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Do You Own 10% or More in a Foreign Business? Don’t Miss the BE-10 Filing Deadline

February 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) requires U.S. persons who control, directly or indirectly, at least 10%, or more, of the ownership interest in a foreign business enterprise to file a mandatory benchmark survey called BE-10.

For this filing, a U.S. person is defined as an individual, corporation, trust, or nonprofit organization.  A foreign business enterprise can be incorporated or unincorporated.  Thus, if property is used to generate income, regardless of whether it is held in a company or not, there is a filing requirement.  The BEA has clearly stated there is a reporting requirement for individuals that own foreign real estate that is used for commercial purposes.

Generally, the BE-10 must be filed by each U.S. person who has a foreign business enterprise on December 31, 2019.  If the U.S. person is subject to the filing requirements, that person must file Form BE-10A along with Form BE-10B, BE-10C or BE-10D, depending on the percentage of ownership and size of the foreign business enterprise.

The BE-10 survey, conducted every five years, is the BEA’s most comprehensive survey of U.S. direct investment abroad.  Any U.S. person subject to the reporting requirements of the BE-10 must submit the report regardless of whether the BEA contacted it to participate in the survey.  The forms are due by May 31, 2020 or June 30, 2020, if the filer has to submit more than 50 forms to satisfy its reporting obligation.

Failure to participate in this mandatory survey may subject the U.S. person as well as its directors, officers and employees to civil and/or criminal penalties.

As a general rule, if you were required to file IRS Forms 5471, 8865, 8858 or 8938 with your U.S. tax return or you owned real estate in a foreign country that was not used solely for personal purposes, you are required to complete Form BE-10 and all applicable attachments.

Please contact your Mazars USA LLP professional for more information.

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