As part of its effort to facilitate compliance with new beneficial ownership information reporting requirements, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network today extended the timeframe for companies that will be created or registered in 2024 to report their BOI. Under the final rule, companies created or registered in 2024 will have 90 days to report their BOI to FinCEN, up from 30 days. However, entities newly created or registered on or after Jan. 1, 2025 will have 30 days to file.
Meanwhile, starting on Jan. 1, 2024, all reporting companies created or registered before that date will have one year to submit their BOI to FinCEN. Given the scale of the undertaking FinCEN Director Andrea Gacki noted at the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference that “we are on an incredible education and outreach campaign at this point.” In addition to providing educational materials and guidance to financial institutions, she said FinCEN is engaging with secretaries of state, which register companies, and the IRS, which issues EINs to newly created companies.
FinCEN will only take enforcement actions against willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, said Paul Ahern, counselor for enforcement at the Treasury Department. Speaking during a separate session at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, Ahern said FinCEN isn’t interested in playing “gotcha” with requirements like BOI reporting. “It’s a new requirement and so FinCEN’s focus, at least in the first year, is going to be on compliance, education and just understanding how people comply with this.”
FinCEN is also looking to banks as partners to communicate to customers about what their obligations are under the new reporting requirements, Ahern said. “We are looking for suggestions on better ways to engage, better ways to do educational outreach, [and]suggestions for additional forums that you think would be appropriate to reach customer bases that we may not be reaching,” he said. “I would encourage you to help us implement this by communicating the concerns of your customers and how we can address those.”
Gacki also joined Lawrence Scheinert, an associate director at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, for a conversation on partnership between OFAC and FinCEN. Citing the efforts to sanction Russia as an example, Gacki noted that “visibility into the networks that comes from bank reporting has been key to OFAC identifiying proliferators, shell companies and fronts,” and this intelligence has been “brought to bear on the export control space as well.”
“The [anti-money laundering] tools financial institutions are using are in some ways the most helpful in supporting our sanctions objectives,” Scheinert added. “Deploying AML and sanctions tools together is really where we’re seeing a great impact. It’s the AML tools that are reinforcing the sanctions objectives.”
This article has been updated.