Extension Available Until August 31, 2020
This is as an alert for possible census filings for U.S. persons with foreign investments, including rental real estate. These are not tax forms, but rather financial information reporting.
The BE-10 and related forms are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”). It is a benchmark survey, which occurs every five years. The May 29, 2020 BE-10 deadline (June 30, 2020 for larger filers) is relevant for any U.S. person owning at least 10%, directly or indirectly, of a foreign company or any foreign real estate. There is no minimum asset or income threshold required to file. Potential fines for non-filing are between $2,500 and $25,000, per statute.
The BEA has unofficially loosened their policy of not granting extensions. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, their normal policy of not extending due dates has been relaxed. The filer must request an extension of time to file. Any filer requesting the extension will be granted the maximum extension to August 31, 2020. This information has yet to be published by the BEA and is based on our dialogue with their office.
The intent of the benchmark survey conducted every five years is to gather economic data about U.S. companies and individuals’ investments outside of the U.S. More comprehensive and complex versions of other BE-10 forms exist for large companies. Other versions of the BE-10 are required if assets, sales, or gross operating revenues are over $25 million.
A person includes an individual, partnership, estate, trust, or corporation. A simpler Form BE -10A version may apply as compared to the full BE-10 version.
We emphasize that the filing requirement applies to foreign real estate used to generate income, even if the investment is loss making and whether held in a company or not. U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico and Guam, are not considered foreign jurisdictions for these reporting purposes.
A significant change for 2020 is the collection of the 20-digit Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) designed to allow the BEA more easily to tie the survey statistics to other reports and to easier measure non-compliance.
Key information required for the simpler BE-10A version includes:
The BEA now has a new e-file option, which has proved to be quite easy to use. This is not very well advertised or communicated to the potential business population of people required to report. A response is required from persons subject to the reporting requirements, whether or not contacted by BEA.
As these forms may become difficult to navigate, Citrin Cooperman’s team of international tax advisors are ready to provide assistance regarding BE- 10 reporting obligations and preparation.