Upcoming Deadline - URGENT - BEA Reporting on International Activity

By: Richard Walker, CPA (Posted: 6/9/2015)

Dear Friends and Clients:

Our firm recently was made aware of a change in the law with regard to certain required reporting by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It historically has sent out requests for information every five years to U.S. Persons engaged in international activities. For the 2014 year, their policy is changed so that reporting is required without a specific request by the BEA. This reporting was originally required by May 29, 2015, however, according to the website of the BEA, for new filers, the extended due date is June 30, 2015.

Generally, a U.S. (individual or entity) is now required to complete a survey of information for the BEA if the U.S. Person had a foreign affiliate (direct or indirect ownership or control of a 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 2014 fiscal year. The BEA's website provides information regarding who must file under these new requirements and how filing is accomplished.

Please see: Direct Investment Surveys: BE-10, Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad

The relevant forms and instructions are at: BEA Survey Respondents | Form BE-10

Included in the instructions for Forms BE-10 2014 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad is a provision that allows for civil and criminal penalties which start at $2,500 for failure to timely file the various forms. As this is a new change in the law, we do not know how aggressive the Agency will be in enforcing these penalties. We recommend a proactive approach whereby the required forms are timely filed by the reporting U.S. person or U.S. entity.

Please contact our office with questions or assistance regarding the above reporting requirement.