FinCEN Update: The Corporate Transparency Act’s Impact on Indian Tribes, Homeowner Associations & Telecommunications

Exploring the Exemptions & Reporting Obligations for Indian Tribes & HOAs Under the Corporate Transparency Act

In January 2024, the Corporate Transparency Act went into effect which impacted over 30 million small businesses in the United States including some homeowners associations, and  businesses owned by an Indian Tribe. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has provided a series of Frequently asked questions aiming to provide all the necessary information to determine if a company is a reporting company and how they should go about reporting. June 10, 2024, they included updates that impact Indian tribes, homeowner associations, and telecommunications.

A professional signs a document next to a gavel, symbolizing legal compliance under the Corporate Transparency Act

How Does the Corporate Transparency Act Define Indian Tribe?

According to FinCEN, an “Indian Tribe” refers to any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior deems an Indian tribe. Every year, the Secretary of the Interior is required to update the list which can be found on the FinCEN’s FAQ page through a link. 

Currently, there are 574 Tribal entities recognized in the United States including:

  • Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Bay Mills Indian Community in Michigan
  • Big Lagoon Rancheria in California
  • Cayuga Nation
  • Cherokee Nation
  • Hoh Indian Tribe
  • Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
  • Modoc Nation
  • Samish Indian Nation

Are Businesses Required to do a BOI Report if They Were Formed Under Tribal Law?

Some Indian Tribes allow individuals to form corporations or LLCs under their law by filling out a document. While the company was not formed by the secretary of state, an Indian Tribe provides the same or similar functions as the secretary of state making all companies formed by them reporting companies. 

There are a few exceptions as to which companies must report their beneficial owners within an Indian Tribe. These exemptions include:

  • Tribal Government Authority: A Tribal Government Authority is defined as an entity established by the United States, Indian Tribe, State, or other and who exercises governmental authority on behalf of the US or Indian Tribe. 
  • Subsidiary of a Tribal Governmental Authority: An entity who has ownership interests entirely controlled or totally owned by a Tribal governmental authority.

Who is a Beneficial Owner in a Business Owned by an Indian Tribe?

In general, all reporting companies must report their beneficial owners which are identified as individuals who:

  • Directly exercises substantial control over a company
  • Indirectly exercises substantial control over a company
  • Owns or controls at least 25% of the ownership interests of a company

Because an Indian Tribe is not an individual, they should not be reported as a beneficial owner, even if they do exercise substantial control or own 25% or more. However, Indian Tribes that own a company may have to report one or more individuals as a beneficial owner if they do not fall into the above exemptions.

Any business partially owned by an Indian Tribe that is not exempt must report all individuals who exercise substantial control. This includes individuals who exercise control on behalf of an Indian Tribe. 

Is a Homeowner Association a Reporting Company?

Not all homeowner associations must report their Beneficial owner information as some may fall into the exemption category. This is because HOAs can occur in different forms. An HOA is exempt from reporting if it:

  • HOAs that were created without filing with the secretary of state or similar office are not labeled as a reporting company.
  • HOAs that the IRS labels as 501(c)(4) may not have to report.

If an HOA does not fall into either of these exemptions, it is a reporting company and must provide beneficial owner information. 

Do Telecommunications Services Have to do a BOI Report?

According to FinCEN, regulated public utilities that provide telecommunications services, electrical power, natural gas, or water and sewer services are exempt from reporting. Telecommunications services that are exempt from the Corporate Transparency Act include:

  • Telecommunications Carriers: Providers of telephone services, including local exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, and wireless service providers
  • Broadcasters: Radio and television stations that transmit audio and video content over the airwaves 
  • Cable & Satellite Providers: Companies providing cable television services and satellite communication services
  • Internet Service Providers: Providers of broadband internet access, both wired and wireless
  • Commercial Mobile Radio Service Providers: Providers of commercial mobile services, which include cellular and PCS services
  • Broadcast Auxiliary Services: Services that support broadcast stations, such as remote pickup, TV studio transmitter links, and intercity relay services
  • Public Safety & Private Wireless Services: Entities that operate private radio systems for public safety, industrial, or commercial use
  • International Telecommunications Service Providers: Companies providing international telecommunications services
  • Common Carrier Radio Operators: Operators providing radio services to common carriers, including aviation and maritime services
  • Educational Broadband Service & Broadband Radio Service Licensees: Providers of wireless broadband services, often used by educational institutions

These companies are required to register with the Federal Communications Commission and are already subject to comprehensive federal regulation, making them exempt from having to report their beneficial owners. 

Make Sure to Accurately Fill Out Your Beneficial Owner Information with Our Attorneys

Consult our experienced attorneys at the Corporate Transparency Act Filing Services to ensure easy and complete adherence to the new Corporate Transparency Act requirements. Our legal team will guide you through the complexities of the CTA to guarantee full compliance.

Let our experts help, contact us today and we’ll navigate these requirements with you! 

Corporate Transparency Act Filing Service

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