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Section 1: 8-K (FORM 8-K)

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

 

FORM 8-K

 

 

 

CURRENT REPORT

Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): January 29, 2019

 

 

 

REDWOOD TRUST, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Maryland 001-13759 68-0329422

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation)

 

(Commission

File Number)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification Number)

 

One Belvedere Place

Suite 300

Mill Valley, California 94941

(Address of principal executive offices, including Zip Code)

 

(415) 389-7373

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

Not Applicable

(Former name or former address, if changed since last report)

 

 

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:

 

¨ Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

 

¨ Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)

 

¨ Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))

 

¨ Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

 

Emerging growth company  ¨

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 8.01 Other Events.

 

Redwood Trust, Inc. (the “Company”) is superseding and replacing the discussion under the heading “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” in (1) the prospectus dated May 10, 2016, which is a part of the registration statement on Form S-3 (Registration Nos. 333-211267 and 333-211267-1) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) by the Company and Redwood Capital Trust II on May 10, 2016, and the prospectus supplements thereto, and (2) Exhibit 99.1 to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 20, 2018.

 

Item 9.01 Financial Statements and Exhibits.

 

(d) Exhibits.

 

Exhibit No.   Description
     
99.1   Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 

Date: January 29, 2019 REDWOOD TRUST, INC.
     
  By: /s/ Andrew P. Stone
    Name: Andrew P. Stone
    Title: Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary

 

 

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Section 2: EX-99.1 (EXHIBIT 99.1)

 

Exhibit 99.1

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

 

The following is a general summary of certain material U.S. federal income tax considerations regarding our qualification and taxation as a real estate investment trust (a “REIT”) and the purchase, ownership and disposition of our capital stock and debt securities, but does not purport to be a complete analysis of all potential tax effects. Supplemental U.S. federal income tax considerations relevant to the ownership of the securities offered by the prospectus dated May 10, 2016 (the “Prospectus”) may be provided in the prospectus supplement that relates to those securities. Your tax treatment will vary depending upon the terms of the specific securities you acquire, as well as your particular situation. For purposes of this discussion, references to “we,” “our” and “us” mean only Redwood Trust, Inc. and do not include any of its subsidiaries, except as otherwise indicated. This summary is for general information only and is not tax advice. The information in this summary is based on:

 

·the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”);

 

·current, temporary and proposed Treasury regulations promulgated under the Code (the “Treasury Regulations”);

 

·the legislative history of the Code;

 

·administrative interpretations and practices of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”); and

 

·court decisions;

 

in each case, as of the date of this Current Report on Form 8-K. In addition, the administrative interpretations and practices of the IRS include its practices and policies as expressed in private letter rulings that are not binding on the IRS except with respect to the particular taxpayers who requested and received those rulings. The sections of the Code and the corresponding Treasury Regulations that relate to qualification and taxation as a REIT are highly technical and complex. The following discussion sets forth certain material aspects of the sections of the Code that govern the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its stockholders. This summary is qualified in its entirety by the applicable Code provisions, Treasury Regulations promulgated under the Code, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof. Potential tax reforms may result in significant changes to the rules governing U.S. federal income taxation. New legislation, Treasury Regulations, administrative interpretations and practices and/or court decisions may significantly and adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, the U.S. federal income tax consequences of such qualification, or the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in us, including those described in this discussion. Moreover, the law relating to the tax treatment of other entities, or an investment in other entities, could change, making an investment in such other entities more attractive relative to an investment in a REIT. Any such changes could apply retroactively to transactions preceding the date of the change. We have not requested, and do not plan to request, any rulings from the IRS that we qualify as a REIT, and the statements in the Prospectus and this Current Report on Form 8-K are not binding on the IRS or any court. Thus, we can provide no assurance that the tax considerations contained in this discussion will not be challenged by the IRS or will be sustained by a court if challenged by the IRS. This summary does not discuss any state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences, or any tax consequences arising under any U.S. federal tax laws other than U.S. federal income tax laws, associated with the purchase, ownership or disposition of our capital stock or debt securities, or our election to be taxed as a REIT.

 

You are urged to consult your tax advisor regarding the tax consequences to you of:

 

·the purchase, ownership and disposition of our capital stock or debt securities, including the U.S. federal, state, local, non-U.S. and other tax consequences;

 

·our election to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes; and

 

·potential changes in applicable tax laws.

 

 

 

 

Taxation of the Company

 

General

 

We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Code commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 1994. We believe that we have been organized and have operated in a manner that has allowed us to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the Code commencing with such taxable year, and we intend to continue to be organized and to operate in this manner. However, qualification and taxation as a REIT depend upon our ability to meet the various qualification tests imposed under the Code, including through actual operating results, asset composition, distribution levels and diversity of stock ownership. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that we have been organized and have operated, or will continue to be organized and operate, in a manner so as to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Failure to Qualify” for potential tax consequences if we fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

Latham & Watkins LLP has acted as our tax counsel in connection with the Prospectus and our U.S. federal income tax status as a REIT. Latham & Watkins LLP has rendered an opinion to us, as of May 10, 2016 (the date of the Prospectus), to the effect that, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2011, we have been organized and have operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code, and our proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code. It must be emphasized that this opinion was based on various assumptions and representations as to factual matters, including representations made by us in a factual certificate provided by one or more of our officers. In addition, this opinion was based upon our factual representations set forth in the Prospectus. Additionally, to the extent we make certain investments, such as investments in commercial mortgage loan securitizations, the accuracy of such opinion will also depend on the accuracy of certain opinions rendered to us in connection with such transactions. Moreover, our qualification and taxation as a REIT depend upon our ability to meet the various qualification tests imposed under the Code, which are discussed below, including through actual operating results, asset composition, distribution levels and diversity of stock ownership, the results of which have not been and will not be reviewed by Latham & Watkins LLP. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that our actual results of operations for any particular taxable year have satisfied or will satisfy those requirements. Further, the anticipated U.S. federal income tax treatment described in this discussion may be changed, perhaps retroactively, by legislative, administrative or judicial action at any time. Latham & Watkins LLP has no obligation to update its opinion subsequent to the date of such opinion.

 

Provided we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we generally will not be required to pay U.S. federal corporate income taxes on our REIT taxable income that we currently distribute to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the “double taxation” that ordinarily results from investment in a C corporation. A C corporation is a corporation that generally is required to pay tax at the corporate level. Double taxation means taxation once at the corporate level when income is earned and once again at the stockholder level when the income is distributed. We will, however, be required to pay U.S. federal income tax as follows:

 

·We will be required to pay regular U.S. federal corporate income tax on any undistributed REIT taxable income, including undistributed capital gain.

 

·If we have (1) net income from the sale or other disposition of “foreclosure property” held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business or (2) other nonqualifying income from foreclosure property, we will be required to pay regular U.S. federal corporate income tax on this income. To the extent that income from foreclosure property is otherwise qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, this tax is not applicable. Subject to certain other requirements, foreclosure property generally is defined as property we acquired through foreclosure or after a default on a loan secured by the property or a lease of the property. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Income Tests—Foreclosure Property.”

 

·We will be required to pay a 100% tax on any net income from prohibited transactions. Prohibited transactions are, in general, sales or other taxable dispositions of property, other than foreclosure property, held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business.

 

·If we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as described below, but have otherwise maintained our qualification as a REIT because certain other requirements are met, we will be required to pay a tax equal to (1) the greater of (A) the amount by which we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test and (B) the amount by which we fail to satisfy the 95% gross income test, multiplied by (2) a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

 

 

 

 

·If we fail to satisfy any of the asset tests (other than a de minimis failure of the 5% or 10% asset test), as described below, due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, and we nonetheless maintain our REIT qualification because of specified cure provisions, we will be required to pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate multiplied by the net income generated by the nonqualifying assets that caused us to fail such test.

 

·If we fail to satisfy any provision of the Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT (other than a violation of the gross income tests or certain violations of the asset tests, as described below) and the violation is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, we may retain our REIT qualification but we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure.

 

·We will be required to pay a 4% excise tax to the extent we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (1) 85% of our ordinary income for the year, (2) 95% of our capital gain net income for the year, and (3) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods.

 

·If we acquire any asset from a corporation that is or has been a C corporation in a transaction in which our tax basis in the asset is less than the fair market value of the asset, in each case determined as of the date on which we acquired the asset, and we subsequently recognize gain on the disposition of the asset during the five-year period beginning on the date on which we acquired the asset, then we generally will be required to pay regular U.S. federal corporate income tax on this gain to the extent of the excess of (1) the fair market value of the asset over (2) our adjusted tax basis in the asset, in each case determined as of the date on which we acquired the asset. The results described in this paragraph with respect to the recognition of gain assume that the C corporation will refrain from making an election to receive different treatment under applicable Treasury Regulations on its tax return for the year in which we acquire the asset from the C corporation. Under applicable Treasury Regulations, any gain from the sale of property we acquired in an exchange under Section 1031 (a like-kind exchange) or Section 1033 (an involuntary conversion) of the Code generally is excluded from the application of this built-in gains tax.

 

·If we elect to treat property that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or from certain leasehold terminations as “foreclosure property,” we may thereby avoid (1) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (2) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to regular U.S. federal corporate income tax.

 

·We will generally be subject to tax on the portion of any “excess inclusion income” derived from an investment in residual interests in certain mortgage loan securitization structures (i.e., a “taxable mortgage pool” or a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (a “REMIC”)) to the extent that our capital stock is held by specified types of tax-exempt organizations known as “disqualified organizations” that are not subject to tax on unrelated business taxable income. To the extent that we own a REMIC residual interest or a taxable mortgage pool through a taxable REIT subsidiary (a “TRS”), we will not be subject to this tax. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Taxable Mortgage Pools.”

 

·Our subsidiaries that are C corporations, including our TRSs, generally will be required to pay regular U.S. federal corporate income tax on their earnings.

 

·We will be required to pay a 100% tax on any “redetermined rents,” “redetermined deductions,” “excess interest” or “redetermined TRS service income,” as described below under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Income Tests—Penalty Tax.”

 

·We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net capital gain. In that case, a stockholder would include its proportionate share of our undistributed capital gain (to the extent we make a timely designation of such gain to the stockholder) in its income, would be deemed to have paid the tax that we paid on such gain, and would be allowed a credit for its proportionate share of the tax deemed to have been paid, and an adjustment would be made to increase the tax basis of the stockholder in our capital stock.

 

·If we fail to comply with the requirement to send annual letters to our stockholders holding at least a certain percentage of our stock, as determined under applicable Treasury Regulations, requesting information regarding the actual ownership of our stock, and the failure is not due to reasonable cause or is due to willful neglect, we will be subject to a $25,000 penalty, or if the failure is intentional, a $50,000 penalty.

 

We and our subsidiaries may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including payroll taxes and state and local income, property and other taxes on our assets and operations.

 

 

 

 

Requirements for Qualification as a REIT

 

The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:

  

(1)that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;
(2)that issues transferable shares or transferable certificates to evidence its beneficial ownership;
(3)that would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for Sections 856 through 860 of the Code;
(4)that is not a financial institution or an insurance company within the meaning of certain provisions of the Code;
(5)that is beneficially owned by 100 or more persons;
(6)not more than 50% in value of the outstanding stock of which is owned, actually or constructively, by five or fewer individuals, including certain specified entities, during the last half of each taxable year; and
(7)that meets other tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the amount of its distributions.

 

The Code provides that conditions (1) to (4), inclusive, must be met during the entire taxable year and that condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months. Conditions (5) and (6) do not apply until after the first taxable year for which an election is made to be taxed as a REIT. For purposes of condition (6), the term “individual” includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefit plan, a private foundation or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes, but generally does not include a qualified pension plan or profit sharing trust.

 

We believe that we have been organized and have operated in a manner that has allowed us, and will continue to allow us, to satisfy conditions (1) through (7), inclusive, during the relevant time periods. In addition, our charter provides for restrictions regarding ownership and transfer of our shares that are intended to assist us in continuing to satisfy the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. A description of the share ownership and transfer restrictions relating to our capital stock is contained in the discussion in the Prospectus under the heading “Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer and Repurchase of Shares.” These restrictions, however, do not ensure that we have previously satisfied, and may not ensure that we will, in all cases, be able to continue to satisfy the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, except as provided in the next sentence, our status as a REIT will terminate. If, however, we comply with the rules contained in applicable Treasury Regulations that require us to ascertain the actual ownership of our shares and we do not know, or would not have known through the exercise of reasonable diligence, that we failed to meet the requirement described in condition (6) above, we will be treated as having met this requirement. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Failure to Qualify.”

 

In addition, we may not maintain our status as a REIT unless our taxable year is the calendar year. We have and will continue to have a calendar taxable year.

 

Ownership of Interests in Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies and Qualified REIT Subsidiaries

 

In the case of a REIT that is a partner in a partnership (for purposes of this discussion, references to “partnership” include a limited liability company treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and references to “partner” include a member in such a limited liability company), Treasury Regulations provide that the REIT will be deemed to own its proportionate share of the assets of the partnership based on its interest in partnership capital, subject to special rules relating to the 10% asset test described below. Also, the REIT will be deemed to be entitled to its proportionate share of the income of that entity. The assets and gross income of the partnership retain the same character in the hands of the REIT for purposes of Section 856 of the Code, including satisfying the gross income tests and the asset tests. Thus, our pro rata share of the assets and items of income of any partnership, including such partnership’s share of these items of any partnership or disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes in which it owns an interest, would be treated as our assets and items of income for purposes of applying the requirements described in this discussion, including the gross income and asset tests described below. For purposes of the REIT qualification tests, the treatment of our ownership of partnerships or limited liability companies that are, in each case, treated as disregarded entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes is generally the same as described below with respect to qualified REIT subsidiaries.

 

 

 

 

We generally have control of our subsidiary partnerships and intend to operate them in a manner consistent with the requirements for our qualification as a REIT. If we become a limited partner or non-managing member in any partnership and such entity takes or expects to take actions that could jeopardize our status as a REIT or require us to pay tax, we may be forced to dispose of our interest in such entity. In addition, it is possible that a partnership could take an action which could cause us to fail a gross income or asset test, and that we would not become aware of such action in time to dispose of our interest in the partnership or take other corrective action on a timely basis. In such a case, we could fail to qualify as a REIT unless we were entitled to relief, as described below.

 

From time to time, we may own wholly owned subsidiaries that are treated as “qualified REIT subsidiaries” under the Code. A corporation (or other entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) qualifies as our qualified REIT subsidiary if we own 100% of the corporation’s outstanding stock and do not elect with the subsidiary to treat it as a TRS, as described below. A qualified REIT subsidiary is not treated as a separate corporation, and all assets, liabilities and items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit of a qualified REIT subsidiary are treated as assets, liabilities and items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit of the parent REIT for all purposes under the Code, including all REIT qualification tests. Thus, in applying the U.S. federal income tax requirements described in this discussion, any qualified REIT subsidiaries we own are ignored, and all assets, liabilities and items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit of such corporations are treated as our assets, liabilities and items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit. A qualified REIT subsidiary is not subject to U.S. federal income tax, and our ownership of the stock of a qualified REIT subsidiary will not violate the restrictions on ownership of securities, as described below under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Asset Tests.”

 

Ownership of Interests in TRSs

 

From time to time, we may own interests in one or more TRSs. A TRS is a corporation (or other entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes), other than a REIT, in which a REIT directly or indirectly holds stock, and that has made a joint election with such REIT to be treated as a TRS. If a TRS owns more than 35% of the total voting power or value of the outstanding securities of another corporation, such other corporation will also be treated as a TRS. Other than some activities relating to lodging and health care facilities, a TRS may generally engage in any business. A TRS is subject to U.S. federal income tax as a regular C corporation. A REIT is not treated as holding the assets of a TRS or as receiving any income that the TRS earns. Rather, the stock issued by the TRS is an asset in the hands of the REIT, and the REIT generally recognizes as income the dividends, if any, that it receives from the TRS. A REIT’s ownership of securities of a TRS is not subject to the 5% or 10% asset test described below. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Asset Tests.” For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, taxpayers are subject to a limitation on their ability to deduct net business interest generally equal to 30% of adjusted taxable income, subject to certain exceptions. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Annual Distribution Requirements.” While not certain, this provision may limit the ability of our TRSs to deduct interest, which could increase their taxable income.

 

Non-U.S. TRSs that are not engaged in trade or business in the United States for tax purposes generally are not subject to U.S. corporate income taxation. However, certain U.S. shareholders of such non-U.S. corporations may be required to include in their income currently their proportionate share of the earnings of such a corporation, whether or not such earnings are distributed. This could affect our ability to comply with the REIT income tests and distribution requirement. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Income Tests” and “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Annual Distribution Requirements.” We currently do not own interests in any non-U.S. TRS, but we may acquire interests in such TRSs in the future.

 

 

 

 

We may hold a significant number of assets in one or more TRSs, subject to the limitation that securities in TRSs may not represent more than 20% of our total assets (25% for taxable years beginning after July 30, 2008 and before January 1, 2018). We may engage in securitization transactions through our TRSs, and to the extent that we acquire loans with an intention of selling such loans in a manner that might expose us to a 100% tax on “prohibited transactions,” such loans may be acquired by a TRS.

 

Certain restrictions imposed on TRSs are intended to ensure that such entities will be subject to appropriate levels of U.S. federal income taxation. For example, if amounts are paid to a REIT or deducted by a TRS due to transactions between a REIT, its tenants and/or the TRS, that exceed the amount that would be paid to or deducted by a party in an arm’s-length transaction, the REIT generally will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of such excess. Furthermore, income of a TRS that is understated as a result of services provided to us or on our behalf generally will be subject to a 100% penalty tax. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Income Tests—Penalty Tax.”

 

Taxable Mortgage Pools

 

An entity, or a portion of an entity, may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool (a “TMP”) under the Code if:

 

·substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations;

 

·more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgages or interests in real estate mortgages as of specified testing dates;

 

·the entity has issued debt obligations that have two or more maturities; and

 

·the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.

 

Under applicable Treasury Regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consist of debt obligations, these debt obligations are considered not to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a TMP. We may enter into financing and securitization arrangements that give rise to TMPs.

 

A TMP generally is treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, special rules apply to a REIT, a portion of a REIT, or a qualified REIT subsidiary that is a TMP. If a REIT owns directly, or indirectly through one or more qualified REIT subsidiaries or other entities that are disregarded entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, 100% of the equity interests in the TMP, the TMP will be a qualified REIT subsidiary and, therefore, disregarded as an entity separate from the REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and would not generally affect the tax qualification of the REIT. Rather, the consequences of the TMP classification would generally be limited to the REIT’s shareholders. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Excess Inclusion Income.”

 

Excess Inclusion Income

 

A portion of income from a TMP arrangement, which might be non-cash accrued income, could be treated as “excess inclusion income.” A REIT’s excess inclusion income, including any excess inclusion income from a residual interest in a REMIC, must be allocated among its shareholders in proportion to dividends paid. We generally do not expect to generate excess inclusion income that would be allocated to our stockholders. In the event we do generate excess inclusion income, we are required to notify our stockholders of the amount of such income allocated to them. A shareholder’s share of excess inclusion income:

 

·cannot be offset by any net operating losses otherwise available to the shareholder;

 

·in the case of a shareholder that is a REIT, a regulated investment company (a “RIC”), or a common trust fund or other pass-through entity, is considered excess inclusion income of such entity;

 

·is subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income in the hands of most types of shareholders that are otherwise generally exempt from U.S. federal income tax;

 

 

 

 

·results in the application of U.S. federal income tax withholding at the maximum rate (30%), without reduction for any otherwise applicable income tax treaty or other exemption, to the extent allocable to most types of non-U.S. shareholders; and

 

·is taxable at the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate, currently 21%, to the REIT, rather than its shareholders, to the extent allocable to the REIT’s shares held in record name by disqualified organizations (generally, tax-exempt entities not subject to unrelated business income tax, including governmental organizations).

 

The manner in which excess inclusion income is calculated, or would be allocated to our stockholders, including allocations among shares of different classes of stock, is not clear under current law. As required by IRS guidance, we intend to make such determinations using a reasonable method.

 

Tax-exempt investors, RIC or REIT investors, non-U.S. investors and taxpayers with net operating losses should carefully consider the tax consequences described above, and are urged to consult their tax advisors with respect to the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in our capital stock.

 

If a subsidiary partnership of ours that we do not wholly own, directly or through one or more disregarded entities, were a TMP, the foregoing rules would not apply. Rather, the partnership that is a TMP would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and potentially would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax or withholding tax. In addition, this characterization would alter our income and asset test calculations, and could adversely affect our compliance with those requirements. We intend to monitor the structure of any TMPs in which we will have an interest to ensure that they will not adversely affect our qualification as a REIT.

 

Income Tests

 

We must satisfy two gross income requirements annually to maintain our qualification as a REIT. First, in each taxable year we must derive directly or indirectly at least 75% of our gross income (excluding gross income from prohibited transactions, certain hedging transactions, and certain foreign currency gains) from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property, including “rents from real property,” dividends from other REITs and, in certain circumstances, interest, or certain types of temporary investments. Second, in each taxable year we must derive at least 95% of our gross income (excluding gross income from prohibited transactions, certain hedging transactions, and certain foreign currency gains) from the real property investments described above or dividends, interest and gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, or from any combination of the foregoing.

 

Interest Income

 

Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property and, if an obligation is secured by a mortgage on both real property and personal property, the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property. In the event that we invest in a mortgage loan that is secured by both real property and personal property, we may be required to apportion our interest on the loan between interest on an obligation that is secured by real property (or by an interest in real property) and interest on an obligation that is not so secured. Even if a loan is not secured by real property or is undersecured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test.

 

To the extent that we derive interest income from a loan where all or a portion of the amount of interest payable is contingent, such income generally will qualify for purposes of the gross income tests only if it is based upon the gross receipts or sales and not the net income or profits of any person. This limitation does not apply, however, to a mortgage loan where the borrower derives substantially all of its income from the property from the leasing of substantially all of its interest in the property to tenants, to the extent that the rental income derived by the borrower would qualify as rents from real property had we earned it directly.

 

To the extent that the terms of a loan provide for contingent interest that is based on the cash proceeds realized upon the sale of the property securing the loan (or a shared appreciation provision), income attributable to the participation feature will be treated as gain from sale of the underlying property, which generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property of the borrower or ours.

 

 

 

 

Any amount includible in our gross income with respect to a regular or residual interest in a REMIC generally is treated as interest on an obligation secured by a mortgage on real property. If, however, less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consists of real estate assets (determined as if we held such assets), we will be treated as receiving directly our proportionate share of the income of the REMIC for purposes of determining the amount that is treated as interest on an obligation secured by a mortgage on real property.

 

Among the assets we may hold are certain mezzanine loans secured by equity interests in a pass-through entity that directly or indirectly owns real property, rather than a direct mortgage on the real property. The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2003-65 (the “Revenue Procedure”), which provides a safe harbor pursuant to which a mezzanine loan will be treated by the IRS as a real estate asset for purposes of the REIT asset tests, and interest derived from it will be treated as qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law. From time to time, we may own mezzanine loans that do not meet all of the requirements for reliance on this safe harbor. There can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge the qualification of any mezzanine loans we may own as real estate assets or the interest generated by such loans as qualifying income under the 75% gross income test. If we acquire or make corporate mezzanine loans or other commercial real estate corporate debt, such loans will not qualify as real estate assets and interest income with respect to such loans will not be qualifying income for the 75% gross income test. To the extent that such non-qualification causes us to fail the 75% gross income test, we could be required to pay a penalty tax or fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

We expect that any commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) that we may invest in will be treated either as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that all interest income, original issue discount and market discount from such CMBS will be qualifying income for the 95% gross income test. In the case of CMBS treated as interests in a REMIC, income derived from REMIC interests will generally be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. As discussed above, if less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our income derived from the REMIC interest will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include imbedded interest swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holder of the related REMIC securities. In the case of CMBS treated as interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. The interest, original issue discount and market discount on such mortgage loans would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property and, if an obligation is secured by a mortgage on both real property and personal property, the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, as discussed above.

 

We believe that the interest income that we receive from our mortgage-related investments and securities generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. However, to the extent we own non-REMIC collateralized mortgage obligations or other debt instruments secured by mortgage loans (rather than by real property) or secured by non-real estate assets, or debt securities that are not secured by mortgages on real property or interests in real property, the interest income received with respect to such securities generally will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test.

 

Fee Income

 

We may receive various fees in connection with our operations. The fees generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if they are received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property and the fees are not determined by the income or profits of any person. Other fees are not qualifying income for purposes of either the 75% or 95% gross income test. Any fees earned by a TRS are not included for purposes of the gross income tests.

 

Dividend and Certain Foreign Income

 

We may receive distributions from TRSs or other corporations that are not REITs or qualified REIT subsidiaries. These distributions generally will be classified as dividend income to the extent of the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation. Such distributions generally will constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. Any dividends we receive from a REIT will be qualifying income in our hands for purposes of both the 95% and 75% gross income tests.

 

Income inclusions from equity investments in certain foreign corporations, such as controlled foreign corporations and passive foreign investment companies, as defined in the Code, are technically neither dividends nor any of the other enumerated categories of income specified in the 95% gross income test for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, under IRS guidance, certain such income inclusions generally will constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test.

 

 

 

 

Hedging Transactions

 

From time to time, we may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Our hedging activities may include entering into interest rate swaps, caps, and floors, options to purchase these items, and futures and forward contracts. Income from a hedging transaction, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, that is clearly identified as a hedging transaction as specified in the Code will not constitute gross income under, and thus will be exempt from, the 75% and 95% gross income tests. The term “hedging transaction,” as used above, generally means (A) any transaction we enter into in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of (1) interest rate changes or fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made by us to acquire or carry real estate assets, or (2) currency fluctuations with respect to an item of qualifying income under the 75% or 95% gross income test or any property which generates such income and (B) new transactions entered into to hedge the income or loss from prior hedging transactions, where the property or indebtedness which was the subject of the prior hedging transaction was extinguished or disposed of. To the extent that we do not properly identify such transactions as hedges or we hedge with other types of financial instruments, the income from those transactions is not likely to be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our status as a REIT.

 

Rents from Real Property

 

To the extent that we own real property or interests therein, rents we receive from a tenant will qualify as “rents from real property” for the purpose of satisfying the gross income tests described above only if all of the following conditions are met:

 

·The amount of rent is not based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount we receive or accrue generally will not be excluded from the term “rents from real property” solely because it is based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales or if it is based on the net income of a tenant which derives substantially all of its income with respect to such property from subleasing of substantially all of such property, to the extent that the rents paid by the subtenants would qualify as rents from real property if we earned such amounts directly;

 

·Neither we nor an actual or constructive owner of 10% or more of our capital stock actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the interests in the assets or net profits of a non-corporate tenant, or, if the tenant is a corporation, 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote or 10% or more of the total value of all classes of stock of the tenant. Rents we receive from such a tenant that is a TRS of ours, however, will not be excluded from the definition of “rents from real property” as a result of this condition if at least 90% of the space at the property to which the rents relate is leased to third parties, and the rents paid by the TRS are substantially comparable to rents paid by our other tenants for comparable space;

 

·Rent attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property is not greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease. If this condition is not met, then the portion of the rent attributable to personal property will not qualify as “rents from real property.” To the extent that rent attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property exceeds 15% of the total rent received under the lease, we may transfer a portion of such personal property to a TRS; and

 

·We generally may not operate or manage the property or furnish or render services to our tenants, subject to a 1% de minimis exception and except as provided below. We may, however, perform services that are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not otherwise considered “rendered to the occupant” of the property. Examples of these services include the provision of light, heat, or other utilities, trash removal and general maintenance of common areas. In addition, we may employ an independent contractor from whom we derive no revenue to provide customary services to our tenants, or a TRS (which may be wholly or partially owned by us) to provide both customary and non-customary services to our tenants without causing the rent we receive from those tenants to fail to qualify as “rents from real property.”

 

We intend to structure any leases so that the rent payable thereunder will qualify as “rents from real property,” but there can be no assurance we will be successful in this regard.

 

 

 

 

Phantom Income

 

Due to the nature of the assets in which we may invest, from time to time we may be required to recognize taxable income from those assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow on or proceeds from disposition of such assets, and may be required to report taxable income in early periods that exceeds the economic income ultimately realized on such assets.

 

If we were to acquire debt instruments in the secondary market for less than their face amount, the amount of such discount generally would be treated as “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accrued market discount is reported as income when, and to the extent that, any payment of principal of the debt instrument is made, unless we elect to include accrued market discount in income as it accrues. Principal payments on certain loans are made monthly, and consequently accrued market discount may have to be included in income each month as if the debt instrument were assured of ultimately being collected in full. If we collect less on the debt instrument than our purchase price plus the market discount we had previously reported as income, we may not be able to benefit from any offsetting loss deductions in a subsequent taxable year.

 

If we were to acquire securities issued with original issue discount, we would generally be required to accrue original issue discount based on the constant yield to maturity of the securities, and to treat it as taxable income in accordance with applicable U.S. federal income tax rules even though smaller or no cash payments were received on such debt instrument. As in the case of the market discount discussed in the preceding paragraph, the constant yield in question would be determined and we would be taxed based on the assumption that all future payments due on securities in question will be made, with consequences similar to those described in the previous paragraph if all payments on the securities are not made.

 

In addition, in the event that any debt instruments or other securities we acquire are delinquent as to mandatory principal and interest payments, or in the event payments with respect to a particular debt instrument are not made when due, we may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income. Similarly, we may be required to accrue interest income with respect to subordinate mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) at the stated rate regardless of whether corresponding cash payments are received.

 

We may also be required under the terms of indebtedness that we incur to private lenders to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payments on that indebtedness, with the effect of recognizing income but not having a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

 

Finally, we are required to recognize certain items of income for U.S. federal income tax purposes no later than when we would report such items on our financial statements. This requirement generally applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, but applies with respect to income from a debt instrument having original issue discount for U.S. federal income tax purposes only for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2018.

 

Due to each of these potential timing differences between income recognition or expense deduction and the related cash receipts or disbursements, there is a risk that we may have taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may need to borrow funds or take other action to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this “phantom income” is recognized. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Annual Distribution Requirements.”

 

 

 

 

Prohibited Transaction Income

 

Any gain that we realize on the sale of an asset (other than foreclosure property, as described below) held as inventory or otherwise held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, either directly or through any qualified REIT subsidiaries or subsidiary partnerships, or by a borrower that has issued a shared appreciation mortgage or similar debt instrument to us, will be treated as income from a prohibited transaction that is subject to a 100% penalty tax, unless certain safe harbor exceptions apply. This prohibited transaction income may also adversely affect our ability to satisfy the gross income tests for qualification as a REIT. Under existing law, whether an asset is held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business is a question of fact that depends on all the facts and circumstances surrounding the particular transaction. We intend to conduct our operations so that no asset we own will be held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers, and that a sale of any assets we own will not be in the ordinary course of business. However, the IRS may successfully assert that some or all of the sales made by us, our qualified REIT subsidiaries or our subsidiary partnerships, or by a borrower that has issued a shared appreciation mortgage or similar debt instrument to us, are prohibited transactions. We would be required to pay the 100% penalty tax on our allocable share of the gains resulting from any such sales. The 100% penalty tax will not apply to gains from the sale of assets that are held through a TRS, but such income will be subject to regular U.S. federal corporate income tax.

 

Foreclosure Property

 

Foreclosure property is real property and any personal property incident to such real property (1) that is acquired by a REIT as a result of the REIT having bid on the property at foreclosure or having otherwise reduced the property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law after there was a default (or default was imminent) on a lease of the property or a mortgage loan held by the REIT and secured by the property, (2) for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when default was not imminent or anticipated and (3) for which such REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property. REITs generally are subject to tax at the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate (currently 21%) on any net income from foreclosure property, including any gain from the disposition of the foreclosure property, other than income that would otherwise be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Any gain from the sale of property for which a foreclosure property election has been made will not be subject to the 100% tax on gains from prohibited transactions described above, even if the property would otherwise constitute inventory or dealer property in the hands of the selling REIT. If we believe we will receive any income from foreclosure property that is not qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we intend to elect to treat the related property as foreclosure property.

 

Penalty Tax

 

Any redetermined deductions, excess interest, redetermined rents or redetermined TRS service income we generate will be subject to a 100% penalty tax. In general, redetermined deductions and excess interest represent any amounts that are deducted by a TRS of ours for amounts paid to us that are in excess of the amounts that would have been deducted based on arm’s length negotiations, redetermined rents are rents from real property that are overstated as a result of any services furnished to any of our tenants by a TRS of ours, and redetermined TRS service income is income of a TRS of ours that is understated as a result of services provided to us or on our behalf.

 

We do not have any TRSs that provide tenant services, and we intend to set any amounts payable to us by our TRSs at arm’s length rates. These determinations are inherently factual, and the IRS has broad discretion to assert that amounts paid between related parties should be reallocated to clearly reflect their respective incomes. If the IRS successfully made such an assertion, we would be required to pay a 100% penalty tax on any overstated rents paid to us, or any excess deductions or understated income of our TRSs.

 

Failure to Satisfy the Gross Income Tests.

 

We monitor our income and take actions intended to keep our nonqualifying income within the limitations of the gross income tests. Although we expect these actions will be sufficient to prevent a violation of the gross income tests, we cannot guarantee that such actions will in all cases prevent such a violation. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may nevertheless qualify as a REIT for the year if we are entitled to relief under certain provisions of the Code. We generally may make use of the relief provisions if:

 

·following our identification of the failure to meet the 75% or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we file a schedule with the IRS setting forth each item of our gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests for such taxable year in accordance with Treasury Regulations to be issued; and

 

·our failure to meet these tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.

 

 

 

 

It is not possible, however, to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions. For example, if we fail to satisfy the gross income tests because nonqualifying income that we intentionally accrue or receive exceeds the limits on nonqualifying income, the IRS could conclude that our failure to satisfy the tests was not due to reasonable cause. If these relief provisions do not apply to a particular set of circumstances, we will not qualify as a REIT. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Failure to Qualify” below. As discussed above in “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—General,” even if these relief provisions apply, and we retain our qualification as a REIT, a tax would be imposed with respect to our nonqualifying income. We may not always be able to comply with the gross income tests for REIT qualification despite periodic monitoring of our income.

 

Asset Tests

 

At the close of each calendar quarter of our taxable year, we must also satisfy certain tests relating to the nature and diversification of our assets. First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by real estate assets, cash, cash items and U.S. government securities. For purposes of this test, the term “real estate assets” generally means real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property or on both real property and, to a limited extent, personal property), shares (or transferable certificates of beneficial interest) in other REITs, any stock or debt instrument attributable to the investment of the proceeds of a stock offering or a public offering of debt with a term of at least five years (but only for the one-year period beginning on the date the REIT receives such proceeds), debt instruments of publicly offered REITs and personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property for which the rent attributable to personal property is not greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease. Regular or residual interests in REMICs are generally treated as a real estate asset. If, however, less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consists of real estate assets (determined as if we held such assets), we will be treated as owning our proportionate share of the assets of the REMIC. In the case of any interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust.

 

Second, not more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by securities (including securities of TRSs), other than those securities includable in the 75% asset test.

 

Third, of the investments included in the 25% asset class, and except for certain investments in other REITs, our qualified REIT subsidiaries and TRSs, the value of any one issuer’s securities may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets, and we may not own more than 10% of the total vote or value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer. Certain types of securities we may own are disregarded as securities solely for purposes of the 10% value test, including, but not limited to, securities satisfying the “straight debt” safe harbor, securities issued by a partnership that itself would satisfy the 75% income test if it were a REIT, any loan to an individual or an estate, any obligation to pay rents from real property and any security issued by a REIT. In addition, solely for purposes of the 10% value test, the determination of our interest in the assets of a partnership in which we own an interest will be based on our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, excluding for this purpose certain securities described in the Code. From time to time we may own securities (including debt securities) of issuers that do not qualify as a REIT, a qualified REIT subsidiary or a TRS. We intend that our ownership of any such securities will be structured in a manner that allows us to comply with the asset tests described above.

 

Fourth, not more than 20% (25% for taxable years beginning after July 30, 2008 and before January 1, 2018) of the value of our total assets may be represented by the securities of one or more TRSs. We currently own, directly or indirectly, interests in companies that have elected, together with us, to be treated as our TRSs, and we may acquire securities in additional TRSs in the future. So long as each of these companies qualifies as a TRS of ours, we will not be subject to the 5% asset test, the 10% voting securities limitation or the 10% value limitation with respect to our ownership of the securities of such companies. We believe that the aggregate value of our TRSs has not exceeded, and in the future will not exceed, 20% (25% for taxable years beginning after July 30, 2008 and before January 1, 2018) of the aggregate value of our gross assets. We generally do not obtain independent appraisals to support these conclusions. In addition, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not disagree with our determinations of value.

 

 

 

 

Fifth, not more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by debt instruments of publicly offered REITs to the extent those debt instruments would not be real estate assets but for the inclusion of debt instruments of publicly offered REITs in the meaning of real estate assets, as described above (e.g., a debt instrument issued by a publicly offered REIT that is not secured by a mortgage on real property).

 

We believe that the assets comprising our mortgage-related investments and securities that we own generally are qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test, and that our ownership of TRSs and other assets have been structured in a manner that will comply with the foregoing REIT asset requirements, and we monitor compliance on an ongoing basis. There can be no assurance, however, that we will always be successful in this effort. In this regard, to determine compliance with these requirements, we need to estimate the value of our assets, and we do not expect to obtain independent appraisals to support our conclusions as to the total value of our assets or the value of any particular security or other asset. Moreover, values of some assets, including our interests in our TRSs, may not be susceptible to a precise determination and are subject to change in the future. Although we will continue to be prudent in making these estimates, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not disagree with these determinations and assert that a different value is applicable, in which case we might not satisfy the REIT asset tests, and could fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

In the event that we invest in a mortgage loan that is not fully secured by real property, Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor under which the IRS has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of: (1) the greater of (a) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan determined as of the date the REIT committed to acquire the loan or (b) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date; or (2) the fair market value of the loan on the date of the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date. We intend to invest in mortgage loans in a manner consistent with satisfying the asset tests and maintaining our qualification as a REIT.

 

The proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT asset tests. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not assert that our interests in subsidiaries or in the securities of other issuers caused a violation of the REIT asset tests.

 

In addition, we intend to enter into repurchase agreements under which we will nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets. We believe that we will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any repurchase agreement and that the repurchase agreement will be treated as a secured lending transaction notwithstanding that we may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could successfully assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

The asset tests must be satisfied at the close of each calendar quarter of our taxable year in which we (directly or through any qualified REIT subsidiary or subsidiary partnership) acquire securities in the applicable issuer, and also at the close of each calendar quarter in which we increase our ownership of securities of such issuer (including as a result of an increase in our interest in any partnership that owns such securities). For example, our indirect ownership of securities of each issuer may increase as a result of our capital contributions to, or the redemption of other partners’ or members’ interests in, a partnership in which we have an ownership interest. However, after initially meeting the asset tests at the close of any quarter, we will not lose our status as a REIT for failure to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in asset values. If we fail to satisfy an asset test because we acquire securities or other property during a quarter (including as a result of an increase in our interest in any partnership), we may cure this failure by disposing of sufficient nonqualifying assets within 30 days after the close of that quarter. We believe that we have maintained, and we intend to maintain, adequate records of the value of our assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests. If we fail to cure any noncompliance with the asset tests within the 30-day cure period, we would cease to qualify as a REIT unless we are eligible for certain relief provisions discussed below.

 

Certain relief provisions may be available to us if we discover a failure to satisfy the asset tests described above after the 30-day cure period. Under these provisions, we will be deemed to have met the 5% and 10% asset tests if the value of our nonqualifying assets (i) does not exceed the lesser of (a) 1% of the total value of our assets at the end of the applicable quarter or (b) $10,000,000, and (ii) we dispose of the nonqualifying assets or otherwise satisfy such tests within (a) six months after the last day of the quarter in which the failure to satisfy the asset tests is discovered or (b) the period of time prescribed by Treasury Regulations to be issued. For violations of any of the asset tests due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and that are, in the case of the 5% and 10% asset tests, in excess of the de minimis exception described above, we may avoid disqualification as a REIT after the 30-day cure period by taking steps including (1) the disposition of sufficient nonqualifying assets, or the taking of other actions, which allow us to meet the asset tests within (a) six months after the last day of the quarter in which the failure to satisfy the asset tests is discovered or (b) the period of time prescribed by Treasury Regulations to be issued, (2) paying a tax equal to the greater of (a) $50,000 or (b) the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate multiplied by the net income generated by the nonqualifying assets, and (3) disclosing certain information to the IRS.

 

 

 

 

Although we believe we have satisfied the asset tests described above and plan to take steps to ensure that we satisfy such tests for any quarter with respect to which retesting is to occur, there can be no assurance that we will always be successful, or will not require a reduction in our overall interest in an issuer (including in a TRS). If we fail to cure any noncompliance with the asset tests in a timely manner, and the relief provisions described above are not available, we would cease to qualify as a REIT.

 

Annual Distribution Requirements

 

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we are required to distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends, to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to the sum of:

 

·90% of our REIT taxable income; and

 

·90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property; minus

 

·the excess of the sum of certain items of non-cash income over 5% of our REIT taxable income.

 

For these purposes, our “REIT taxable income” is computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain. In addition, for purposes of this test, non-cash income generally means income attributable to leveled stepped rents, original issue discount, cancellation of indebtedness, or a like-kind exchange that is later determined to be taxable.

 

In addition, our REIT taxable income will be reduced by any taxes we are required to pay on any gain we recognize from the disposition of any asset we acquired from a corporation which was or had been a C corporation in a transaction in which our tax basis in the asset was less than the fair market value of the asset, in each case determined as of the date on which we acquired the asset, within the five-year period following our acquisition of such asset, as described above under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—General.”

 

For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, and except as provided below, our deduction for net business interest expense will generally be limited to 30% of our taxable income, as adjusted for certain items of income, gain, deduction or loss. Any business interest deduction that is disallowed due to this limitation may be carried forward to future taxable years. If we are subject to this interest expense limitation, our REIT taxable income for a taxable year may be increased. Taxpayers that conduct certain real estate businesses may elect not to have this interest expense limitation apply to them, provided that they use an alternative depreciation system to depreciate certain property. We do not believe that we will be eligible to make this election.

 

We generally must pay, or be treated as paying, the distributions described above in the taxable year to which they relate. At our election, a distribution will be treated as paid in a taxable year if it is declared before we timely file our tax return for such year and paid on or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration, provided such payment is made during the 12-month period following the close of such year. These distributions are treated as received by our stockholders in the year in which they are paid. This is so even though these distributions relate to the prior year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement. In order to be taken into account for purposes of our distribution requirement, except as provided below, the amount distributed must not be preferential — i.e., every stockholder of the class of stock to which a distribution is made must be treated the same as every other stockholder of that class, and no class of stock may be treated other than according to its distribution rights as a class. This preferential limitation will not apply to distributions made by us, provided we qualify as a “publicly offered REIT.” We believe that we are, and expect we will continue to be, a “publicly offered REIT.” To the extent that we do not distribute all of our net capital gain, or distribute at least 90%, but less than 100%, of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be required to pay regular U.S. federal corporate income tax on the undistributed amount.

 

 

 

 

We believe that we have made, and we intend to continue to make, timely distributions sufficient to satisfy these annual distribution requirements and to minimize our corporate tax obligations. However, from time to time, we may not have sufficient cash or other liquid assets to meet these distribution requirements due to timing differences between the actual receipt of income and actual payment of deductible expenses, and the inclusion of income and deduction of expenses in determining our taxable income. In addition, we may decide to retain our cash, rather than distribute it, in order to repay debt or for other reasons. If these timing differences occur, we may borrow funds to pay dividends or pay dividends in the form of taxable stock distributions in order to meet the distribution requirements, while preserving our cash. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Income Tests—Phantom Income.”

 

Under certain circumstances, we may be able to rectify an inadvertent failure to meet the 90% distribution requirement for a year by paying “deficiency dividends” to our stockholders in a later year, which may be included in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. In that case, we may be able to avoid being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends, subject to the 4% excise tax described below. However, we will be required to pay interest to the IRS based upon the amount of any deduction claimed for deficiency dividends. While the payment of a deficiency dividend will apply to a prior year for purposes of our REIT distribution requirements, it will be treated as an additional distribution to our stockholders in the year such dividend is paid.

 

Furthermore, we will be required to pay a 4% excise tax to the extent we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of 85% of our ordinary income for such year, 95% of our capital gain net income for the year and any undistributed taxable income from prior periods. Any ordinary income and net capital gain on which corporate income tax is imposed for any year is treated as an amount distributed during that year for purposes of calculating this excise tax.

 

For purposes of the 90% distribution requirement and excise tax described above, dividends declared during the last three months of the taxable year, payable to stockholders of record on a specified date during such period and paid during January of the following year, will be treated as paid by us and received by our stockholders on December 31 of the year in which they are declared.

 

Failure to Qualify

 

If we discover a violation of a provision of the Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT, certain specified cure provisions may be available to us. Except with respect to violations of the gross income tests and asset tests (for which the cure provisions are described above), and provided the violation is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, these cure provisions generally impose a $50,000 penalty for each violation in lieu of a loss of REIT status. If we fail to satisfy the requirements for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year, and the relief provisions do not apply, we will be required to pay regular U.S. federal corporate income tax, including any applicable alternative minimum tax for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2018, on our taxable income. Distributions to our stockholders in any year in which we fail to qualify as a REIT will not be deductible by us. As a result, we anticipate that our failure to qualify as a REIT would reduce the cash available for distribution by us to our stockholders. In addition, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will not be required to distribute any amounts to our stockholders and all distributions to our stockholders will be taxable as regular corporate dividends to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits. In such event, corporate stockholders may be eligible for the dividends-received deduction. In addition, non-corporate stockholders, including individuals, may be eligible for the preferential tax rates on qualified dividend income. Non-corporate stockholders, including individuals, generally may deduct up to 20% of dividends from a REIT, other than capital gain dividends and dividends treated as qualified dividend income, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026 for purposes of determining their U.S. federal income tax (but not for purposes of the 3.8% Medicare tax). If we fail to qualify as a REIT, such stockholders may not claim this deduction with respect to dividends paid by us. Unless entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we would also be ineligible to elect to be treated as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year for which we lose our qualification. It is not possible to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to this statutory relief.

 

 

 

 

Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities

 

The following discussion is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax consequences to you of purchasing, owning and disposing of our capital stock or debt securities. This discussion is limited to holders who hold our capital stock or debt securities as “capital assets” within the meaning of Section 1221 of the Code (generally, property held for investment). This discussion does not address all U.S. federal income tax consequences relevant to a holder’s particular circumstances. In addition, except where specifically noted, it does not address consequences relevant to holders subject to special rules, including, without limitation:

 

·U.S. expatriates and former citizens or long-term residents of the United States;

 

·persons subject to the alternative minimum tax;

 

·U.S. Holders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;

 

·persons holding our capital stock or debt securities as part of a hedge, straddle or other risk reduction strategy or as part of a conversion transaction or other integrated investment;

 

·banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions;

 

·REITs or regulated investment companies;

 

·brokers, dealers or traders in securities;

 

·“controlled foreign corporations,” “passive foreign investment companies,” and corporations that accumulate earnings to avoid U.S. federal income tax;

 

·S corporations, partnerships or other entities or arrangements treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes (and investors therein);

 

·tax-exempt organizations or governmental organizations;

 

·persons subject to special tax accounting rules as a result of any item of gross income with respect to our capital stock or debt securities being taken into account in an “applicable financial statement” (as defined in the Code);

 

·persons deemed to sell our capital stock or debt securities under the constructive sale provisions of the Code; and

 

·persons who hold or receive our capital stock pursuant to the exercise of any employee stock option or otherwise as compensation.

 

THIS DISCUSSION IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED AS TAX ADVICE. INVESTORS SHOULD CONSULT THEIR TAX ADVISORS WITH RESPECT TO THE APPLICATION OF THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX LAWS TO THEIR PARTICULAR SITUATIONS AS WELL AS ANY TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE PURCHASE, OWNERSHIP AND DISPOSITION OF OUR CAPITAL STOCK OR DEBT SECURITIES ARISING UNDER OTHER U.S. FEDERAL TAX LAWS (INCLUDING ESTATE AND GIFT TAX LAWS), UNDER THE LAWS OF ANY STATE, LOCAL OR NON-U.S. TAXING JURISDICTION OR UNDER ANY APPLICABLE TAX TREATY.

 

For purposes of this discussion, a “U.S. Holder” is a beneficial owner of our capital stock or debt securities that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, is or is treated as:

 

·an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States;

 

·a corporation created or organized under the laws of the United States, any state thereof, or the District of Columbia;

 

·an estate, the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income tax regardless of its source; or

 

·a trust that (1) is subject to the primary supervision of a U.S. court and the control of one or more “United States persons” (within the meaning of Section 7701(a)(30) of the Code) or (2) has a valid election in effect to be treated as a United States person for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

For purposes of this discussion, a “Non-U.S. Holder” is any beneficial owner of our capital stock or debt securities that is neither a U.S. Holder nor an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

 

 

 

If an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds our capital stock or debt securities, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will depend on the status of the partner, the activities of the partnership and certain determinations made at the partner level. Accordingly, partnerships holding our capital stock or debt securities and the partners in such partnerships should consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences to them.

 

Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock

 

Distributions Generally

 

Distributions out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits will be treated as dividends and, other than with respect to capital gain dividends and certain amounts which have previously been subject to corporate level tax, as discussed below, will be taxable to our taxable U.S. Holders as ordinary income when actually or constructively received. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Tax Rates” below. As long as we qualify as a REIT, these distributions will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction in the case of U.S. Holders that are corporations or, except to the extent described in “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Tax Rates” below, the preferential rates on qualified dividend income applicable to non-corporate U.S. Holders, including individuals. For purposes of determining whether distributions to holders of our capital stock are out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to our outstanding preferred stock, if any, and then to our outstanding common stock.

 

To the extent that we make distributions on our capital stock in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits allocable to such stock, these distributions will be treated first as a tax-free return of capital to a U.S. Holder to the extent of the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in such shares of stock. This treatment will reduce the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in such shares of stock by such amount, but not below zero. Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits and in excess of a U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares will be taxable as capital gain. Such gain will be taxable as long-term capital gain if the shares have been held for more than one year. Dividends we declare in October, November, or December of any year and which are payable to a holder of record on a specified date in any of these months will be treated as both paid by us and received by the holder on December 31 of that year, provided we actually pay the dividend on or before January 31 of the following year. U.S. Holders may not include in their own income tax returns any of our net operating losses or capital losses.

 

U.S. Holders that receive taxable stock distributions, including distributions partially payable in our capital stock and partially payable in cash, would be required to include the full amount of the distribution (i.e., the cash and the stock portion) as a dividend (subject to limited exceptions) to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as described above. The amount of any distribution payable in our capital stock generally is equal to the amount of cash that could have been received instead of our capital stock. Depending on the circumstances of a U.S. Holder, the tax on the distribution may exceed the amount of the distribution received in cash, in which case such U.S. Holder would have to pay the tax using cash from other sources. If a U.S. Holder sells our capital stock it received in connection with a taxable stock distribution in order to pay this tax and the proceeds of such sale are less than the amount required to be included in income with respect to the stock portion of the distribution, such U.S. Holder could have a capital loss with respect to the stock sale that could not be used to offset such income. A U.S. Holder that receives our capital stock pursuant to such distribution generally has a tax basis in such capital stock equal to the amount of cash that could have been received instead of such capital stock as described above, and has a holding period in such capital stock that begins on the day immediately following the payment date for the distribution.

 

Capital Gain Dividends

 

Dividends that we properly designate as capital gain dividends will be taxable to our taxable U.S. Holders as a gain from the sale or disposition of a capital asset held for more than one year, to the extent that such gain does not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year and may not exceed our dividends paid for the taxable year, including dividends paid the following year that are treated as paid in the current year. U.S. Holders that are corporations may, however, be required to treat up to 20% of certain capital gain dividends as ordinary income. If we properly designate any portion of a dividend as a capital gain dividend, then, except as otherwise required by law, we presently intend to allocate a portion of the total capital gain dividends paid or made available to holders of all classes of our capital stock for the year to the holders of each class of our capital stock in proportion to the amount that our total dividends, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes, paid or made available to the holders of each such class of our capital stock for the year bears to the total dividends, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes, paid or made available to holders of all classes of our capital stock for the year. In addition, except as otherwise required by law, we will make a similar allocation with respect to any undistributed long-term capital gains which are to be included in the long-term capital gains of our stockholders, based on the allocation of the capital gain amount which would have resulted if those undistributed long-term capital gains had been distributed as “capital gain dividends” by us to our stockholders.

 

 

 

 

Retention of Net Capital Gains

 

We may elect to retain, rather than distribute as a capital gain dividend, all or a portion of our net capital gains. If we make this election, we would pay tax on our retained net capital gains. In addition, to the extent we so elect, our earnings and profits (determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes) would be adjusted accordingly, and a U.S. Holder generally would:

 

·include its pro rata share of our undistributed capital gain in computing its long-term capital gains in its return for its taxable year in which the last day of our taxable year falls, subject to certain limitations as to the amount that is includable;

 

·be deemed to have paid its share of the capital gains tax imposed on us on the designated amounts included in the U.S. Holder’s income as long-term capital gain;

 

·receive a credit or refund for the amount of tax deemed paid by it;

 

·increase the adjusted tax basis of our capital stock by the difference between the amount of includable gains and the tax deemed to have been paid by it; and

 

·in the case of a U.S. Holder that is a corporation, appropriately adjust its earnings and profits for the retained capital gains in accordance with Treasury Regulations to be promulgated by the IRS.

 

Passive Activity Losses and Investment Interest Limitations

 

Distributions we make and gain arising from the sale or exchange by a U.S. Holder of our capital stock will not be treated as passive activity income. As a result, U.S. Holders generally will not be able to apply any “passive losses” against this income or gain. A U.S. Holder generally may elect to treat capital gain dividends, capital gains from the disposition of our capital stock and income designated as qualified dividend income, as described in “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Tax Rates” below, as investment income for purposes of computing the investment interest limitation, but in such case, the holder will be taxed at ordinary income rates on such amount. Other distributions we make, to the extent they do not constitute a return of capital, generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of computing the investment interest limitation.

 

Dispositions of Our Capital Stock

 

Except as described below under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Redemption or Repurchase by Us,” if a U.S. Holder sells or disposes of shares of our capital stock, it will recognize gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes in an amount equal to the difference between the amount of cash and the fair market value of any property received on the sale or other disposition and the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares. This gain or loss, except as provided below, will be a long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. Holder has held such capital stock for more than one year. However, if a U.S. Holder recognizes a loss upon the sale or other disposition of our capital stock that it has held for six months or less, after applying certain holding period rules, the loss recognized will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent the U.S. Holder received distributions from us which were required to be treated as long-term capital gains.

 

 

 

 

Redemption or Repurchase by Us

 

A redemption or repurchase of shares of our capital stock will be treated under Section 302 of the Code as a distribution (and taxable as a dividend to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits as described above under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Distributions Generally”) unless the redemption or repurchase satisfies one of the tests set forth in Section 302(b) of the Code and is therefore treated as a sale or exchange of the redeemed or repurchased shares. The redemption or repurchase generally will be treated as a sale or exchange if it:

 

·is “substantially disproportionate” with respect to the U.S. Holder,

 

·results in a “complete redemption” of the U.S. Holder’s stock interest in us, or

 

·is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the U.S. Holder,

 

all within the meaning of Section 302(b) of the Code.

 

In determining whether any of these tests has been met, shares of our capital stock, including common stock and other equity interests in us, considered to be owned by the U.S. Holder by reason of certain constructive ownership rules set forth in the Code, as well as shares of our capital stock actually owned by the U.S. Holder, generally must be taken into account. Because the determination as to whether any of the alternative tests of Section 302(b) of the Code will be satisfied with respect to the U.S. Holder depends upon the facts and circumstances at the time that the determination must be made, U.S. Holders are advised to consult their tax advisors to determine such tax treatment.

 

If a redemption or repurchase of shares of our capital stock is treated as a distribution, the amount of the distribution will be measured by the amount of cash and the fair market value of any property received. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Distributions Generally.” A U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the redeemed or repurchased shares generally will be transferred to the holder’s remaining shares of our capital stock, if any. If a U.S. Holder owns no other shares of our capital stock, under certain circumstances, such basis may be transferred to a related person or it may be lost entirely. Proposed Treasury Regulations issued in 2009, if enacted in their current form, would affect the basis recovery rules described above. It is not clear whether these proposed regulations will be enacted in their current form or at all. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of a redemption or repurchase of our capital stock.

 

If a redemption or repurchase of shares of our capital stock is not treated as a distribution, it will be treated as a taxable sale or exchange in the manner described under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Dispositions of Our Capital Stock.”

 

Tax Rates

 

The maximum tax rate for non-corporate taxpayers for (1) long-term capital gains, including certain “capital gain dividends,” is generally 20% (although depending on the characteristics of the assets which produced these gains and on designations which we may make, certain capital gain dividends may be taxed at a 25% rate) and (2) “qualified dividend income” is generally 20%. In general, dividends payable by REITs are not eligible for the reduced tax rate on qualified dividend income, except to the extent that certain holding period requirements have been met and the REIT’s dividends are attributable to dividends received from taxable corporations (such as its TRSs) or to income that was subject to tax at the corporate/REIT level (for example, if the REIT distributed taxable income that it retained and paid tax on in the prior taxable year). Capital gain dividends will only be eligible for the rates described above to the extent that they are properly designated by the REIT as “capital gain dividends.” U.S. Holders that are corporations may be required to treat up to 20% of some capital gain dividends as ordinary income. In addition, non-corporate U.S. Holders, including individuals, generally may deduct up to 20% of dividends from a REIT, other than capital gain dividends and dividends treated as qualified dividend income, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026 for purposes of determining their U.S. federal income tax (but not for purposes of the 3.8% Medicare tax).

 

 

 

 

Taxation of Tax-Exempt Holders of Our Capital Stock

 

Dividend income from us and gain arising upon a sale of our capital stock generally should not be unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) to a tax-exempt holder, except as described below. This income or gain will be UBTI, however, to the extent a tax-exempt holder holds its shares as “debt-financed property” within the meaning of the Code or if we hold an asset that gives rise to “excess inclusion income.” See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Excess Inclusion Income.” Generally, “debt-financed property” is property the acquisition or holding of which was financed through a borrowing by the tax-exempt holder.

 

For tax-exempt holders that are social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations or supplemental unemployment benefit trusts exempt from U.S. federal income taxation under Sections 501(c)(7), (c)(9) or (c)(17) of the Code, respectively, income from an investment in our capital stock will constitute UBTI unless the organization is able to properly claim a deduction for amounts set aside or placed in reserve for specific purposes so as to offset the income generated by its investment in our stock. These prospective investors should consult their tax advisors concerning these “set aside” and reserve requirements.

 

Notwithstanding the above, however, a portion of the dividends paid by a “pension-held REIT” may be treated as UBTI as to certain trusts that hold more than 10%, by value, of the interests in the REIT. A REIT will not be a “pension-held REIT” if it is able to satisfy the “not closely held” requirement without relying on the “look-through” exception with respect to certain trusts or if such REIT is not “predominantly held” by “qualified trusts.” As a result of restrictions on ownership and transfer of our capital stock contained in our charter, we do not expect to be classified as a “pension-held REIT,” and as a result, the tax treatment described above should be inapplicable to the holders of our capital stock. However, because our common stock is (and, we anticipate, will continue to be) publicly traded, we cannot guarantee that this will always be the case.

 

Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock

 

The following discussion addresses the rules governing U.S. federal income taxation of the purchase, ownership and disposition of our capital stock by Non-U.S. Holders. These rules are complex, and no attempt is made herein to provide more than a brief summary of such rules. Accordingly, the discussion does not address all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation and does not address other U.S. federal, state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences that may be relevant to a Non-U.S. Holder in light of its particular circumstances. We urge Non-U.S. Holders to consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of U.S. federal, state, local and non-U.S. income and other tax laws and any applicable tax treaty on the purchase, ownership and disposition of our capital stock, including any reporting requirements.

 

Distributions Generally

 

Distributions (including any taxable stock distributions) that are neither attributable to gains from sales or exchanges by us of United States real property interests (“USRPIs”) nor designated by us as capital gain dividends (except as described below) will be treated as dividends of ordinary income to the extent that they are made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. Such distributions ordinarily will be subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax at a 30% rate or such lower rate as may be specified by an applicable income tax treaty, unless the distributions are treated as effectively connected with the conduct by the Non-U.S. Holder of a trade or business within the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, the Non-U.S. Holder maintains a permanent establishment in the United States to which such dividends are attributable). Under certain treaties, however, lower withholding rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from a REIT. In addition, any portion of the dividends paid to Non-U.S. Holders that are treated as excess inclusion income will not be eligible for exemption from the 30% withholding tax or a reduced treaty rate. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of the Company—Excess Inclusion Income.” Certain certification and disclosure requirements must be satisfied for a Non-U.S. Holder to be exempt from withholding under the effectively connected income exemption. Dividends that are treated as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business (through a U.S. permanent establishment, where applicable) generally will not be subject to withholding but will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net basis at the regular graduated rates, in the same manner as dividends paid to U.S. Holders are subject to U.S. federal income tax. Any such dividends received by a Non-U.S. Holder that is a corporation may also be subject to an additional branch profits tax at a 30% rate (applicable after deducting U.S. federal income taxes paid on such effectively connected income) or such lower rate as may be specified by an applicable income tax treaty.

 

 

 

 

Except as otherwise provided below, we expect to withhold U.S. federal income tax at the rate of 30% on any distributions made to a Non-U.S. Holder unless:

 

·a lower treaty rate applies and the Non-U.S. Holder furnishes an IRS Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E (or other applicable documentation) evidencing eligibility for that reduced treaty rate; or

 

·the Non-U.S. Holder furnishes an IRS Form W-8ECI (or other applicable documentation) claiming that the distribution is income effectively connected with the Non-U.S. Holder’s trade or business.

 

Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a Non-U.S. Holder to the extent that such distributions do not exceed the adjusted tax basis of the holder’s shares of our capital stock, but rather will reduce the adjusted tax basis of such shares. To the extent that such distributions exceed the Non-U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in such shares, they will generally give rise to gain from the sale or exchange of such shares, the tax treatment of which is described below. However, such excess distributions may be treated as dividend income for certain Non-U.S. Holders. For withholding purposes, we expect to treat all distributions as made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. However, amounts withheld may be refundable if it is subsequently determined that the distribution was, in fact, in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, provided that certain conditions are met.

 

Capital Gain Dividends and Distributions Attributable to a Sale or Exchange of United States Real Property Interests

 

Distributions to a Non-U.S. Holder that we properly designate as capital gain dividends, other than those arising from the disposition of a USRPI, generally should not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation, unless:

 

·the investment in our capital stock is treated as effectively connected with the conduct by the Non-U.S. Holder of a trade or business within the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, the Non-U.S. Holder maintains a permanent establishment in the United States to which such dividends are attributable), in which case the Non-U.S. Holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. Holders with respect to such gain, except that a Non-U.S. Holder that is a corporation may also be subject to a branch profits tax of up to 30%, as discussed above; or

 

·the Non-U.S. Holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met, in which case the Non-U.S. Holder will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 30% on the Non-U.S. Holder’s capital gains (or such lower rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty), which may be offset by U.S. source capital losses of such Non-U.S. Holder (even though the individual is not considered a resident of the United States), provided the Non-U.S. Holder has timely filed U.S. federal income tax returns with respect to such losses.

 

Pursuant to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”), distributions to a Non-U.S. Holder that are attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of USRPIs, whether or not designated as capital gain dividends, will cause the Non-U.S. Holder to be treated as recognizing such gain as income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. Non-U.S. Holders generally would be taxed at the regular graduated rates applicable to U.S. Holders, subject to any applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. We also will be required to withhold and to remit to the IRS 21% of any distribution to Non-U.S. Holders attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of USRPIs. Distributions subject to FIRPTA may also be subject to a 30% branch profits tax in the hands of a Non-U.S. Holder that is a corporation. The amount withheld is creditable against the Non-U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability. However, any distribution with respect to any class of stock that is “regularly traded,” as defined by applicable Treasury Regulations, on an established securities market located in the United States is not subject to FIRPTA, and therefore, not subject to the 21% U.S. withholding tax described above, if the Non-U.S. Holder did not own more than 10% of such class of stock at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of the distribution. Instead, such distributions generally will be treated as ordinary dividend distributions and subject to withholding in the manner described above with respect to ordinary dividends. In addition, distributions to certain non-U.S. publicly traded shareholders that meet certain record-keeping and other requirements (“qualified shareholders”) are exempt from FIRPTA, except to the extent owners of such qualified shareholders that are not also qualified shareholders own, actually or constructively, more than 10% of our capital stock. Furthermore, distributions to “qualified foreign pension funds” or entities all of the interests of which are held by “qualified foreign pension funds” are exempt from FIRPTA. Non-U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding the application of these rules.

 

 

 

 

Retention of Net Capital Gains

 

Although the law is not clear on the matter, it appears that amounts we designate as retained net capital gains in respect of our capital stock should be treated with respect to Non-U.S. Holders as actual distributions of capital gain dividends. Under this approach, the Non-U.S. Holders may be able to offset as a credit against their U.S. federal income tax liability their proportionate share of the tax that we paid on such retained net capital gains and to receive from the IRS a refund to the extent their proportionate share of such tax that we paid exceeds their actual U.S. federal income tax liability. If we were to designate any portion of our net capital gain as retained net capital gain, Non-U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding the taxation of such retained net capital gain.

 

Sale of Our Capital Stock

 

Except as described below under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Redemption or Repurchase by Us,” gain realized by a Non-U.S. Holder upon the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of our capital stock generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax unless such stock constitutes a USRPI. In general, stock of a domestic corporation that constitutes a “United States real property holding corporation” (a “USRPHC”) will constitute a USRPI unless certain exceptions apply. A domestic corporation will constitute a USRPHC if 50% or more of the corporation’s assets on any of certain testing dates during a prescribed testing period consist of interests in real property located within the United States, excluding for this purpose, interests in real property solely in a capacity as creditor. We do not believe we are currently, and do not anticipate becoming, a USRPHC. However, because the determination of whether we are a USRPHC depends on the fair market value of our USRPIs relative to the fair market value of our non-U.S. real property interests and our other business assets, there can be no assurance we currently are not a USRPHC or will not become one in the future.

 

Even if we are a USRPHC, our capital stock will not constitute a USRPI so long as we are a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity.” A “domestically controlled qualified investment entity” includes a REIT in which at all times during a five-year testing period less than 50% in value of its stock is held directly or indirectly by non-United States persons, subject to certain rules. For purposes of determining whether a REIT is a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity,” a person who at all applicable times holds less than 5% of a class of stock that is “regularly traded” is treated as a United States person unless the REIT has actual knowledge that such person is not a United States person. Although we believe that we are a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity,” because our common stock is (and, we anticipate, will continue to be) publicly traded, we cannot make any assurance that we will remain a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity.”

 

Even if we are a USRPHC and we do not qualify as a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity” at the time a Non-U.S. Holder sells our capital stock, gain realized from the sale or other taxable disposition by a Non-U.S. Holder of such capital stock would not be subject to U.S. federal income tax under FIRPTA as a sale of a USRPI if:

 

(1)such class of stock is “regularly traded,” as defined by applicable Treasury Regulations, on an established securities market, such as the New York Stock Exchange, and

 

(2)such Non-U.S. Holder owned, actually and constructively, 10% or less of such class of stock throughout the shorter of the five-year period ending on the date of the sale or other taxable disposition or the Non-U.S. Holder’s holding period.

 

 

 

 

In addition, dispositions of our capital stock by qualified shareholders are exempt from FIRPTA, except to the extent owners of such qualified shareholders that are not also qualified shareholders own, actually or constructively, more than 10% of our capital stock. Furthermore, dispositions of our capital stock by “qualified foreign pension funds” or entities all of the interests of which are held by “qualified foreign pension funds” are exempt from FIRPTA. Non-U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding the application of these rules.

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, gain from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of our capital stock not otherwise subject to FIRPTA will be taxable to a Non-U.S. Holder if either (a) the investment in our capital stock is treated as effectively connected with the conduct by the Non-U.S. Holder of a trade or business within the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, the Non-U.S. Holder maintains a permanent establishment in the United States to which such gain is attributable), in which case the Non-U.S. Holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. Holders with respect to such gain, except that a Non-U.S. Holder that is a corporation may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax (or such lower rate as may be specified by an applicable income tax treaty) on such gain, as adjusted for certain items, or (b) the Non-U.S. Holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met, in which case the Non-U.S. Holder will be subject to a 30% tax on the Non-U.S. Holder’s capital gains (or such lower rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty), which may be offset by U.S. source capital losses of the Non-U.S. Holder (even though the individual is not considered a resident of the United States), provided the Non-U.S. Holder has timely filed U.S. federal income tax returns with respect to such losses. In addition, even if we are a domestically controlled qualified investment entity, upon disposition of our capital stock, a Non-U.S. Holder may be treated as having gain from the sale or other taxable disposition of a USRPI if the Non-U.S. Holder (1) disposes of such stock within a 30-day period preceding the ex-dividend date of a distribution, any portion of which, but for the disposition, would have been treated as gain from the sale or exchange of a USRPI and (2) acquires, or enters into a contract or option to acquire, or is deemed to acquire, other shares of that stock during the 61-day period beginning with the first day of the 30-day period described in clause (1), unless such shares are “regularly traded” and the Non-U.S. Holder did not own more than 10% of the stock at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of the distribution described in clause (1).

 

If gain on the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of our capital stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA, the Non-U.S. Holder would be required to file a U.S. federal income tax return and would be subject to regular U.S. federal income tax with respect to such gain in the same manner as a taxable U.S. Holder (subject to any applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals). In addition, if the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of our capital stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA and if shares of the applicable class of our capital stock were not “regularly traded” on an established securities market, the purchaser of such capital stock generally would be required to withhold and remit to the IRS 15% of the purchase price.

 

Redemption or Repurchase by Us

 

A redemption or repurchase of shares of our capital stock will be treated under Section 302 of the Code as a distribution (and taxable as a dividend to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits) unless the redemption or repurchase satisfies one of the tests set forth in Section 302(b) of the Code and is therefore treated as a sale or exchange of the redeemed or repurchased shares. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Redemption or Repurchase by Us.” Qualified shareholders and their owners may be subject to different rules, and should consult their tax advisors regarding the application of such rules. If the redemption or repurchase of shares is treated as a distribution, the amount of the distribution will be measured by the amount of cash and the fair market value of any property received. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Distributions Generally.” If the redemption or repurchase of shares is not treated as a distribution, it will be treated as a taxable sale or exchange in the manner described under “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Sale of Our Capital Stock.”

 

 

 

 

Taxation of Holders of Our Debt Securities

The following summary describes the material U.S. federal income tax consequences of purchasing, owning and disposing of our debt securities. This discussion assumes the debt securities will be issued with less than a statutory de minimis amount of original issue discount for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, this discussion is limited to persons purchasing the debt securities for cash at original issue and at their original “issue price” within the meaning of Section 1273 of the Code (i.e., the first price at which a substantial amount of the debt securities is sold to the public for cash).

 

U.S. Holders

 

Payments of Interest

 

Interest on a debt security generally will be taxable to a U.S. Holder as ordinary income at the time such interest is received or accrued, in accordance with such U.S. Holder’s method of accounting for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

Sale or Other Taxable Disposition

 

A U.S. Holder will recognize gain or loss on the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other taxable disposition of a debt security. The amount of such gain or loss generally will be equal to the difference between the amount received for the debt security in cash or other property valued at fair market value (less amounts attributable to any accrued but unpaid interest, which will be taxable as interest to the extent not previously included in income) and the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the debt security. A U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in a debt security generally will be equal to the amount the U.S. Holder paid for the debt security. Any gain or loss generally will be capital gain or loss, and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. Holder has held the debt security for more than one year at the time of such sale or other taxable disposition. Otherwise, such gain or loss will be short-term capital gain or loss. Long-term capital gains recognized by certain non-corporate U.S. Holders, including individuals, generally will be taxable at reduced rates. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to limitations.

 

Non-U.S. Holders

 

Payments of Interest

 

Interest paid on a debt security to a Non-U.S. Holder that is not effectively connected with the Non-U.S. Holder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax, or withholding tax, provided that:

 

·the Non-U.S. Holder does not, actually or constructively, own 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of our voting stock;

 

·the Non-U.S. Holder is not a controlled foreign corporation related to us through actual or constructive stock ownership; and

 

·either (1) the Non-U.S. Holder certifies in a statement provided to the applicable withholding agent under penalties of perjury that it is not a United States person and provides its name and address; (2) a securities clearing organization, bank or other financial institution that holds customers’ securities in the ordinary course of its trade or business and holds the debt security on behalf of the Non-U.S. Holder certifies to the applicable withholding agent under penalties of perjury that it, or the financial institution between it and the Non-U.S. Holder, has received from the Non-U.S. Holder a statement under penalties of perjury that such holder is not a United States person and provides the applicable withholding agent with a copy of such statement; or (3) the Non-U.S. Holder holds its debt security directly through a “qualified intermediary” (within the meaning of the applicable Treasury Regulations) and certain conditions are satisfied.

 

If a Non-U.S. Holder does not satisfy the requirements above, such Non-U.S. Holder will be subject to withholding tax of 30%, subject to a reduction in or an exemption from withholding on such interest as a result of an applicable tax treaty. To claim such entitlement, the Non-U.S. Holder must provide the applicable withholding agent with a properly executed IRS Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E (or other applicable documentation) claiming a reduction in or exemption from withholding tax under the benefit of an income tax treaty between the United States and the country in which the Non-U.S. Holder resides or is established.

 

 

 

 

If interest paid to a Non-U.S. Holder is effectively connected with the Non-U.S. Holder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, the Non-U.S. Holder maintains a permanent establishment in the United States to which such interest is attributable), the Non-U.S. Holder will be exempt from the U.S. federal withholding tax described above. To claim the exemption, the Non-U.S. Holder must furnish to the applicable withholding agent a valid IRS Form W-8ECI, certifying that interest paid on a debt security is not subject to withholding tax because it is effectively connected with the conduct by the Non-U.S. Holder of a trade or business within the United States.

 

Any such effectively connected interest generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the regular graduated rates. A Non-U.S. Holder that is a corporation may also be subject to a branch profits tax at a rate of 30% (or such lower rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty) on such effectively connected interest, as adjusted for certain items.

 

The certifications described above must be provided to the applicable withholding agent prior to the payment of interest and must be updated periodically. Non-U.S. Holders that do not timely provide the applicable withholding agent with the required certification, but that qualify for a reduced rate under an applicable income tax treaty, may obtain a refund of any excess amounts withheld by timely filing an appropriate claim for refund with the IRS. Non-U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding their entitlement to benefits under any applicable income tax treaty.

 

Sale or Other Taxable Disposition

 

A Non-U.S. Holder will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on any gain realized upon the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other taxable disposition of a debt security (such amount excludes any amount allocable to accrued and unpaid interest, which generally will be treated as interest and may be subject to the rules discussed above in “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Federal Income Tax Considerations for Holders of Our Capital Stock and Debt Securities—Taxation of Holders of Our Debt Securities—Non-U.S. Holders—Payments of Interest”) unless:

 

·the gain is effectively connected with the Non-U.S. Holder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, the Non-U.S. Holder maintains a permanent establishment in the United States to which such gain is attributable); or

 

·the Non-U.S. Holder is a nonresident alien individual present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year of the disposition and certain other requirements are met.

 

Gain described in the first bullet point above generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net income basis at the regular graduated rates. A Non-U.S. Holder that is a corporation also may be subject to a branch profits tax at a rate of 30% (or such lower rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty) on such effectively connected gain, as adjusted for certain items.

 

Gain described in the second bullet point above will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 30% (or such lower rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty), which may be offset by U.S. source capital losses of the Non-U.S. Holder (even though the individual is not considered a resident of the United States), provided the Non-U.S. Holder has timely filed U.S. federal income tax returns with respect to such losses.

 

Non-U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding any applicable income tax treaties that may provide for different rules.

 

 

 

 

Information Reporting and Backup Withholding

 

U.S. Holders

 

A U.S. Holder may be subject to information reporting and backup withholding when such holder receives payments on our capital stock or debt securities or proceeds from the sale or other taxable disposition of our capital stock or debt securities (including a redemption or retirement of a debt security). Certain U.S. Holders are exempt from backup withholding, including corporations and certain tax-exempt organizations. A U.S. Holder will be subject to backup withholding if such holder is not otherwise exempt and:

 

·the holder fails to furnish the holder’s taxpayer identification number, which for an individual is ordinarily his or her social security number;

 

·the holder furnishes an incorrect taxpayer identification number;

 

·the applicable withholding agent is notified by the IRS that the holder previously failed to properly report payments of interest or dividends; or

 

·the holder fails to certify under penalties of perjury that the holder has furnished a correct taxpayer identification number and that the IRS has not notified the holder that the holder is subject to backup withholding.

 

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be allowed as a refund or a credit against a U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the required information is timely furnished to the IRS. U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding their qualification for an exemption from backup withholding and the procedures for obtaining such an exemption.

 

Non-U.S. Holders

 

Payments of dividends on our capital stock or interest on our debt securities generally will not be subject to backup withholding, provided the applicable withholding agent does not have actual knowledge or reason to know the holder is a United States person and the holder either certifies its non-U.S. status, such as by furnishing a valid IRS Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E or W-8ECI, or otherwise establishes an exemption. However, information returns are required to be filed with the IRS in connection with any dividends on our capital stock or interest on our debt securities paid to the Non-U.S. Holder, regardless of whether any tax was actually withheld. In addition, proceeds of the sale or other taxable disposition of our capital stock or debt securities (including a retirement or redemption of a debt security) within the United States or conducted through certain U.S.-related brokers generally will not be subject to backup withholding or information reporting, if the applicable withholding agent receives the certification described above and does not have actual knowledge or reason to know that such holder is a United States person, or the holder otherwise establishes an exemption. Proceeds of a disposition of our capital stock or debt securities conducted through a non-U.S. office of a non-U.S. broker generally will not be subject to backup withholding or information reporting.

 

Copies of information returns that are filed with the IRS may also be made available under the provisions of an applicable treaty or agreement to the tax authorities of the country in which the Non-U.S. Holder resides or is established.

 

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be allowed as a refund or a credit against a Non-U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the required information is timely furnished to the IRS.

 

Medicare Contribution Tax on Unearned Income

 

Certain U.S. Holders that are individuals, estates or trusts are required to pay an additional 3.8% tax on, among other things, dividends on stock, interest on debt obligations and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of stock or debt obligations, subject to certain limitations. U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect, if any, of these rules on their ownership and disposition of our capital stock or debt securities.

 

Additional Withholding Tax on Payments Made to Foreign Accounts

 

Withholding taxes may be imposed under Sections 1471 to 1474 of the Code (such Sections commonly referred to as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”)) on certain types of payments made to non-U.S. financial institutions and certain other non-U.S. entities. Specifically, a 30% withholding tax may be imposed on dividends on our capital stock, interest on our debt securities, or (subject to the proposed Treasury Regulations discussed below) gross proceeds from the sale or other disposition of our capital stock or debt securities, in each case paid to a “foreign financial institution” or a “non-financial foreign entity” (each as defined in the Code), unless (1) the foreign financial institution undertakes certain diligence and reporting obligations, (2) the non-financial foreign entity either certifies it does not have any “substantial United States owners” (as defined in the Code) or furnishes identifying information regarding each substantial United States owner, or (3) the foreign financial institution or non-financial foreign entity otherwise qualifies for an exemption from these rules. If the payee is a foreign financial institution and is subject to the diligence and reporting requirements in clause (1) above, it must enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury requiring, among other things, that it undertake to identify accounts held by certain “specified United States persons” or “United States owned foreign entities” (each as defined in the Code), annually report certain information about such accounts, and withhold 30% on certain payments to non-compliant foreign financial institutions and certain other account holders. Foreign financial institutions located in jurisdictions that have an intergovernmental agreement with the United States governing FATCA may be subject to different rules.

 

 

 

 

Under the applicable Treasury Regulations and administrative guidance, withholding under FATCA generally applies to payments of dividends on our capital stock or interest on our debt securities. While withholding under FATCA would have applied also to payments of gross proceeds from the sale or other disposition of our capital stock or debt securities on or after January 1, 2019, recently proposed Treasury Regulations eliminate FATCA withholding on payments of gross proceeds entirely. Taxpayers generally may rely on these proposed Treasury Regulations until final Treasury Regulations are issued. Because we may not know the extent to which a distribution is a dividend for U.S. federal income tax purposes at the time it is made, for purposes of these withholding rules we may treat the entire distribution as a dividend.

 

Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding the potential application of withholding under FATCA to their investment in our capital stock or debt securities.

 

Other Tax Consequences

 

State, local and non-U.S. income tax laws may differ substantially from the corresponding U.S. federal income tax laws, and this discussion does not purport to describe any aspect of the tax laws of any state, local or non-U.S. jurisdiction, or any U.S. federal tax other than income tax. You should consult your tax advisor regarding the effect of state, local and non-U.S. tax laws with respect to our tax treatment as a REIT and on an investment in our capital stock or debt securities.

 

 

 

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