Every five years, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) collects data on a BE-10 Benchmark Survey (“BE-10”) report from U.S. persons 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.

“Person” includes any individual, partnership, associated group, corporation, or other organization. A “U.S. person” means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Ownership and control are determined at any time during the U.S. person’s 2014 fiscal year.

Filing the BE-10 report is mandatory and the information collected is kept confidential. Information included on the BE-10 report includes financial data, such as assets, liabilities, total sales and net income, as well as operational data, such as fiscal year end, ownership structure, product and services, and primary industry.

The BEA uses the data collected from the reports to produce comprehensive statistics on U.S. direct investment abroad. The data cannot be used for taxation, investigation, or regulation, and copies of the BE-10 reports are immune from legal process. Because the BE-10 report is filed with the BEA and not the Internal Revenue Service, the reporting requirement can be easily overlooked.

The due date for filing and completing the BE-10 report depends on the number of Forms BE-10B, BE-10C, and BE-10D that must also be filed. Each foreign affiliate files one Form BE-10B, C or D. Which form that is filed depends on whether the foreign affiliate is majority or minority owned, and how big the foreign affiliate is with respect to its assets, sales or net income.

If fewer than 50 Forms BE-10B, BE-10C, and BE-10D are being filed, then the due date is May 29, 2015, unless you are a new filer. A new filer is someone who has not filed a BE-10 report previously. If more than 50 Forms BE-10B, BE-10C, and BE-10D are being filed, then the due date is June 30, 2015. For new filers, the deadline is June 30, 2015, regardless of the number of Forms BE-10B, BE-10C, and BE-10D that must also be filed. The BE-10 report may be filed via mail, fax or electronically.

You may request an extension to file a BE-10 report if it is received by the BEA no later than the original due date of the report. Extensions of time to file may be requested until July 31, 2015 or August 31, 2015. The extension is considered granted unless the BEA contacts you.

There are penalties for failing to report. Those who fail to report shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500, and not more than $32,500, and to injunctive relief commanding them to comply, or both. The civil penalties are subject to inflationary adjustments. Willful failure to file may subject individuals to a fine of not more than $10,000, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.