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Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate: Tax Concerns When Acquiring or Disposing of Ownership Interests

Entity Selection, FIRPTA, Blocker Corporations, and the BEAT Tax

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will examine tax challenges and practical implications for foreign investors in U.S. real estate. The panel will discuss the tax advantages of blocker companies, choice of investment structure, and other investment vehicles, and other matters.


The U.S. federal tax rules governing investment in U.S. real estate by foreign individuals and companies are intricate; the 2017 tax reform impacted the implication of these rules, COVID impacted the practical implication of a number of rule, and the possibility of a forthcoming US federal tax reform has further impacted planning today. Counsel must be conversant with existing tax law as well as the current rules impacting foreign investment.

FIRPTA taxes foreign individuals and corporations on their dispositions (transfers, sales, gifts, exchanges) of U.S. real property interests, and in addition generally imposes reporting and withholding. Tax treatment varies with the form of ownership. The reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent will influence the choice of investment vehicle (in addition to any State level taxes that apply at the corporate level), as will new carried interest rules, new NOL limitations, limitations on interest expense, and depreciation.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses critical tax considerations and tactics for counsel to foreign investors buying, holding, and disposing of U.S. real estate.



  1. Overview of tax rules that apply to foreign investors in U.S. real estate
    1. Income
    2. Withholding
    3. FIRPTA
    4. Estate and gift tax
  2. Investment structure alternatives and their tax consequences
    1. Individual ownership
    2. Ownership through U.S. LLC
    3. Ownership through a foreign corporation
    4. Ownership through U.S. corporation
    5. Ownership through trusts


The panel will review these and other crucial issues:

  • What are the tax implications of purchasing U.S. real estate individually vs. through an LLC vs. a blocker corporation or a trust?
  • What are the tax reporting obligations for non-U.S. owners of U.S. real estate?
  • How does FIRPTA compliance vary between different ownership structures?
  • How did the 2017 tax law and COVID -19 impact approaches to foreign investment in U.S. real estate?


Hannon, Edward
Edward J. Hannon


Mr. Hannon concentrates his practice on providing advice and counsel to clients on the development of tax savings...  |  Read More

Hassan, Cecilia
Cecilia B. (Ceci) Hassan

Founding Attorney
Hassan International Law

Ms. Hassan helps international clients, their families, family offices, and their companies with structuring their...  |  Read More

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