Bad bill would increase costs & threaten privacy of small biz
AUSTIN Texas (Texas Insider Report) Running a small business is never easy and Congress is weighing legislation that would make it even harder. The bill is called the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019.
Its a generic-sounding name for overreaching legislation that would create a mountain of additional paperwork work for small business owners while raising serious and troubling privacy concerns.
- H.R. 2513 would require most employers with fewer than 20 workers to collect information about everyone who owns a stake in the business and hand it over to the Treasury Departments Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
- If they dont they could be fined $10000 and sentenced to three years in prison.
Supporters of the legislation say its needed to help the government catch bad guys. They say criminals sometimes use small businesses to hide their identities and launder money.
Supporters say requiring employers to file reports on the owners would make it easier to investigate companies suspected of wrongdoing.
NFIB the nations leading small business advocacy organization says thats bunk.
The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 presents a real economic threat to millions of small businesses here in Texas and across the country.
Small businesses arent the same as big corporations. They dont have teams of lawyers compliance officers and accountants to fill out reams of government documents and keep up with the latest government mandates.
At most small businesses the person who fills out and files the paperwork is often the owner the same person who unloads the truck empties the trash and locks up at night.
The last time NFIB surveyed its members they ranked federal paperwork as the 12th out of 75 common problems they face as employers.
If this overreaching legislation passes paperwork will be an even bigger problem and make it even harder for employers to run their small businesses.
NFIB members also are concerned about the potential for a massive breach of privacy. This legislation would grant broad access to personal information that could be used by law enforcement for just about any reason and without a court order.
And of course theres a chance the government would misuse the data or that hackers would steal it.
The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 presents a real threat to more than 5 million small businesses in America. Thats why NFIB is asking the Texas congressional delegation to vote no."
Small businesses need Congress to pass legislation that helps them grow and create jobs not get in their way.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the nations leading small-business association and has the largest business organization in Texas. State Director Annie Spilman directs NFIBs member engagement at the State Capitol in Austin as well as their political involvement throughout Texas.