The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) Form BE-10 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad is a comprehensive survey conducted every five years and is administered by BEA of the U.S. Department of Commerce to collect statistics on U.S. direct investment abroad. Its deadline is near. Are you required to file? Here’s what you need to know.
Who Must File?
Any U.S. person (individual, entity, estate, or trust) with a direct or indirect ownership or control of at least ten percent of the voting interests of a foreign business enterprise in 2019 must file. If the U.S. person had any foreign affiliate at the end of its 2019 fiscal year, it must file Form BE-10. Ownership of non-U.S. real estate is defined to be a business enterprise, with certain exceptions for personal use property.
BE-10 Deadline & Filing Procedures
A U.S. person subject to the BE-10 reporting requirements is referred to as a “U.S. reporter.” For most U.S. reporters, Form BE-10 for 2019 is due May 29. For U.S. reporters with 50 or more forms to report, the due date is June 30.
Drucker & Scaccetti has independently verified with the BEA that the deadline has been “unofficially” extended to August 31, 2020, due to COVID-19; however, the BEA does not plan to announce the extension publicly in writing. U.S. reporters contacted by the BEA must request an extension before the original filing due date. U.S. reporters not contacted by the BEA need not request an extension and can complete the filing by August 31.
If the U.S. person receives a request for participation from the BEA, that person must file the BE-10 survey or a BE-10 Claim for Not Filing. If the U.S. person is not requested in writing by the BEA to complete a BE-10 survey and the U.S. person does not meet the BE-10 filing requirements, no action is necessary.
The BEA recommends filing Form BE-10 through its secure eFile system. The completed survey can also be faxed to the number on the survey cover page. The BEA BE-10 webpage notes it has limited ability to receive physical copies of completed survey forms, extension requests or other documents via mail due to COVID-19. Therefore, it is recommended that filers use the secure eFile system at www.bea.gov/efile or fax to submit the completed survey or extension request.
Penalties for Failure to File
All U.S. persons required to file Form BE-10 must file, whether they are contacted by the BEA or not.
Like many of the foreign reporting forms, failure to file can result in both civil and criminal penalties. Civil penalties can range from fines of $2,500 to $25,000 in addition to injunctive relief requiring compliance. Willful failure to file can result in a penalty of not more than $10,000 and, for an individual, up to one year in prison, or both. A similar penalty consisting of a fine, imprisonment, or both can be applied to any officer, director, employee, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in such violations.
The International Tax Services team at Drucker & Scaccetti has decades of experience helping U.S. taxpayers with foreign filings and reporting. We can help with your Form BE-10 filing by:
- Determining whether you have a BE-10 filing requirement
- Identifying and gathering the information required to file Form BE-10
- Preparation of the complete forms for submission to the BEA
Contact us soon for help. We are always prepared to help with this or any other tax-related matter.