Pursuant to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (“FinCEN”) recently issued Geographic Targeting Order (“GTO”), underwriters and their agents must report certain information relating to specified residential real estate transactions which occur in Miami-Dade County. The purpose of the GTO is to help FinCEN and other federal agencies identify potential money laundering. The specific transactions covered by the GTO include any real estate transaction that meets all of the following:
- The transaction involves residential real estate in Miami-Dade Country, Florida.
- The purchase price exceeds $1 million.
- The purchaser is a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or other similar legal entity. (The definition does not include natural persons or trusts.)
- The purchaser purchases the real estate without a bank loan or other similar form of institutional financing.
- The purchaser pays any part of the purchase price using currency, cashier’s checks, certified checks, traveler’s checks, or money orders. (Business checks, personal checks, and wire payments do not trigger the reporting requirement.)
If a transaction meets all these required elements, then the settlement agent in the transaction (such as Title Company of Florida) must complete FinCEN Form 8300 and forward the same to its underwriter. This reporting requirement takes effect during the period commencing March 1, 2016 and continues through August 27, 2016 (as may be extended by FinCEN). Some of the information that will be required to be reported includes, but is not limited to, identifying information for: (1) each natural person owning at least 25 percent or more of the business entity purchasing the property, or (2) all natural persons if the purchaser is an LLC.