Beneficial Ownership Rears its Ugly Head in NDAA

June 29, 2020

Late Thursday evening, June 25, Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) filed an amendment to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which includes so-called “Beneficial Ownership” language.

This amendment is nearly identical to the NSBA-opposed ILLICIT CASH Act which would require ONLY the smallest businesses to file new reports and register significant personal identifying information for all owners—including their names, dates of birth, and addresses with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) detailing all “beneficial owners” of the company. Failure to comply with these reporting requirements would be a federal crime with civil penalties of $500 per day up to $10,000 and criminal penalties of up to 2 years in prison, or both.

The bill has NOT been marked up through committee and regular order is being abandoned to rush it through on an unrelated vehicle—NDAA. NSBA has been outspoken in its opposition to Beneficial Ownership provisions, and is urging all small-business owners to contact their Senators for assistance. Please click here for additional background on this issue.

NSBA and its members activated grassroots efforts to push back against this harmful provision and late Monday, the first Manager’s Amendment to the NDAA was released absent the Crapo/Brown beneficial ownership amendment. Proponents of the provision will continue pushing to get the amendment included in a second Manager’s Amendment or as a stand-alone amendment to the overall NDAA.

The timing of when stand-alone amendments may be considered is unclear right now, however it is likely to be when the Senate reconvenes after the two-week recess at the end of July. This gives those in favor of beneficial ownership reporting–namely large banks–ample time to lobby lawmakers to support the Crapo/Brown amendment.

NSBA will continue to provide updates as they happen, and in the meantime urges all small-business owners to contact your Senators TODAY and urge them to oppose this anti-small-business provision. 

Click here to view NSBA’s letter to Senate leadership.