Virus Continues to Delay IRS Processing Of Foreign Investor Tax Returns/Refunds, ITIN’s and Withholding Certificates (Part 1)

By Michael W. Brooks, Esq. ( up on our previous posts earlier this year, where we informed you the IRS employees in offices throughout the United States left those offices in late March, due to concerns about the virus (and stopped processing any foreign seller tax returns and paper tax returns for US taxpayers as well), we can tell you three and one-half months later that the IRS employees who process foreign seller issues and paper tax return refunds have still not returned to their offices to continue this work. While there have been numerous news reports about the IRS employees returning to their offices in June (and those reports were true in terms of answering phone calls and general operations), in terms of processing any paper tax returns (and issuing any refunds associated with such returns) and performing any function for foreign sellers of US real estate (we’ll go over those below), the IRS has not returned to work, and there appears to be no…

Withholding Tax Refunds for Non-US Person Real Estate Sales, For This Year and Prior Years

By Michael Brooks, Domestic & International Real Estate Closing Tax Service (DIRECTS) 
US law requires that the transferee (buyer) on a sale or disposition of a United States Real Property Interest withhold a percentage (typically 15%) of the total amount realized (the sales price) at the time of disposition (closing of sale). This is the law known as “FIRPTA”- the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. So when a foreign party sells US real estate, the buyer (via the escrow company or settlement agent in most states), must withhold a significant amount of the sales price, and (probably) send it into the IRS. The withholding tax is not an actual tax due. It is better thought of as a security deposit which the IRS requires the foreign seller to submit to ensure the foreign seller will pay the tax. Who Counts as a Foreign Party?
Foreign parties, who are subject to withholding, include the following: a nonresident alien (a foreign indi…

Rent Control Issues

Last Updated: April 21, 2020

Written by Paul P. Cheng, Esq., Law Offices of Paul P. Cheng, APC

Introduction. This is a summary of the current eviction law for Los Angeles County until May 30, 2020. Due to the urgency of this letter, there will be grammar and typographical errors.

Overall, all evictions both for residential and commercial ceased if you can show an impact caused by COVID-19. The Los Angeles County mortarium applies if your specific city has not previously enacted an ordinance that addresses rent for your specific situation. If it has, please refer to your local ordinance first.

Absent local ordinance, you will need to repay any amounts owed within a 12-month period after May 31, 2020. Your specific jurisdiction may be different so please read each ordinance, city ordinance before you read county ordinance, before undertaking any decision, legal or otherwise.

Procedural History. The relevant statutes are the following:

March 19, 2020: Los Angeles County ordered that unpaid…