Foreign Real Estate Ownership

Brent chats about estate tax (and some income tax) risks to foreigners owning real estate in the United States. He explains the strange rules about direct ownership, surprising results at death, and some options to avoid estate tax issues.

It is common for foreigners to purchase real estate in the United States. Once they do, they contend with a host of special tax rules, from FIRPTA, to withholding tax on rental income, to gift tax on gifts to family and non-citizen spouses, to the estate tax. Non-citizen non-residents (for estate tax purposes) also only benefit from a $60,000 exemption from estate tax on their United States real estate.

Needless to say, foreigners can be surprised to learn about these taxes after the excitement of owning a home or investment property in the United States wears off. While this episode focuses on the estate tax considerations, important income tax considerations exist as well.

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