Reporting Alert: 2014 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: An Article Authored by Paul Oliveira, CPA from KLR - Accounting Firm Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island

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Reporting Alert: 2014 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad

posted May 22, 2015 by Paul Oliveira, CPA

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We would like to draw your immediate attention to the imminent deadline of relatively unknown, non-tax form, BE-10, 2014 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (“the Survey”).  This form has been issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) pursuant to the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act, as amended.

Who must report?

Historically, a U.S. person was only required to complete and remit the Survey if received by, and requested from, the BEA.  In an important change, however, the Survey is now compulsory for any “U.S. Reporter”.  Please consider the follow excerpt from the BEA FAQ.

Who must report on the 2014 BE-10 survey?

A BE-10 report is required of any U.S. person* that had direct or indirect ownership or control of at least 10 percent of the voting stock of an incorporated foreign business enterprise – or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated foreign business enterprise – at any time during the U.S. person’s 2014 fiscal year.

A U.S. person that has been contacted by BEA for filing the BE-10 must file a BE-10 Claim for Not Filing form if it does not meet the above filing requirements. However, a U.S. person that does not meet the reporting requirements and that has not been contacted by BEA is not required to report any BE-10 form to BEA.

A “U.S. Person” means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  A “Person” includes among other things, any individual, partnership, estate, trust, or corporation. This definition has potentially very broad application.

What is the due date?

The BE-10 must generally be filed by May 29, 2015. A U.S. Reporter who is required to file 50 or more forms may avail itself of a slightly later filing deadline of June 30, 2015.

What are the consequences of failure to file?

Penalties for failure to file the BE-10 include penalties ranging from $2,500 to $25,000, as well as other monetary and nonmonetary penalties, including the potential for much more severe punishment.  Furthermore, any officer, director, employee, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in a willful violation of the reporting requirement can similarly face severe punishment.

What action to take?

Consider whether you or a Person for which you are responsible may qualify as a U.S. Reporter.  If you believe that the BE-10 reporting requirement may apply to you, contact a competent legal advisor for assistance immediately.