The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act), which was signed into law on December 18, 2015, made several changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules applicable to foreign persons who own U.S. real estate and interests in U.S. real estate investment trusts (REITs). Given the significance of these recent changes, it would be easy to overlook a simple, but important, change made by regulations issued on March 7, 2016.1 These regulations change the address where many FIRPTA documents must be filed.
This change applies to several FIRPTA filings, including:
- a domestic corporation’s determination regarding whether it is a U.S. real property holding corporation, which must be provided to a foreign shareholder and sent to the IRS after a foreign shareholder requests such a determination;2
- a domestic corporation’s voluntary notice to the IRS that it has ceased to be a U.S. real property holding corporation;3
- a foreign corporation’s election, or revocation of an election,4 to be taxed as a domestic corporation for purposes of sections 897, 1445, and 6039C;5
- an application for a FIRPTA withholding certificate,6 or an amendment to such an application;7 and
- a non-recognition statement filed in order to qualify for an otherwise applicable non-recognition provision and avoid withholding.8
The filing address for these documents has been changed from the Philadelphia Service Center to the address specified on Form 8288,9 which currently is the Ogden Service Center. Because no IRS form exists for many of these filings, practitioners must update their existing templates and cover letters with the revised address to ensure proper and timely filing.