FIRPTA Reform Raised at House Ways and Means Committee Hearing

March 6, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - On March 3, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testified before the House Ways and Means Committee.  The importance of FIRPTA Reform was addressed. 

 

FIRPTA Reform will ignite investments in midsized markets and make a #TrumpEconomy even strong.

 

See transcript below.

 

MARCHANT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

     Secretary Mnuchin, welcome.

 

A common objective of Congress and the administration, I believe, is to attract capital investment from every available source, including foreign investors to improve our productivity, boost our economy, and create jobs here at home. Regrettably, the Foreign Investment on Real Property Tax Act continues to impose a discriminatory tax on foreign investment in U.S. real estate and infrastructure. No other asset class is subject to FIRPTA burden.

 

In its current form, all it tells you to do is divert global capital to other countries and reduce jobs and grow in construction and related industries.

 

Two weeks ago, nearly all of the Republican members of this committee sent you a letter asking you to use your administrative authority to withdraw an old and discredited IRS notice that extended FIRPTA to previously untaxed transactions involving domestically controlled writs (ph).

 

The 2007 notice promised that formal regulation would follow to implement the IRS position. That was 12 years ago and the regulations have never came. I understand that you have your hands full, there is no doubt about that, and we appreciate his job you are doing, but this is an area where relief will generate real benefits to the capital markets and American workers.

 

Mr. Secretary, can you make a comment on this and give us some hope that there -- that this may come to conclusion in the near future?

 

MNUCHIN:  Well, let me just say thank you for the letter. It was a result of receiving that letter that I got briefed on this issue this week. I share your concerns. I -- I think it makes no sense that we discriminate against foreign investors. I think that -- that is something that we are to look at what capability we have on these regulations.

 

Many people just try to structure around the FIRPTA issue, but in my mind, anything we can do legally to encourage those investments, we will do. So, thank you for the letter and we're reviewing it, it's on the top of my list.

 

MARCHANT:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

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