US Nonresidents are purchasing US real estate at dizzying rates. The prices seem low and the locations are often really great compared with their home country. The real estate often is for a personal residence, second home, or residential and commercial investment.
Nonresidents pay the same income taxes on their rental properties (and personal properties) as paid by those who are US Citizens or green card holders. That seems fair and works well.
There is one surprise waiting in the darkness. Nonresidents with property located in the US do not
pay the same estate tax as do residents. When a nonresident dies, they must pay US estate taxes on the then fair market value of their property located in the US that exceeds $60,000. The estate tax rate for 2015 on the amount in excess of $60,000 startes at 28% and increases to 40% for taxable amounts in excess of $1,000,000. That is a high tax which is almost never considered when
Planning is required to avoid or reduce these estate taxes. Many plannings use foreign corporations and trusts. We recommend every nonresident purchasing US real estate first plan ahead for the possibility of these huge taxes should an owner die while owning the property. Contact us if you wish to learn more. Don D. Nelson, Attorney at Law. Kauffman Nelson LLC, Certified Public Accountants. Email. firstname.lastname@example.org.