Structuring Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate: Entity Selection and Transaction Structures

FIRPTA, Determining Individual vs. Entity Ownership Structures, Achieving Optimal Tax Treatment

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

Conducted on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE/CPE webinar will provide tax counsel with a thorough and practical guide to structuring strategies and tax considerations for foreign investors in U.S. real estate, outline best practices for determining the purchasing entity, and review tax planning opportunities in structuring the deal.


The United States remains the most popular destination for foreign real estate capital investment. Critical for tax and investment advisers representing non-U.S. persons investing in U.S. real property is a comprehensive examination of optimal structures for the ownership vehicle and the mechanics of the purchase transaction itself.

For income and transfer tax purposes, foreign investors must balance a variety of tax issues to determine the appropriate ownership vehicle for U.S. property. Various ownership structures--whether direct ownership by a non-U.S. person or use of a foreign or domestic corporation, trust or partnership--each have particular tax consequences for the foreign owner. In addition to entity selection, there are various opportunities and pitfalls in structuring the purchase transaction. Because real estate investment is a highly tax-driven activity, counsel must be well-versed in the tax consequences of various transactions as well as entity structures plus the related tax compliance requirements.

Listen as our panel of tax practitioners goes beyond the basics to provide a comprehensive and practical guide to structuring foreign investment in U.S. real estate, from ownership profile through finalizing the real estate deal.



  1. Persons Subject to U.S. Taxation
    1. U.S. Citizens and Residents
    2. Non-resident Aliens
    3. U.S. Corporations
    4. Foreign Corporations
    5. Domestic U.S. Trusts
    6. Foreign Trusts
  2. U. S. Taxation of Foreign Persons
    1. U.S. Income Taxation
    2. U.S. Estate Tax
    3. U.S. Gift Tax
  3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Investment Structures
    1. Individual ownership
    2. Ownership by U.S. LLC
    3. Ownership by U.S. Corporation
    4. Ownership by Foreign Corporation
    5. Ownership by U.S. Subsidiary of Foreign Corporation
    6. Ownership by Foreign Trust
  4. Tax Strategies
    1. 1031 Exchange
    2. Portfolio Interest
    3. Shared Equity Mortgage
    4. International Tax Treaties
  5. Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the various tax consequences of a foreign person owning U.S. real estate in an individual capacity?
  • What is the impact of blocker corporations and other intermediary entities on the tax treatment of foreign investment in U.S. real estate?
  • How can the foreign investor leverage the 1031 exchange in purchasing U.S. real estate?
  • What is the impact of tax reform on U.S. real estate investments by foreign entities?


Griffin, William
William F. Griffin, Jr.

Davis Malm & D'Agostine

Mr. Griffin practices in the Banking and Credit, Business Law, and Real Estate and Environmental areas. He primarily...  |  Read More

Levine, Richard
Richard S. LeVine

Special Counsel

Mr. LeVine's practice focuses on cross-border estate, gift and income tax planning for owners of privately held...  |  Read More

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