Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

Foreign Buyers have the ability to own real estate property in the United States. However, if you decide to sell your property, as a foreign Seller, you are subject to a 10% withholding (of the Gross Sales Price) unless the transaction is exempt from Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) withholding. Listen to webinar pertaining to the history and changes to FIRPTA.

tax withholdings

FIRPTA, the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, was enacted in 1980 and provides that if the Seller of real property is a foreign person, the Buyer must withhold a tax equal to between 10% and 15% of the gross purchase price, unless an exemption applies. A foreign person is a nonresident alien individual. A resident alien is not considered a foreign person under FIRPTA.
Most Common Exemption:
Sales Price is not more than $300K. The buyer or a family member must have plans to reside at the property for at least 50% of the number of days the property is used by any person during each of the first two twelve month periods after sale.
Other Exemptions that may apply are:
Another common exemption is for the Seller to provide a certificate stating that they are not a foreign seller as a result of being a U.S. citizen or resident alien. The seller may also apply for and receive a withholding certificate prior to close of escrow from IRS excusing withholding or reducing withholding.