Real Estate Taxation

  • Decades of tax law that affect the optimal structuring of real estate transactions are subject to major revisions as the new Congress and president introduce their policies. Our tax team follows these developments daily and advises clients on protecting their interests in this transition period.
  • The Holland & Knight Real Estate Taxation Team has deep experience in helping clients plan for capital gains on development projects and defer capital gains taxes through exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • We facilitate inbound and outbound foreign real estate investment by advising on tax strategies in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions.
  • We are a value-oriented alternative to public accounting firms for many transactions, or in some cases we partner with accounting firms to give clients the best value for legal and accounting advice on real estate transaction tax strategies.

A national footprint and deep experience in all real estate tax matters characterize the Holland & Knight Real Estate Taxation Team. Whether we are representing a multi-national business, real estate owner, developer or governmental entity, the lawyers at Holland & Knight work in concert with practitioners in various real estate and related areas (leasing, commercial development, real estate finance, syndication, environmental transactions, energy) to provide comprehensive counsel.

We have extensive real estate experience in all major U.S. markets, including New York, Washington, Florida, Boston, Chicago and the West Coast. We also advise on both inbound and outbound foreign real estate investments for Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

We are a value-oriented alternative to public accounting firms for many transactions, or in some cases we partner with accounting firms to give clients the best value for legal and accounting advice on real estate transaction tax strategies.

Foreign Investment

We advise on both inbound and outbound real estate investments. For non-U.S. companies in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, we advise on both U.S. and foreign tax treatments and whether the transaction falls under one of the approximately 70 treaties that affect cross-border real estate investments. Our advice includes how to structure purchases and sales – the balance of debt and equity, for example – and relies on our extensive knowledge of how U.S. tax rules comport with those in foreign jurisdictions. The firm is well-versed in the withholding and partnership tax aspects of cross-border license and joint ventures, and advises on the domestic and international tax aspects of fund formation and investments.

Foreign investors in U.S. real estate assets rely on our advice on how to structure transactions for tax purposes.

  • We were tax counsel for a Chinese company that acquired the most expensive hotel property in New York City.
  • We advised a publicly traded Singapore company in the acquisition and financing of the tallest building on the West Coast. 
  • Our real estate practice often advises domestic and foreign clients in the hospitality sector, and we recently were tax counsel to Spanish and Portuguese hotel chains in acquisitions, sales and financing of major U.S. properties.

Tax-Free 1031 Exchanges

We have extensive knowledge of Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, which, under the right circumstances, allows all federal taxes to be deferred on coordinated real estate purchases and sales. This extensively used provision of the tax code has been a boon to those seeking to defer taxes on real estate exchanges.

Broad Industry Experience

We have substantial experience advising on the tax treatment of real estate transactions in all industries where real estate is a major component. The team represents complex real estate partnerships and LLCs in tax matters arising out of the refinancing of property investments, such as hotels, office buildings, malls and mixed-use developments, and restructuring of the underlying ownership interests.

Our Real Estate Taxation attorneys are often part of a larger team that advises clients throughout the life cycle of projects. In hospitality, for example, our tax lawyers work with a firmwide hospitality team advising clients on all aspects of buying, selling, developing and operating hotels and timeshare projects. Over the past decade, the tax treatment of hotel properties has become increasingly complex as developers, operators, restaurants, retailers and large investors jointly participate in ownership, management and generation of revenue.

Our team advises partnerships on how real estate investments are affected by recent changes in debt allocation rules under the Internal Revenue Code. The changes eliminate use of bottom-dollar guarantees and make significant revisions to the treatment of assets that are contributed to a partnership.

National and International Recognition

The leaders of our Real Estate Taxation Team are recognized nationally and internationally by their peers, and are frequently asked to write or speak on real estate tax topics. Our team includes one partner who is past chair of the Federal Taxation of Real Estate Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law; past president of the International Tax Institute; and a member of the Steering Committee of the New York Region International Fiscal Association. Another partner is a past chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation's U.S. Activities of Foreigners and Tax Treaties Committee. Both are fellows of the American College of Tax Counsel. These are just a few of the honors that demonstrate the respect members of our team have earned for their knowledge.