Demystifying the Corporate Transparency Act: A Step Towards Enhanced Accountability


In an era where transparency and accountability are paramount, the United States government has taken a significant stride by enacting the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). Signed into law in 2021, the CTA aims to combat money laundering, tax evasion, and other illicit financial activities by promoting corporate transparency. This article serves as a comprehensive guide, authored by a CPA/Attorney, to shed light on the key provisions and implications of the CTA.


Enhanced Reporting Requirements

One of the fundamental aspects of the CTA is the establishment of a robust reporting regime that requires certain corporations to disclose their beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Under the CTA, qualifying corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and other entities registered with the secretary of state, must provide accurate and up-to-date information about their beneficial owners.


Beneficial Ownership Definition

The CTA defines a beneficial owner as an individual who directly or indirectly holds a substantial ownership interest in the corporation or exercises substantial control over it. Typically, a substantial ownership interest refers to an ownership interest of 25% or more in the corporation. Additionally, the Act mandates reporting of personal information, including full legal names, dates of birth, addresses, and unique identification numbers, such as Social Security Numbers or passport numbers, for each beneficial owner.


Reporting Obligations and Deadlines

Entities subject to the CTA must report their beneficial ownership information to FinCEN within 30 days of formation if they were formed after 2023, older entities have until the end of the year to comply. Subsequent changes to the reported information must be filed within 30 days of the change. Failure to comply with these reporting obligations can result in significant penalties and fines.


Access to Beneficial Ownership Information

The CTA aims to strike a balance between transparency and privacy by limiting access to beneficial ownership information. Access is restricted to authorized governmental entities, financial institutions conducting due diligence, and individuals or entities with a legitimate interest, such as law enforcement agencies. The Act imposes penalties for unauthorized disclosure or misuse of this sensitive information, thereby safeguarding privacy rights.


Impact on Businesses and Professionals

The CTA’s implications extend beyond corporations themselves, affecting various stakeholders and professionals. For businesses, compliance with the CTA means maintaining accurate records, updating information promptly, and adopting internal processes. Failure to do so may lead to regulatory scrutiny, and financial penalties.

Professionals, such as CPAs and attorneys, play a crucial role in assisting corporations with CTA compliance. Their expertise in navigating complex reporting requirements, interpreting legal obligations, and ensuring accurate disclosures is invaluable in avoiding non-compliance pitfalls.



The Corporate Transparency Act represents a significant step forward in promoting corporate accountability and combatting financial crimes in the United States. By imposing enhanced reporting requirements and disclosing beneficial ownership information, the Act aims to deter money laundering, tax evasion, and other illicit activities. Businesses and professionals should prepare for this legislative change by understanding their obligations, adapting their practices, and seeking expert guidance to ensure seamless compliance. Let us know if you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss how the CTA may impact your business. 


By Lucy Petry, Attorney, CPA

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Petry Law Firm, PLLC

Lucy Petry started Petry Law Firm, PLLC, not for profit or notoriety, but because she has a real desire to help individuals and businesses with their legal needs. Lucy personally supervised and prepared over 15,000 tax returns, which makes her well-equipped to handle your business and IRS issues. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Lucy is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. She enjoys seeing and learning about the world, having traveled to more than 50 countries, lived abroad and is an advanced diver and a pilot. She currently lives in Houston with her two rescue dogs, Elsa and Keyer.

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