Small business owners would have to report personal information or face steep fines and jail time under a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the so-called Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 (H.R. 2513).
The bill would impose millions of hours of paperwork on small business owners, who would face up to three years in prison and fines up to $10,000 for failure to comply.
A recent NFIB study showed this bill would cost small business owners as much as $5.7 billion in regulatory costs and 131.7 million hours of paperwork over a 10-year period. The bill is intended to root out criminals and terrorists laundering money, but instead it squarely targets small business owners who have 20 employees or less with onerous new regulations.
The bill would require reporting personally identifiable information to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which wants the full legal names, dates of birth, addresses, and driver’s license numbers or passport numbers of anyone with an ownership stake in the business.
In addition to the reporting burden and threat of fines and jail time, the new database of some 25-30 million small business owners could be searched by local, state, and federal law enforcement without a subpoena. As with any large database, there also comes the inherent risk of a data breach exposing sensitive personal information.
Now is the time to let your voice be heard. Contact your representative and let them know you want them to vote against H.R. 2513, the so-called Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, in the House.