The Foreign Investment in Real Property Act of 1980 (mercifully shortened in real estate and tax circles to “FIRPTA”) is a federal law designed to collect taxes on a foreign seller’s “disposition” of real property held in the U.S. The Act casts a wide net and applies not only to the sale of both commercial and residential properties, but also other real property interests such as swimming pools, mines, crops, and timber, just to name a few. Besides the typical sale of real property, the Act also extends to foreclosures and corporate mergers/reorganizations, among other “dispositions” of real property.

Foreign Investment on the Rise

With both residential and commercial real estate prices rising, but still deflated from the highs in 2008, both the U.S. as a whole, and Florida in particular, have experienced an influx of foreign investment in real estate.Continue Reading Increase in Foreign Investment = Increase in Tax Implications for Florida Real Estate Buyers

Margo D. Beller of CNBC reported last month about a congressional bill introduced by Senator Charles Schumer (New York), and Senator Mike Lee  (Utah), aimed at attracting foreign investment to the U.S. housing market in another legislative effort to jumpstart the U.S. sputtering economy. The Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States