U.S Businesses with Foreign Ownership Have an Immediate Reporting Requirement by Andrew Leonard, CPA

Posted on April 09, 2018 by Andrew Leonard

U.S. businesses owned by foreign persons or multinational corporations have an obligation every five years to complete the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Benchmark Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States (BE-12). Taxpayers are responsible for providing their financial and operational data on the BE-12 regardless of whether or not they actually receive a survey or are contacted by the Bureau.

BE-12 reports covering fiscal year 2017 are due May 31, 2018. Taxpayers who did not receive a notice via postal mail may access the survey online at

Who must file a BE-12?

The B-12 is mandatory for each U.S affiliate of an entity for which a foreign person or entity owns or controls, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the U.S. enterprise’s voting securities, or an equivalent interest if an unincorporated U.S. business enterprise, at the end of the enterprise’s fiscal year that ended in calendar-year 2017. Businesses that are unsure if they meet the filing requirements should contact their accountants as soon as possible.

What if I need more time to file?

Applicable businesses may request a filing deadline extension when they submit such requests before May 31, 2018.

How does the government use the information I provide?

The BEA uses information provided by BE-12 respondents to understand the state of foreign-owned business activities in the United States and make informed decisions regarding U.S. jobs, wages, productivity and taxes. Business leaders may use the census data to make hiring and investment decisions. All respondents are protected by federal privacy laws.

If you received a survey from the BEA or if believe you may be required to file a BE-12, please contact your tax professional. The advisors and accountants with Berkowitz Pollack Brant work with domestic and foreign individuals and businesses to comply with international tax laws, maximize tax efficiency and reduce unnecessary compliance costs.

About the Author: Andrew Leonard, CPA, is an associate director with Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s International Tax Services practice, where he focuses on pre- and post-immigration tax planning for individuals from South America, Asia and Europe and helps U.S. residents with foreign interests meet their filing disclosure requirements. He can be reached at the CPA firm’s Boca Raton, Fla., office at (561) 361-2000 or via email at