How To BOI Report For CPAs: Avoid Unauthorized Practice

BOI report for CPAs
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Navigating the Corporate Transparency Act: Simplify Your Mandatory Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) was established to prevent illegal activities carried out through shell companies. As a result, millions of U.S. businesses must now file their beneficial ownership information report (BOI) to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Businesses that fail to file are liable to fines of $500 per day and/or $10,000 with the potential for jail time. For small business owners, accountants, CPAs, and those responsible for CTA compliance, this new requirement can seem overwhelming or out of scope. FincenFetch is here to simplify the process and remove any concerns about liability with our comprehensive guide on filing a BOI report for CPAs.

What is the Corporate Transparency Act?

In 2021, Congress enacted the CTA to crack down on illegal activities hidden behind shell companies. If your business falls under the category of a “reporting company“—which includes most corporations and LLCs—you’ll need to disclose your beneficial owners to FinCEN. To quickly determine if your or your client’s entity qualifies for a BOI reporting exemption under the Corporate Transparency Act, use our free Exemption Checker tool.

The Role of CPAs and Unauthorized Practice of Law

BOI Report For CPAs

Naturally, many businesses turn to their CPAs for help with BOI reporting. It is a recurring mandatory report that is difficult to understand and submit to the Treasury Department, just like tax filings.  However, there’s a fine line CPAs need to be aware of when it comes to filing businesses’ BOI report. The State Board of Public Accountancy requested an official opinion on whether CPAs assisting with BOI reports could be seen as practicing law without authorization. The concern of the CPA’s is that interpreting legal statutes and providing specific legal advice are tasks traditionally reserved for lawyers.

Defining the Practice of Law in Maryland

In Maryland, only the courts have the authority to define what constitutes the practice of law. Generally, if an activity requires legal knowledge, skills, or judgment—like interpreting laws or providing specific legal advice—it’s considered practicing law. 

What Can and Cannot Be Done While Filing a BOI Report For CPAs

CPAs are going to be essential to adhering to BOI reporting requirements and they can stay within their professional boundaries while still offering their services. Here’s what they can and cannot do:

BOI Report For CPAs

Permissible Activities for CPAs:

  • General Information: CPAs can provide general information about BOI reporting requirements without giving specific legal advice tailored to individual client situations.
  • Helping with Determinations: CPAs can assist clients in determining if they are “reporting companies” and help identify beneficial owners.
  • Form Completion: CPAs can gather the necessary information and fill out the BOI reporting form based on what the client provides.

Prohibited Activities for CPAs:

  • Legal Interpretations: CPAs should avoid tasks that require interpreting laws or providing specific legal advice on compliance with the CTA.
  • Answering Legal Questions: CPAs should not answer client-specific legal questions or make determinations that require legal judgment.

Practical Role for CPAs in BOI Reporting

Walking Clients Through the Process

CPAs can guide clients through the process by directing their attention to each question in FinCEN’s 60 Page Small Entity Compliance Guide and recording their answers via PDF or other basic text-form. This process includes following the yes-or-no branches on the instructions’ flowcharts and performing simple calculations to determine ownership shares. Alternatively , they can use FincenFetch’s Exemption Checker and user-friendly solutions platform, which easily guides CPAs through this process and reduces workload for all parties.

Defining Terms

CPAs can define terms commonly understood within the profession, such as “corporation” or “stock,” and terms familiar to CPAs through their training, like “equity” or “trust.”

Factual Research and Analysis

CPAs can help with gathering facts from the client’s records or the CPA’s preexisting knowledge. For instance, identifying the CEO or compiling a list of stockholders based on existing records would not require legal knowledge or skill.

The Risk of Unauthorized Practice in Filing a BOI Report For CPAs

BOI Report For CPAs

It’s important for CPAs to recognize the limits of their expertise and reduce interpretation to avoid stepping into the realm of unauthorized practice of law. However, by staying informed and cautious, CPAs can safely navigate these boundaries. FincenFetch is here to assist in ensuring CPAs provide valuable services without overstepping legal boundaries. Our system steps between CPA’s and their clients in order to crystalize communication and reduce client questions, thus lowering the chance for accidental unauthorized practice of law.

Ethical and Practical Considerations

CPAs are held to high ethical standards, which include maintaining competence, integrity, and objectivity. Helping clients with BOI reporting without overstepping professional boundaries protects both the clients and the integrity of the legal system. It will also assist CPA firms with gaining new clients if a smooth BOI filing experience is put in place.

Creating Additional Revenue Streams

Using FincenFetch, CPAs can turn BOI reporting into a new revenue stream. By offering BOI filing services to their clients, CPAs can expand their service offerings and increase their revenue while also boosting margins. Our platform is designed to make this process straightforward and efficient, allowing CPAs to handle more clients with less hassle. A rising industry trend is leveraging BOI filing software that boosts your revenue, adding a highly valuable service to your practice and helping new and existing clients comply with federal regulations.

How FincenFetch Simplifies Filing a BOI Report For CPAs

Our software is designed to make the BOI reporting process as easy as possible, ensuring you comply with all requirements without needing extensive legal consultations or memorization of the new 60-page guidelines for BOI filing.

With FincenFetch, you can:

BOI Report For CPAs
  • Determine Reporting Requirements: Easily find out if your or your client’s business is a reporting company with our Exemption Checker.
  • Identify Beneficial Owners: Our intuitive interface helps you identify and report beneficial owners accurately.
  • Step-by-Step Guidance: Follow our clear instructions based on FinCEN’s official guidelines, making compliance straightforward and stress-free.
  • Support and Resources: Access additional support and resources whenever you need help during the filing process. This can be via our support team or accessible knowledge database.
  • Create Additional Revenue Streams: By offering BOI filing services through our platform, CPAs can add a valuable service for their new or existing clients, thereby creating new revenue opportunities.
  • Stay In Compliance: BOI Report Filings are not a single filing, but will need to be redone on a regular basis. FincenFetch reduces this burden by saving a copy of your prior reports to work off of for future updates.

Our goal at FincenFetch is to help firms and their clients businesses of all sizes navigate the Corporate Transparency Act efficiently and correctly. 

Streamline Compliance and Boost Your Revenue with FincenFetch

FincenFetch is here to simplify the BOI reporting process, providing the tools and support you need to ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties. If you’re a CPA looking to assist your clients, FincenFetch offers a reliable solution for all your BOI filing needs. Plus, CPAs can take advantage of this opportunity to create an additional revenue stream and enhance their practice.

Recognizing the significant impact of the Corporate Transparency Act on nearly 40 million U.S. companies, FincenFetch began developing solutions in mid-2022. We anticipated the needs of business owners and professional services firms, constructing the essential tools required to manage the immense filing volume well before the regulation’s launch. Now, almost two years later, our dedicated team of over two dozen experts stands ready to assist your organization in navigating these new compliance requirements.

Discover why firms across the U.S. are choosing FincenFetch for their BOI filing needs. Schedule a demo today and see how FincenFetch can streamline your reporting process, help you grow your business, and increase your revenue. 

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Picture of Tessa Wismer

Tessa Wismer

Meet Tessa Wismer, an expert in beneficial ownership reporting with a background in business and marketing. She simplifies financial rules and enhances business strategies. Join her on FincenFetch Insights for valuable perspectives, practical tips, and a professional approach to compliance mastery.