Amy Watt explained how the CTA increases risk of identity theft and fraud.
In a letter to the editor in Trib Live, NFIB member Amy Watt, secretary and treasurer of Watt’s Truck Center in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, shared how the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) would harm small businesses in the state.
“The legislation may be well-intended, but it would create a security threat for small business owners and a massive paperwork burden,” wrote Watt. “Personal information, like the business owner’s driver’s license or passport numbers, would be accessible to police and even foreign governments if they ask for it. That presents a huge risk for identity theft and fraud.”
If signed into law, the CTA would require that nearly every small business with fewer than 20 employees collect information and file reports with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on all owners of the business and update the information annually. Failure to comply with this legislation would be a federal crime and businesses could face steep civil fines of up to $10,000, and even criminal penalties of up to three years in prison.
“[The CTA] also piles on more paperwork for all the small business owners least able to handle the additional burden,” wrote Watt. “These company owners don’t have lawyers or accountants on staff to help them comply, yet not doing so could result in fines of up to $10,000 and three years in jail. Stopping financial crimes and money laundering may be the goal, but this legislation is the wrong answer. I urge Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation to vote against it.”