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CTA Articles and Resources

The CTA Applies to Your HOA

The CTA Applies to Your HOA

By: Ted Sutton, Esq.

 

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) will apply to many different types of entities. It even extends to Homeowners Associations (HOA’s), including condominiums, community associations, and co-ops. This means that if you own an interest in an HOA, or you serve on the HOA board, you will need to report your information to FinCEN.

 

There are currently 23 exemptions under the CTA. One of which is the tax-exempt entity exemption, which includes three types of entities. The first is that the entity is an organization described in section 501(c) and exempt from tax under 501(a). Second, the entity is a political organization defined in section 527(e)(1). And lastly, the entity is trust described in section 4947(a).

 

Most notably missing under this exemption is Section 528 of the tax code, which applies to most HOAs. While there has been talk about exempting HOAs who file tax returns under Section 528, nothing has materialized as of yet. And we’re not holding our breath.

 

As it stands right now, most HOA’s will have to comply with the CTA. And in order to comply with the CTA, they will need to report some information to FinCEN.

 

The first piece of information is the “reporting company information,” which is the HOA body itself. The HOA will need to report its name, address, jurisdiction of formation, and its EIN Number.

 

The second piece of information is the “company applicant information”, which includes the person or business who is responsible for filing the information. The company applicant will need to report their name, birthdate, street address, and a driver’s license or passport.

 

The third piece of information is the “beneficial ownership information.” A “beneficial owner” is someone who owns at least 25% of the company, or someone who exercises “substantial control” over the company.

 

Some HOA boards have what are called “bulk owners.” And if these bulk owners own more than 25% of the HOA, they qualify as beneficial owners. As for the “substantial control” requirement, anyone who serves on the HOA board will have the required “substantial control” to qualify as a beneficial owner. In both situations, both groups will have to report their beneficial ownership information to FinCEN.

 

Another issue for HOA boards should look out for is when there is a change in ownership. Under the CTA, when there is any change in ownership or management, the HOA must report that information to FinCEN within 30 days. This may be a difficult task for many HOA’s, as some HOA’s have rapidly changing compositions. But once something changes, the clock starts ticking.

 

Corporate Direct has a weekly YouTube segment called Direct Answers from Corporate Direct

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Is Your Business an “Inactive Entity” Under the CTA?

Is Your Business an Inactive Entity Under the CTA

By: Ted Sutton, Esq.

 

Sam was a young man who began buying stocks at a young age. As he got older, his stock portfolio kept growing. But because he held the stocks in his personal name, Sam was concerned about the portfolio being exposed in a lawsuit. In order to protect his investments, Sam formed a Wyoming LLC in 2021.

Sam’s best friend was Ricardo, a Spanish citizen whom he met in college. Ricardo also loved to invest in stocks, and wanted to invest alongside Sam. So in 2023, Sam gave Ricardo a 30% interest in the Wyoming LLC. Ricardo contributed $5,000 worth of stocks into the LLC.

From that point on, it was all downhill for Sam and Ricardo. The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) took effect in 2024. And because Sam and Ricardo didn’t timely report their Wyoming LLC, they were hit with a $10,000 fine.

What Are Inactive Entities?

Under the new CTA, companies are required to report information about their business and its “beneficial owners” to the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. However, the CTA carves out 23 exemptions for certain entities.

One of these exemptions is the “inactive entities” exemption. Many business owners may try to argue that their company meets this exemption. But the exemption’s requirements are a lot stricter than you think.

“Inactive entities” are entities that:

  • Were in existence before January 1st, 2020.
  • Are not engaged in active business
  • Have no ownership held by a foreign person
  • Have had no change in ownership in the last 12-month period
  • Have not sent or received funds over $1,000 within 12-month period; and
  • Do not hold any type of assets

Your business must meet all of these requirements to be classified under the “inactive entities” exemption. And if it doesn’t, it must report information to FinCEN.

Application

As you can see, Sam’s Wyoming LLC failed all of the requirements. Sam created the entity in 2021. Ricardo, a Spanish citizen, acquired an interest in the Wyoming LLC within the past year and placed $5,000 worth of stocks into it. And, of course, the LLC owned assets in the form of stocks.

The only argument that Sam could make here is that the LLC was not engaged in any “active business.” But because the Wyoming LLC failed every other prong, it does not meet all of the “inactive entity” requirements. As such, it needed to report its information to FinCEN.

Beneficial Ownership Requirements

Another thing worth mentioning is the beneficial ownership requirements. A “beneficial owner” is someone who owns at least 25% of the company, or someone who exercises “substantial control” of the company. If someone meets the requirements of a “beneficial owner,” they must report their beneficial ownership information to FinCEN.

In the example above, Sam owned 70% and Ricardo owned 30% of the Wyoming LLC. Because both owned greater than 25%, they both qualify as “beneficial owners.” As such, both must report their beneficial ownership information, including copies of a passport or driver’s license, to FinCEN.

Conclusion

The CTA is a new law that nobody is talking about. It is complex and convoluted. Even worse, many business owners will be left in the dark about the law and its requirements.

Luckily, we here at Corporate Direct will help you navigate the CTA. For more information, click the link here.

 

Corporate Direct has a weekly YouTube segment called Direct Answers from Corporate Direct

In this segment, we educate people on corporate law, business formation, real estate, wealth building, and asset protection. And if you have any general questions about something, please feel free to leave a comment on one of our videos!

For more of these updates, click the link below and subscribe to our YouTube channel.