The BE-12 benchmark survey is BEA's most comprehensive survey, in terms of both the number of companies covered and the amount of information gathered, on foreign direct investment in the United States. The survey is conducted once every 5 years in place of the BE-15 annual survey. The BE-15 annual survey is conducted during the 4 years in between benchmark surveys. With 2022 being a survey year and deadlines rapidly approaching, we are happy to provide the information below and can assist with reporting. Any company with 10% of direct or indirect foreign ownership will require some level of reporting.
What is the purpose of the BE-12 survey? To gather information to produce statistical data about the scale and effect of foreign-owned business activities in the United States.
Who should file BE-12? Any U.S. affiliate and/or U.S. business "in which a foreign person or entity owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the voting securities of an incorporated U.S. business enterprise, or an equivalent interest of an unincorporated U.S. business enterprise, at the end of the business enterprise's fiscal year that ended in calendar year 2022." Depending on the structure and size of foreign investment, the organization may be required to file Form BE-12A, BE-12B, or BE-12C, and supplemental schedules.
What do you need to do? If your organization fits the above criteria the BE-12 is required whether or not you have received a notice from Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) about filing. If you do not fit the above criteria but were notified by BEA, you have to file Form BE-12, Claim for Not Filing, to demonstrate the entity does not meet the criteria. No action is necessary if your business was not notified and does not fit the criteria. All gathered information by BEA is confidential and used by BEA purposes only and is not shared with other government agencies. Download and e-file options are provided.
When is the deadline for filing BE-12? The deadline is May 31, 2023 for forms submitted by mail or fax, or by June 30, 2023 for respondents submitting via BEA's e-file system at www.bea.gov/efile. Extension requests can be requested and automatically approved via e-file before the filing due date.
What is the difference between BE-15 and BE-12? BE-12 is a benchmark survey that is conducted every five years and required to be submitted by small businesses that normally do not have to file the BE-15 annual survey.
Smaller businesses that are not required to file BE-15 annual surveys are required to participate in benchmark years, during which there are no size exemption thresholds. Larger businesses that file the BE-15 survey annually will instead fill out the BE-12 in a benchmark year. A response is required from entities subject to the reporting requirements, whether or not contacted by BEA.
The benchmark is needed to capture shifting economic trends. At the same time, limiting this comprehensive survey to a five-year schedule reduces the burden on businesses, large and small.
More information about BE-12 filing can be found on the official web site of the BEA agency https://www.bea.gov/surveys/be12.