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Fast-Approaching Deadline to File BEA Surveys

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) conducts a benchmark survey every five years to collect information on U.S. direct investment overseas, foreign direct investment in the U.S., and international trade.  The survey helps the BEA gauge the performance of the U.S. economy and the role of the United States in the global economy.  If you are a U.S. business or person with a foreign affiliate, you may be subject to BEA's upcoming filing deadline in May 2020.

Specifically, all U.S. entities or persons that had a foreign affiliate at the end of 2019 (with exemptions for investments in certain foreign private funds) must file a Form BE-10 survey.  There are five types of BE-10 forms that you may need to file, depending upon the extent and nature of your foreign business investments.  And even if you had no foreign affiliates during your 2019 fiscal year, you may still need to file a "BE-10 Claim for Not Filing" if contacted by BEA.

BEA indicated that this year's BE-10 would become available this month and has made significant changes to the form from years past.  The filing deadline depends on how many forms are required; for U.S. entities filing fewer than 50 surveys, the deadline for submission of fully completed and certified BE-10s is May 29, 2020.  Failure to timely file a BE-10 Report with BEA can lead to civil penalties of between $4,735 and $48,192, with criminal penalties (for willful violations) of up to $10,000 and, if an individual, up to one year in prison.

If you know you are subject to BE-10 filing requirements, are unsure of your filing obligations, or have been contacted by the BEA, please contact Bill Speros or another attorney in the Business Transactions group at our Firm.