Foreigners Purchasing U.S. Real Property
As a foreign individual, buying real estate can be a complicated process. Seeking advise and counseling from an attorney and accountant before buying a property as a foreigner can be very beneficial. For instance, most foreigners purchase a property individually not thinking of all of the potential pitfalls. For example, in the U.S. there is a tax called an estate tax, this tax applies not only to U.S. citizens and residents but to foreigners who own property individually, upon death, their estate may have to pay up to 50% of the property’s value in the form of a tax. Foreigners usually do not pay taxes in the United States because they pay taxes in their home countries, proper planning can insure minimized risk for tax exposure. There are several ways to minimize the exposure to an estate tax for foreigners when buying real estate.
Selling properties can also be a complicated process for foreign individuals. For instance, when selling a property to a buyer, the buyer or closing agent will be obligated to withhold a certain percentage of the sale proceeds (FIRPTA withholding) pending a release notice from the IRS. The seller through its accountant will need to file the proper documentation to satisfy the release of the monies held from the sale proceeds. This ensures that the foreign individual pays taxes that may be due for the sale of the property. Our attorneys at G&R Law can assist with planning for either the purchase or sale of real property to minimize the risks mentioned above and to ensure a smooth transaction. Please contact us for any international real estate matter.
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To discuss your case with one of our experienced lawyers in an initial consultation, call us toll free at 305-461-4880 or contact us online.
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