Self-Employed Creatives and US New Anti-Money Laundering Law

Self-Employed Creatives With LLCs Have Until January 2025 to Submit Documentation or They Risk Paying Fines and Time in Jail.

Jan 10, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Self-Employed Creatives
United States Capitol. Via Wikipedia


Self-employed creatives with LLCs (limited liability company) are struggling due to a new anti-money laundering law. Overall, the authorities first introduced the new law in 2021 to combat money laundering, tax fraud, and corruption. The law came into force on January 1, 2024. Experts are cautioning that artists who choose to disregard this, and don’t file the paperwork next year, could face legal repercussions.


Self-Employed Creatives are Subjects to the Corporate Transparency Act

The Capitol Building in Washington DC. via Pixabay, Self-Employed Creatives
The Capitol Building in Washington DC. via Pixabay


Tax professional and artist Hannah Cole wrote an opinion piece for Hyperallergic on Tuesday. Overall, she demonstrated how independent artists are subject to the Corporate Transparency Act. She is the creator of Sunlight Tax, a company that teaches accounting and taxes to creative professionals.


“My biggest concern, as someone who helps creative people manage the taxes and business setup for being self-employed, is that a lot of artists may miss the memo on this law, or assume that it’s aimed at bigger corporations, and that it doesn’t apply to them”, Cole said. In order to combat financial offences that might be challenging for law enforcement to monitor, the law focuses mainly towards limited liability firms, founded by one or two people.


Two New York Museums, Self-Employed Creatives
the American Museum of Natural History. Via Wikipedia


Some states don’t require identification of LLC benefit owners, which impedes law enforcement efforts. “This is a good law, and it will help law enforcement prosecute some of the most heinous crimes. But it’s important for everyone with an existing LLC or considering forming an LLC to know that they do have some paperwork to file. It takes about five minutes, and it’s free. But artists definitely need to know that the law does apply to them”, Cole added.

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Newly Founded Companies Have 90 Days

Moms for Liberty
The AMR, Philadelphia. Via Philly Voice


All current businesses have to to submit the necessary documentation by January 1, 2025, according to a news release from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Starting in 2024, newly founded corporations will have ninety days to file the necessary documentation. The FinCEN website states that the documentation needs to be submitted once. But according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce article, business owners will need to submit the report to FinCEN at other times in addition to the first reporting period.


For the time being, artists and small company owners must supply details like as names, dates of birth, addresses, and a passport number or other officially designated identifier for an LLC’s beneficial proprietors. “This effort will equip law enforcement and other partners with the information they need to disrupt financial anonymity that enables crimes such as corruption, drug trafficking, and terrorism”, the Treasury Department said in a fact sheet.


Christie’s American branch at Rockefeller Center in New York. Via Wikipedia


Fines could go from $500 per day up to $10,000 or even face two years in prison. “One of the major benefits of LLC is that it provides a great deal of flexibility for its owners. Through an LLC, its owner, in this case the artist, has options in regard to structuring the management of their entity, and can assign management control to others”, Katarina Feder of the Artist Rights Society said.



















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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.