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Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Since you are a avatar. I refrain giving my opinion. Talk to a lawyer.

Jan 24, 2017 12:54 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Thank you Sam Shueh 

Jan 24, 2017 04:53 PM
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

All good answers previously and not touching this Q from anonymous.  Defer to an attorney or tax professional who has specific knowledge on this subject. 

Jan 24, 2017 01:09 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

It is time to see a real estate attorney.

Jan 24, 2017 01:04 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Talk to an attorney.

Jan 24, 2017 12:50 PM
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

That is a title person question. Ask the closer. 

Jan 24, 2017 04:38 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Talk to an attorney.

Jan 24, 2017 04:13 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

If you are going to be annonymous on this you need further professional help I can't give

Jan 24, 2017 04:12 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

It's time to consult a real estate attorney familiar with these issues

Jan 24, 2017 01:23 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I am not familiar with these restrictions, I would consult an immigration attorney.

Jan 24, 2017 11:56 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Escrow would answer that in CA or an attorney. 

Jan 24, 2017 07:40 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

  See an Attorney or Title Closer.

Jan 24, 2017 06:46 PM
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Definitely time to visit with a real estate attorney.

Jan 24, 2017 05:00 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Good question. Consult a qualified professional. It could be serious, don't go by amateur guesses.

Jan 24, 2017 02:42 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

It will be the status of the foreign person at the time the property is sold. This should be addressed by an expert in FIRPTA law once they get ready to sell.

Jan 24, 2017 11:04 AM
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Speak with an attorney. Perhaps you'd like to let us know who you are?

Jan 25, 2017 04:15 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

That is a unique situation I've never heard of. I'm curious to see what others say.

Jan 24, 2017 06:55 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Those types of rules are likely to change soon in our world where we are now picking fights with some neighbors while embracing old foes.  Where are these people from, that may make a difference.

Jan 24, 2017 05:37 PM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Hi. I don't know. But stated this:

The amount realized is the sum of:

  • The cash paid, or to be paid (principal only);
  • The fair market value of other property transferred, or to be transferred; and
  • The amount of any liability assumed by the transferee or to which the property is subject immediately before and after the transfer.

If the property transferred was owned jointly by U.S. and foreign persons, the amount realized is allocated between the transferors based on the capital contribution of each transferor.

More at

Jan 24, 2017 11:27 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good advice from Sam Shueh 

Jan 25, 2017 11:57 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Escrow/attorneys should be able to answer those questions for you.  I am not a FIRPTA expert and will, as such, defer to those that are.

Jan 25, 2017 10:39 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate


Jan 25, 2017 10:23 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Sam Shueh has this one.  Consult with an attorney or title rep. 

Jan 25, 2017 08:47 AM
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN


You have asked a very good question and in my opinion, this is what this forum should be used for.  

According to the IRS rules FIRPTA does not apply to a US citizen or an individual holding a valid green card residing in the US at time of the sale. FIRPTA is designed to capture any capital gains tax from the seller which would be impossible for them to collect if the seller was not currently residing in the US.  The IRS will, however, go after the BUYER  if there is tax liability on the part of the seller that was not paid or withheld on behalf of the seller.

The IRS for tax purposes is very generous with its definition of "foreign" person if one is not a citizen or valid green card holder.   One is NOT considered a "foreign" person subject to FIRPTA if they are currently residing in the US 183 days or a combination of 183 days based on a minimum of 31 days current residency plus the two preceding years based on a formula (maximum credit for the preceding full year is 121 days and the second preceding year is 60 days) 

According to the IRS you could be here in the US without proper documentation as long as you could prove the residency test of living in the US a total of 183 days in the current and two preceding years using their residency formula.  

Even if you were a "foreign" person subject to FIRPTA there are some exemptions:

1.  if the sale is not over $300,000 the buyer can get an exemption but they would have to have a proper buyer's affidavit, meet home owner residency test, and take title as individual(s).  This is probably unlikely with a sale in the Washington DC area as far as price!

2.  seller can apply for a withholding certificate but would have to have a tax identification number and there is quite a bit of time and red tape involved.

The bottom line with the IRS is that they will go after the BUYER if there is any tax liability due!!!  So buyer's agents need to be very diligent and insist that the title company make a seller's affidavit be prepared where the seller states under penalty of perjury that they meet the IRS test of not being a "foreign" person and that the sale does not involve FIRPTA.  In our area title companies do NOT do this, and it is a matter of time before someone gets a nasty surprise from the IRS.

Buyers  are not necessarily exempt from the IRS coming after them if the seller had tax liability if they bought a house for sale under $300,000 from a foreign person.  If the buyer is an investor or even an owner occupant who takes title as a partnership, LLC, or corporation the exemption does not apply.

Having stated how FIRPTA works in general,  your clients do need to consult a professional(tax attorney, title company) in your area who knows the law, and can apply the specifics(type of property, how you take title matters, future residency plans, etc) of your clients' situation and status.  Good luck!  

Jan 25, 2017 08:33 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

An Anonymous question? Who holds the F1 Student Visa status?

Jan 25, 2017 06:59 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

check with your broker

Jan 25, 2017 05:49 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

I'm with Sam Shueh on this - thanks for stopping by

Jan 25, 2017 05:22 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Talk to an attorney.

Jan 25, 2017 05:11 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Sam Shueh nailed this one!

Jan 25, 2017 04:42 AM
Paul Antonelli
Antonelli Realty - Saint Cloud, FL
Broker Owner; Antonelli Realty

Nice SAM

Jan 25, 2017 04:29 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Talk with your title company for good advice and assistance. I recommend Village Settlements at their main office in Kentlands.

Jan 25, 2017 04:26 AM