Beneficial Ownership Reporting and the Tax Practitioner

Let’s talk about beneficial owner reporting. This is a tricky subject for any tax pro to talk about. We are the ones who are on the front lines of telling clients about this, yet we cannot actually do the filing.*

*-I know some tax pros are doing the filing, but the continuing education I have taken on this topic indicates that this report is probably the practice of law and so we should not be doing it. 

What is it? 

This is a required report that you must file with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is a part of the Treasury Department. 

This filing applies to basically almost all small businesses that are entities, meaning an LLC or a corporation. Congress came up with this in what’s called the Corporate Transparency Act.

Don’t let that term “corporate” fool you, though, because this applies to LLCs as well.

If you’re a sole proprietor or a partnership, you might not need to file this. This means, a sole proprietor who is not an LLC, and a partnership that is not an LLC. It depends on if you have filed something with the Secretary of State. This is something that I cannot advise you on – it’s really a talk to your attorney thing. 

Who are we kidding? All of this is talk to your attorney stuff.

When is This Due?

If you’re an existing business that was in existence before 2024, you have until the end of 2024 to file this report.

If you form a new business in 2024, you have 90 days after formation of the business to submit the filing, and then starting in 2025 and beyond, the first report is due within 30 days of formation.

This filing only needs to be done once. It is not an annual report. However, if there are any changes to anything, those changes must be reported within 30 days.

Accountant Role

Accountants are in the odd position of being the trusted advisor who needs to tell you about this requirement, but we actually can’t do the report. We can’t do any of this. We can’t do the filing, nor can we advise you on anything relating to it, because this is considered the practice of law.

As I said above, some accountants ARE doing the filings, but the continuing education I have taken on this indicates that this is the practice of law and accountants shouldn’t be doing it. Not only that but a lot of the error and omission insurance carriers out there for accountants are saying that they will not cover accountants who do this filing.

So I’m not touching this report, but yet I need to bring it to the attention of my clients. Ultimately, it’s a talk to your attorney sort of thing. 

There’s also a pretty handy FAQ page on the FinCEN website:


There are very harsh penalties associated with not filing this report when you’re supposed to – $500 per day that you’re late with it.

And not only that, you could go to prison for up to 2 years and be fined up to $10,000! Oh my.

What to do Right Now

I would recommend going to and reading the FAQs, and talk to your attorney. If you’re an accountant or tax pro reading this, take some continuing education on this subject, because even though we can’t “do” the filing, we do need to know about it.