You may need to file Form BE-10 by May 29
If you or your business owns at least 10 percent of a foreign business enterprise (including certain foreign real estate), you may be required to file Form BE-10 with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) by May 29, 2020. Penalties for failure to file range from $2,500 to $25,000.
The BE-10 is part of a survey the BEA conducts every five years to measure “the scale and effects of U.S.-owned business activities abroad.” It must be filed by any “U.S. person” — including an individual, entity or trust — 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,” as of the end of its 2019 fiscal year.
The BEA considers ownership of foreign real estate to be a foreign business enterprise subject to reporting. However, residential real estate held for personal use is not subject to reporting.
What If You Receive a Notice From the BEA?
The BEA sends notices to U.S. persons it believes are subject to the reporting requirements based on previous BE-10 filings or information from other sources. If you receive such a notice but do not meet the survey requirements, you must complete and submit a BE-10 Claim for Not Filing. Be aware, however, that if you meet the reporting requirements, you must file a BE-10, regardless of whether you receive a notice.
If you think you may be required to file Form BE-10, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your reporting obligations. According to the BEA, the 2019 version of the form will be available by the end of March.