Washington Money Transmitters and Currency Exchanges Assessment Deadline
The State of Washington announced today the deadline for Money Transmitters and Cryptocurrency exchanges Annual Assessment, July 2nd 2018. Reports and payments must be filed through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) website by July 2nd lest fines and penalties will apply. Washington State has been very active in regulating Cryptocurrency services within the state with some businesses calling them stringent. Washington Money Transmitters and Currency Exchangers are regulated by the Division of Consumer Services. Since December 2014 Washington has included virtual currency in the statute definition for money transmission. Registered virtual currency exchanges must also comply with the deadline and filing process listed in their Department of Financial Institutions Website.
What constitutes a complete filing for Money Transmitters in the State of Washington?
A complete filing includes the following items
Documents that must be uploaded into NMLS by July 2, 2018:
- Year-end financial statements prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Financial statements for money transmitter licensees must be audited
- Amendments to report any material changes not previously reported, if applicable
- Current list of locations serving Washington, if applicable
Through DFI’s Online System:
- You will need the last 5 digits of your Washington specific license number to begin
- Volume for each type of activity for the year
- Company’s permissible investments at year end
- Company’s company-wide average daily outstanding transmission liability for the month of December 2017
- You will be required to confirm that your financial statements, material changes (if applicable), list of locations (if applicable), are up to date in NMLS
- Attest to the accuracy of your report
- Pay your annual assessment fee for the entire amount due through the online system
Washington Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Cryptocurrency exchanges and other virtual currency businesses have plenty of guidance at their disposal from the State of Washington as opposed to the majority of most other states that have yet to define virtual currency in their money transmitter laws and regulations. For regulation and guidance of cryptocurrency, new entities and currently registered exchanges can find more information in the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions page for Bitcoin.
The original press release can be found here along with a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
Important Deadline and Information
Assessment Due Date – July 2, 2018
All Washington State Money Transmitters and Currency Exchangers Annual Assessments are due by close of business on July 2, 2018. In order to avoid late fees and penalties, all assessment reports and payments must be filed by close of business (5pm Pacific Standard Time) on July 2, 2018. This means you must have submitted your annual assessment online, uploaded any necessary documents into NMLS, attested to the accuracy of the report, and made your electronic payment through the system by that deadline. We suggest you begin the process a few days early to ensure a timely filing.
Washington State Annual Assessment and Annual Report Law
(1) A licensee shall pay an annual assessment as established in rule by the director no later than the annual assessment due date or, if the annual assessment due date is not a business day, on the next business day. A licensee shall pay an annual assessment based on the previous year’s Washington dollar volume of: (a) Money transmissions; (b) payment instruments; (c) currency exchanges; and (d) prepaid access sales. The total minimum assessment must be one thousand dollars per year, and the maximum assessment may not exceed one hundred thousand dollars per year.
(2) A licensee shall submit an accurate annual report with the annual assessment, in a form and in a medium prescribed by the director in rule. The annual report must state or contain:(a) If the licensee is a money transmitter, a copy of the licensee’s most recent audited annual financial statement or, if the licensee is a wholly owned subsidiary of another corporation, the most recent audited consolidated annual financial statement of the parent corporation or the licensee’s most recent audited consolidated annual financial statement;(b) A description of each material change, as defined in rule by the director, to information submitted by the licensee in its original license application which has not been previously reported to the director on any required report;(c) If the licensee is a money transmitter, a list of the licensee’s permissible investments and a certification that the licensee continues to maintain permissible investments according to the requirements set forth in RCW 19.230.200 and 19.230.210;(d) If the licensee is a money transmitter, proof that the licensee continues to maintain an adequate bond as required by RCW19.230.050; and(e) A list of the locations where the licensee or an authorized delegate of the licensee engages in or provides money services to persons in Washington state.(3) If a licensee does not file an annual report or pay its annual assessment by the annual assessment due date, the director or the director’s designee shall send the licensee a notice of suspension and assess the licensee a late fee not to exceed twenty-five percent of the annual assessment as established in rule by the director. The licensee’s annual report and payment of both the annual assessment and the late fee must arrive in the department’s offices by 5:00 p.m. on the thirtieth day after the assessment due date or any extension of time granted by the director, unless that date is not a business day, in which case the licensee’s annual report and payment of both the annual assessment and the late fee must arrive in the department’s offices by 5:00 p.m. on the next occurring business day. If the licensee’s annual report and payment of both the annual assessment and late fee do not arrive by such date, the expiration of the licensee’s license is effective at 5:00 p.m. on the thirtieth day after the assessment due date, unless that date is not a business day, in which case the expiration of the licensee’s license is effective at 5:00 p.m. on the next occurring business day. The director, or the director’s designee, may reinstate the license if, within twenty days after its effective date, the licensee:(a) Files the annual report and pays both the annual assessment and the late fee; and(b) Did not engage in or provide money services during the period its license was expired.
Felix Shipkevich is a principal of Shipkevich PLLC. His practice focuses on providing counsel to FinTech and financial services firms, including financial technology, payments and emerging digital currency space. He has spoken at national panels in the money transmitter space and payments industry. Mr. Shipkevich’s payments practice has brought him into contact with money transmitter registration requirements in all fifty U.S. States.
To read his full profile, click here.