Understanding DVC FIRPTA

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When it comes to real estate transactions, there are various laws and regulations that buyers and sellers need to be aware of. One such regulation is the DVC FIRPTA, also known as the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. In this blog post, we will explore what DVC FIRPTA is, how it impacts real estate transactions involving foreign investors, and the key considerations buyers and sellers should keep in mind.


DVC FIRPTA stands for Delaware Valley Council Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. It is a federal law that imposes certain tax obligations on foreign individuals or entities who sell or dispose of real property located in the United States. The purpose of DVC FIRPTA is to ensure that foreign investors pay taxes on the gains they make from the sale of US real estate.

How Does DVC FIRPTA Impact Real Estate Transactions?

Under DVC FIRPTA, when a foreign individual or entity sells US real property, the buyer is required to withhold a certain percentage of the total sale price and remit it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax payment. This withholding serves as a guarantee that the foreign seller will fulfill their tax obligations. The current withholding rate is generally 15% of the total sale price, but it may vary depending on the circumstances.

Buyers and sellers should be aware that DVC FIRPTA applies to a wide range of real estate transactions, including the sale of residential properties, commercial properties, and even certain types of leasehold interests. It is crucial for both parties to understand their responsibilities and obligations under DVC FIRPTA to avoid any legal issues or penalties.

Key Considerations for Buyers and Sellers

For buyers, it is important to conduct due diligence to determine whether DVC FIRPTA applies to the transaction. This involves verifying the residency status of the seller and assessing the potential withholding tax obligations. Buyers should also consult with a tax professional or attorney to ensure compliance with DVC FIRPTA requirements and avoid any unexpected liabilities.

Sellers, on the other hand, should be prepared for the possibility of withholding taxes and plan accordingly. It is crucial to understand the potential tax implications and consult with a tax professional to determine the best course of action. Sellers may also consider applying for a withholding certificate from the IRS to reduce or eliminate the withholding amount, depending on their specific circumstances.


DVC FIRPTA is an important regulation that foreign investors and those involved in real estate transactions need to be aware of. Understanding the implications and obligations under DVC FIRPTA is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid any legal or financial repercussions. Buyers and sellers should seek professional advice and conduct proper due diligence to navigate the complexities of DVC FIRPTA successfully. By doing so, they can facilitate smooth real estate transactions while adhering to the requirements of the law.

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