Roundtable Weekly
Treasury Issues Proposed Beneficial Ownership Regulations on Info Retention and Disclosure
December 23, 2022
Treasury Building bright blue sky

The Treasury Department issued a set of proposed rules this month that address how government officials could access information about the “beneficial owners” of most corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities created in or registered to do business in the United States. (Fact Sheet, Dec. 15 and Federal Register, Dec. 16)

Proposed FinCEN Rules

  • The Dec. 15 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued by Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) follows a final beneficial ownership rule issued on Sept. 30. The previous rule requires millions of companies to report information about their beneficial owners—persons who own at least 25% of a company or exert significant authority over it—to FinCEN. (Final Rule | Fact Sheet | Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 30)
  • The Roundtable and three other national real estate organizations submitted detailed comments to FinCEN on May 5, 2021 addressing several implementation concerns related to the beneficial ownership registry. (Roundtable Weekly, May 7)
  • FinCEN Acting Director Himamauli Das said, “The beneficial ownership information reporting rule finalized earlier this year is a major step forward in unmasking shell companies and protecting the U.S. financial system from abuse by money launderers, drug traffickers, sanctioned oligarchs, and other criminals.”
  • “In this next step, the proposed rule would provide the highest standards of security and confidentiality while ensuring that the new beneficial ownership database is highly useful to law enforcement agencies in its efforts to combat financial crime.” Das added, “As we drive toward full implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act, we move closer to exposing criminals, corrupt actors, and anyone trying to hide ill-gotten gains in the United States.” (Treasury news release and FinCEN Fact Sheet, Dec. 15)

House Republican Opposition

Rep. Patrick McHenry
  • The Chairman-elect of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (R-NC), above, raised concerns about the proposed regulations, stating that protecting Americans’ financial privacy will be a top priority of Committee Republicans’ oversight and legislative initiatives next Congress. (McHenry news release, Dec. 15)
  • “Today’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by FinCEN does not prioritize Americans’ financial privacy in the way Congress intended,” McHenry said. “FinCEN must include the appropriate protections to prevent unauthorized access and use of the sensitive information collected under this new regime. Until we see a real effort to protect this confidential information, Republicans remain concerned about FinCEN’s commitment to privacy and civil liberties.”

Corporate Transparency Act

  • This month’s proposed set of rules addresses provisions of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which became law in Jan. 2021, and target tax fraud, terrorism financing, and money laundering. (Tax Notes, Dec. 16)
  • The Roundtable is part of a broad coalition of business trade groups that supports a legal challenge by the National Small Business Association (NSBA v. Janet Yellen), which challenges the constitutionality of the CTA. (Coalition statement of support, Dec. 7 and NSBA’s website on the CTA)
  • The coalition stated, “It is clear whatever marginal benefit the CTA affords law enforcement will be far outweighed by the costs borne by small businesses and their owners.”
  • The Roundtable’s Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee (RECPAC) will continue to work with industry partners to address the implications of FinCEN’s proposed rules and the impact it could have on capital formation and the commercial real estate industry. Written comments on the NPRM are due by Feb. 14, 2023.

RECPAC will meet on Jan. 24, 2023 in conjunction with The Roundtable’s State of the Industry Meeting in Washington.

#  #  #