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  • Income From Real Property for Non Resident Aliens

  • Income From Real Property for Non Resident Aliens

    If you have income from real property located in the United States that you own or have an interest in and hold for the production of income, you can choose to treat all income from that property as income effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States. The choice applies to all income from real property located in the United States and held for the production of income and to all income from any interest in such property. This includes income from rents, royalties from mines, oil or gas wells, or other natural resources. It also includes gains from the sale or exchange of timber, coal, or domestic iron ore with a retained economic interest.

    You can make this choice only for real property income that is not otherwise effectively connected with your U.S. trade or business. If you make the choice, you can claim deductions attributable to the real property income and only your net income from real property is taxed.

    This choice does not treat a nonresident alien, who is not otherwise engaged in a U.S. trade or business, as being engaged in a trade or business in the United States during the year. 


    You are a nonresident alien and are not engaged in a U.S. trade or business. You own a single-family house in the United States that you rent out. Your rental income for the year is $10,000. This is your only U.S. source income. Under the 30% Tax, the rental income is subject to a tax at a 30% (or lower treaty) rate. You received a Form 1042-S showing that your tenants properly withheld this tax from the rental income. You do not have to file a U.S. tax return (Form 1040NR) because your U.S. tax liability is satisfied by the withholding of tax.

    If you make the choice discussed earlier, you can offset the $10,000 income by certain rental expenses. (See Publication 527, Residential Rental Property, for information on rental expenses.) Any resulting net income is taxed at graduated rates. If you make this choice, report the rental income and expenses on Schedule E and attach the schedule to Form 1040NR. For the first year, you make the choice, also attach the statement discussed next. 

    Making the choice. Make the initial choice by attaching a statement to your return, or amended return, for the year of the choice. Include the following in your statement:

    •  That you are making the choice.
    • Whether the choice is under Internal Revenue Code section 871(d) (explained earlier) or a tax treaty.
    • A complete list of all your real property, or any interest in real property, located in the United States. Give the legal identification of U.S. timber, coal, or iron ore in which you have an interest
    • The extent of your ownership in the property.
    • The location of the property
    • A description of any major improvements to the property.
    • The dates you owned the property.
    • Your income from the property.
    • Details of any previous choices and revocations of the real property income choice.

    This choice stays in effect for all later tax years unless you revoke it. 

    Revoking the choice. You can revoke the choice without IRS approval by filing Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for the year you made the choice and for later tax years. You must file Form 1040X within 3 years from the date your return was filed or 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later. If this time period has expired for the year of choice, you cannot revoke the choice for that year. However, you may revoke the choice for later tax years only if you have IRS approval. For information on how to get IRS approval, see Regulation section 1.871-10(d)(2).


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    At Robert F Clougherty, CPA Inc, we've been serving the accounting needs of Shaker Heights, OH and the surrounding areas for years. If you need help managing any aspect of your home or business's finances, we want to hear from you.

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    Robert F Clougherty, CPA Inc

    20600 Chagrin Blvd. Suite 400,
    Shaker Heights, OH 44122
    T: (216)491-3800
    F: (216)803-2575


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