Small businesses will face serious privacy concerns, significant regulatory costs, and threat of fines or jail time for non-compliance
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 22, 2019) — The United States House of Representatives passed a bill tonight that would put America’s small business owners’ personally identifiable information at unprecedented risk and cost them billions of dollars and millions of hours in paperwork. The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 (H.R. 2513), which passed the House 249-173 attempts to shift a responsibility from big banks to America’s smallest businesses, saddling them with an additional 131.7 million hours of paperwork at a cost of $5.7 billion over the first 10 years.
“The House today not only shouldered millions of small business owners with a tremendous compliance burden but put their personally identifiable information at serious risk,” said NFIB President & CEO Juanita D. Duggan. “The reporting requirements and devastating financial penalties will affect only small businesses, from farmers to franchisees to the mom-and-pop retail shop down the street. It is a big-government solution in search of a small-business problem, and we will not cease our efforts to stand up for small businesses against this serious threat.”
The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 is legislation that would require only those small corporations and limited liability companies with 20 or fewer employees to complete and submit annual paperwork which includes the personally identifiable information of each business owner to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network upon the creation of the business and periodically for the life of the business. Failure to comply is a federal crime with civil penalties up to $10,000 and criminal penalties of up to three years in prison.
To make matters worse, a last-minute amendment was included in the final bill that would allow the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to make public certain information, potentially including the individual names, addresses, birth dates, and even the driver’s license numbers of small business owners, despite months of rhetoric about protecting the privacy of small business owners.