New federal Corporate Transparency Act: What optometric practices need to know to comply 

December 14, 2023
The AOA Center for Independent Practice has developed key resources to help optometric practices comply with the new law, including information on who should report and how to file info on their ownership. Find out what the AOA is doing to relieve the paperwork burden on optometric practices.

Starting Jan. 1, an estimated 30 million U.S. companies—including optometric practices—will be required to report to the federal government who owns and controls them.   

Officially called Beneficial Ownership Information, under the 2021 Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), the collected particulars will be used by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to thwart “bad actors” seeking to obscure “their ill-gotten gains through shell companies or other opaque ownership structures” to conduct such illegal activities as money laundering, tax evasion and trafficking with impunity.  

The AOA Center for Independent Practice (CIP) has created three detailed members-only resources to help practices comply with the new law including:  

Who should report? All practices that are corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships or other entities—created by filing documents with the secretary of state or similar entity in a practice’s state—are required to report under the CTA, according to the CIP. 

There are some exemptions, but not a broad exemption for all optometric practices—a situation that the AOA is seeking to remedy. Willful violations of the law can result in civil and criminal penalties.  

Concurrently, the AOA continues to work with other health care provider organizations and associations of small and independent businesses to exempt or otherwise relieve the burden on health care practices.  

“This is one more way that government has increased the regulatory burden on small business,” says Robert C. Layman, O.D., chair of the CIP. “The time required to understand what is necessary for compliance, along with the steps required to gather the documents and submit them to the proper agency takes all affected owners out of executive functions that most benefit the patient, the staff and the practice.  

“Through the Center for Independent Practice, the AOA has prepared three documents for members to clarify the steps required for compliance and provide educational resources,” Dr. Layman says. “The CTA explainer, CTA compliance guide and a thorough CTA FAQ document should deliver everything our members need to meet this new regulation.”  

More practice management resources 

The Center for Independent Practice, your one-stop hub for resources to help advance the professional skills of doctors of optometry and optometric students.  

AOAExcel®, a member benefit of the AOA that provides doctors of optometry with the professional resources they need to practice with confidence.  

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