During his annual visit before the House Ways & Means Committee to discuss the proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated on Mar. 3 that he is reviewing a congressional request to withdraw Internal Revenue Service Notice 2007-55 related to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).

The Feb. 20 letter, signed by 13 members from the Ways & Means Committee, and similar to a letter sent last December to Sec. Mnuchin by 11 bipartisan members of the Senate Finance Committee, requested the notice be withdrawn to “reduce tax complexity and burdens while spurring economic growth.” In response to a question from Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Mnuchin indicated that he shares the concerns expressed by the members of Congress in the letter and added that “it makes no sense that we discriminate against foreign investors,” especially when “many people just try to structure around the FIRPTA issue.” He finished his comments by stating that the issue of withdrawing the notice is “at the top of my list” with the intent of pursuing “anything [he] can do legally to encourage those investments.”

A video clip of the exchange between Rep. Marchant and Sec. Mnuchin is available here.

(Contact: Robert Dibblee at rdibblee@nareit.com)

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