FIRPTA “Tax” Overview

To motivate foreign sellers of real estate to file the required tax returns and to pay applicable income taxes, Congress passed the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act in 1980. This law requires that the buyer withhold (usually through a Title Company or Law Firm) 15% of the amount realized. This amount is then […]

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Automatic Estate Tax Lien

The general rule under the Internal Revenue Code is that non-domiciliaries of the United States must include the full value of jointly held property in their gross estate for estate tax purposes. This hits some parties especially hard, such as those who include their spouse as tenants by the entireties or a family member as […]

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Estate Taxes for Non-Domiciliaries   

It generally is understood that those who are domiciled within the United States or those who are citizens of the United States are subject to U.S. Estate taxes. What is less clear to the layman is what it means to be domiciled within the U.S. The general definition found in the Treasury Regulations of domicile […]

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Is the Foreign Power of Attorney Valid in Florida?

Powers of Attorney are helpful in situations where a person become incapacitated or is otherwise unavailable. Oftentimes, visitors to the United States have General Powers of Attorney in their home country and when something unforeseen happens, they are unable to act because the Power of Attorney is not valid under the Florida Statutes and thus rejected […]

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Trusts – An Alternative to a Will

A revocable trust is a written document that is very similar in form and function as a Last Will and Testament. However, a Trust has many advantages over a Will. A Trust is very flexible and can be used relatively easily after the Grantor has died by the Successor Trustee to allow the transfer of […]

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Taxes on Vacation Homes

Non-Residents who rent their homes on a short-term basis a subject to a number of taxes. These include local and State (Tourist and Sales Taxes, respectively) and Federal Income taxes. It is not always easy to comply with the filing requirements but there is hope. If a realtor accepts payments on behalf of a homeowner, […]

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Real Estate Transfer Part 4 – Parties to the Transaction

The question often arises as to who is involved in the consummation of a real estate transfer. First, there is a realtor who is usually the person who lists the property for sale or who assists in the locating of a suitable property. Realtors are the main point of contact for listings and the first […]

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Real Estate Transfer Part 3 – FIRPTA Update

To motivate foreign sellers to file the required income tax returns and to pay the appropriate taxes, the United States Congress passed the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”) in 1980. This law has now been substantially changed through the “Protecting American form Tax Hikes Act of 2015” which was signed into law by President […]

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Real Estate Transfers Part 2 – Title Insurance

Title Insurance protects against covered title problems that were not discovered during a title search. Such problems can include, among many others, errors and omissions on deeds (i.e. invalid notarizations, inadequate legal descriptions, deeds signed by minors, revoked Power of Attorneys, etc.), mistakes in the records (i.e. gaps in the chain of title, failure to […]

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