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Video instructions and help with filling out and completing firpta exemption form
Hi this is John Goodman today we are talking about something called FERPA ferp does of course an acronym I'll explain what it means in a minute but here's why first is important FERPA is federal tax law that could make your buyer responsible for the sellers failure to pay tax on the sale of real property that might be disappointing to your buyers so what we're talking about today is how you can help your buyers decrease the risk that the buyer might be responsible for FERPA related problems right here's the concept it's not unusual for non-us citizens non-us tax filers to acquire real estate in the United States it's not unusual for them to buy property for that property to appreciate and the seller sells the property and makes money and then it's not unusual and they make money that they have to pay taxes on that now remember when a seller sells property and makes money it doesn't necessarily mean that they need to pay taxes because the seller can do things to defer the gain on the sale of the real property by doing things like 1031 exchange or perhaps by selling the property through an installment sale another topic but if the seller does owe the money then Congress and the IRS does not want the IRS to have to chase the foreign seller the non-us tax filer to Singapore or Hong Kong or Saudi Arabia to some place outside the United States the IRS does not want to have to chase that person to collect the tax and so what FERPA does and FERPA is eff I our PTA FERPA stands for the foreign investment in Real Property Transfer Act what FERPA does is it requires a withholding of 15% of the sales price not 15% of the sellers proceeds not 15% of the taxes owed but 15% of the sales price to be escrowed when a non-us tax filer sells property in the US it's important to note that FERC day is not a tax it's a tax collection vehicle the mere fact that that the 15% is withheld does not mean that the seller owes that much in taxes FERPA is designed to force that non-us tax filer to file a return in the US and and therefore perhaps recover a substantial portion if not all of the 15% withheld but it forces the non-us tax filer to file a return in the u.s. if the seller doesn't do so again Congress does not want the IRS chasing the non-us tax filer to Hong Kong or Singapore etc so FERPA places the burden for the escrow on the buyer on your buyer is the way to think about it now that sounds scary and most of you watching this video have not run into situations in which biters have been pursued for affirmative violations so there must be something I'm not telling you to make it less scary and there.