Tuberville Slams Corporate Transparency Act, Previews Legislation to Protect Small Businesses

“It’s past time that we start standing up for our farmers, our store owners, LLC holders, and small businesses who are the heartbeat of America.”

WASHINGTON – Today,U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) delivered a speech on the Senate floor condemning yet another example of the Biden administration’s overreach – the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). Senator Tuberville previewed his legislation, the Big Brother Overreach Act, to overturn the CTA and empower small businesses and LLC owners to grow and thrive.

Read Senator Tuberville’s remarks below or on YouTube or Rumble.

“I’ve come to the Senate floor today to talk about the Corporate Transparency Act – or in D.C. we call it in ‘swamp speak’ the CTA Act. The CTA is one of the, to me, one of the worst examples of big government overreach that I’ve seen since I’ve gotten to Washington over three and a half years ago. That’s saying a whole lot since our country is $34 trillion in debt.

The CTA was signed in to law in 2021 as part of the FY2021 NDAA. Simply put, the Corporate Transparency Act is an outright attack on the 32 million small businesses in this country. This includes farmers, restaurants, gyms, and lawn service companies. The CTA specifically targets working Americans with an LLC, and failure to comply could put you in jail for up to two years per violation – plus slap on $10,000 per violation. That’s quite a penalty. You know, I don’t know about you, but I have plenty of friends and family members who have an LLC. It’s just part of the way the U. S. economy works – Capitalism. Small businesses and LLC owners play a huge role in supporting this country and our way of life. And I can tell you, most business owners have no idea that this law exists. None – not one bit.

The Corporate Transparency Act requires individuals with substantial control over a company or an equity position of 25% to disclose personal data with the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. That’s a long name. It’s better known as FinCEN in swamp talk. A government bureau that most Americans have no idea what it is, and they’d never heard of it before. The CTA will impact small businesses across the nation in addition to millions of citizens who use LLCs to invest in real estate or protect their assets, which millions of Americans do. 

My state of Alabama is home to over 400,000 small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of Alabama’s economy, making up more than 99% of the business community [and] providing jobs to nearly half of Alabama’s working population. But it isn’t just Alabamians who will be impacted. Over 32 million businesses across America are estimated to be affected by this overreaching, big government, swampy law. [And] hardly anybody knows about it. It’s a well-kept secret. But it affects farmers, lawyers, accountants, and business owners who are directly and seriously impacted.

Under this law, millions of small business owners are required – they’re required – to report personal details to the federal government. Business owners or anyone who qualifies for this massive government overreach must disclose their name, their date of birth, their address, and scan their government issued photo ID to the Treasury Department by the end of this year. Anytime this information changes, updated information must be submitted to FinCEN’s database within 30 days. So, if you move, you have to let the federal government know within 30 days that you’ve changed your address. Failure to file with FinCEN can lead, again, to up to two years of jail time and it’s a $10,000 fine per violation. By the way, I find it ironic that we are currently voting on legislation cracking down on social media companies like TikTok and Facebook for storing people’s personal data. And meanwhile, the federal government is doing the very exact thing that we’ve been discussing here on this floor for months and months. 

Why does the federal government need this information in the first place? Well, the goal of the CTA was to crack down on shell companies used to commit crimes. That’s what this was meant for. But the reality is, criminals, they’re not going to file with FinCEN, that’s not going to happen. Criminals don’t follow the law. Instead, the law will be used to go after hardworking Americans.

In recent years, we have lost over 150,000 farmers in this country. You heard that right. Just in the last few years, 150,000 farmers have gone out of business. They can’t keep up with Joe Biden’s high-prices economy. It’s not happening. They’re not making any money. They’re selling out. And now the CTA is going to squeeze them for every last cent. We need farmers in this country. We need small businesses. Where does Joe Biden think our food comes from, by the way? It’s sad, it really is. 

But few in Washington and most outside the Beltway have no idea that this law actually exists. […] To no one’s surprise, large businesses with powerful – listen to this point – with powerful lobbyists got a carve-out in the law and they do not have to comply with CTA. That’s right. If they had a very good lobbyist and they’re a big business, they don’t have to comply with this law. Companies like BlackRock, Facebook, and Amazon – they don’t have to comply with this. Because the federal government is too busy going after your local neighborhood restaurant or your daughter’s favorite nail salon or your family’s dentist or your local farmer.

While the little guy has to struggle with all this red tape, LLCs with more than 20 employees and greater than $5 million in revenue do not file with FinCEN. That’s right. It’s only the small guy. Only the small person that’s trying to make a living. Yet another win for the swampy, special interest groups while hardworking Americans who pay their taxes will suffer.

The few small business owners who are aware of the CTA’s existence want to make sure they are compliant, but they have few places to turn. Accounting and law firms do not want to take on the responsibilities of filing for these clients. And many industry professionals are unaware of the penalties if you fail to file. 

So, Joe Biden has weaponized the IRS against Americans. He already announced he’s using American tax dollars to hire 84,000 new IRS agents to go after everyday taxpayers – 84,000. Now if you remember, President Biden promised we’re not going to go after anybody who makes less than $400,000. Yet another lie from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Now some of these agents will target small business owners who fail to disclose their personal information to FinCEN. Not to mention politically-motivated prosecutors who will use the CTA to target conservative business owners. Sadly, the IRS has a history of singling out certain taxpayers based on their religious and political beliefs. Have we forgotten Lois Lerner who is living off her taxpayer-funded pension, but should have been prosecuted? In an America where justice is becoming less equal by the day and prosecutors have been used to target political opponents, the CTA is just another way that this administration can use the federal government to go after conservatives and Christians. To add insult to injury, FinCEN has done little to nothing to educate Americans on the CTA and the harsh consequences if you don’t comply.

It’s almost like they want Americans to be ignorant about the new law so they can punish them for not complying. This is completely unfair. This is not the American way. You’d expect this from communist China, but this is not going to happen on our watch. Next week, I’m introducing the Repealing Big Brother Overreach Act to overturn the CTA in its entirety.

America used to be the land of freedom and opportunity. Under Joe Biden, the American dream has become a nightmare for many small business owners and farmers. My bill would provide millions of small businesses and entrepreneurial Americans with regulatory and compliance relief. They need a break. They don’t need more regulations, they need less.

My bill would also remove a weapon used by rogue prosecutors who love to punish Republicans and Joe Biden’s IRS that [is] openly targeting conservative every day. It’s past time we start standing up for our farmers, our store owners, LLC holders, and small businesses who are the heartbeat of this America. I’m proud to be joined in this effort by Congressman Warren Davidson of Ohio who has filed a companion bill in the United States House of Representatives. If Congress fails to act on this legislation, millions of American small business owners could be in for a rude awakening next year.

I look forward to Leader Schumer bringing this bill to the floor and helping millions of small business owners – helping [those] that are counting on us to take on this huge government overreach.

Mr. President, I yield floor.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.