’ regulators will also have access to beneficial ownership information when they supervise the financial institutions.
FinCEN published the rule that will govern access to and protection of beneficial ownership information on December 22, 2023. Beneficial ownership information reported to FinCEN will be stored in a secure, non-public database using rigorous information security methods and controls typically used in the Federal government to protect non-classified yet sensitive information systems at the highest security level. FinCEN will work closely with those authorized to access beneficial ownership information to ensure that they understand their roles and responsibilities in using the reported information only for authorized purposes and handling in a way that protects its security and confidentiality.
- Should my company report beneficial ownership information now?
FinCEN launched the BOI E-Filing website for reporting beneficial ownership information on January 1, 2024.
A reporting company created or registered to do business before January 1, 2024, will have until January 1, 2025, to file its initial BOI report.
A reporting company created or registered in 2024 will have 90 calendar days to file after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective.
A reporting company created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, will have 30 calendar days to file after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective.
- Will there be a fee for submitting a beneficial ownership information report to FinCEN?
No. There is no fee for submitting your beneficial ownership information report to FinCEN.
- How will I report my company’s beneficial ownership information?
If you are required to report your company’s beneficial ownership information to FinCEN, you will do so electronically through a secure filing system available via FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website
- Where can I find the form to report?
Access the form by going to FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website and select “File BOIR.”
- How can I obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for a new company quickly so that I can file an initial beneficial ownership information report on time?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a free online application for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a type of TIN, which is provided immediately upon submission of the application. For more information on TINs, see “Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN)” at IRS.gov. For more information on Employer Identification Numbers and to access the EIN online application, see “Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online” at IRS.gov.
A paper filing is required if a foreign person that does not have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) applies for an EIN. According to the IRS, receiving an EIN through this process could take six to eight weeks. If you are a foreign person that may need to obtain an EIN for a reporting company, we recommend applying early for an ITIN. Foreign reporting companies that are not subject to U.S. corporate income tax may report a foreign tax identification number and the name of the relevant jurisdiction instead of an EIN or TIN.
- How do I request a FinCEN identifier?
Individuals may request a FinCEN identifier starting January 1, 2024, by completing an electronic web form at https://fincenid.fincen.gov. Individuals will need to provide their full legal name, date of birth, address, unique identifying number and issuing jurisdiction from an acceptable identification document, and an image of the identification document. After an individual submits this information, they will immediately receive a unique FinCEN identifier.
Reporting companies may request a FinCEN identifier by checking a box on the beneficial ownership information report upon submission. After the reporting company submits the report, the company will immediately receive a unique FinCEN identifier. If a reporting company wishes to request a FinCEN identifier after submitting its initial beneficial ownership report, it may submit an updated beneficial ownership information report requesting a FinCEN identifier, even if the company does not otherwise need to update its information.
- Can a third-party service provider assist reporting companies by submitting required information to FinCEN on their behalf?
Yes. Reporting companies may use third-party service providers to submit beneficial ownership information reports. Third-party service providers will have the ability to submit the reports via FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website or an Application Programming Interface (API). To request the API technical specifications, use FinCEN’s contact form: https://www.fincen.gov/contact. Please do the following when submitting your inquiry: (1) select the topic associated with Beneficial Ownership (BO) / Corporate Transparency Act (CTA); (2) select the subject associated with API requests; (3) in the message body, indicate the nature of your API-related inquiry (e.g., “I would like to review the API technical specifications,” “I would like to request access to the API,” etc.).
BOI FAQs have been published by FinCEN in response to inquiries received relating to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Rule. BOI FAQs are explanatory only and do not supplement or modify any obligations imposed by statute or regulation. FinCEN expects to publish additional guidance in the future, including updates to BOI FAQs.
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