Taxation of real estate investment trusts

Taxation of real estate investment trusts

Key regulatory, tax and legal rules for the establishment and operation of REITs in all major jurisdictions.


The increasing popularity of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and similar vehicles demonstrates the growing demand for tax efficient, liquid and transparent vehicles for investing in real estate. Since its first enactment in the US in 1960, similar regimes have been set up in other countries around the world, the most recent being the Philippines, who introduced a REIT regime broadly similar to those of other Asian countries, towards the end of 2009. Typically a REIT regime will offer exempt tax status to investment companies or other vehicles which meet certain criteria as to ownership and investment portfolio, on the basis that the vehicle then distributes all or most of its profits to shareholders. In many but not all cases, the vehicle must also be listed.

The Taxation of REITs report looks at key regulatory, tax and legal rules for the establishment and operation of REITs or their local equivalent in all the major countries which have introduced such a regime. The guide is intended to be an overview of the position in each country, enabling a quick understanding to be gained of the type of regime in operation and how it compares to other regimes in the region or more widely.


In 1994, Italy was the first European country to enact REITs.  REITs now established in Belgium, France. Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.


The first REIT regime in the region was established by Japan in 2000.  REITs now established in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea. Australia, which has not specific REIT regime, established Managed Investment Trust (MIT) rules in 2008.


The US has had a REIT regime since 1960.  Brazil followed in 1993 and Canada in 2007.

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