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How to claim foreign tax credit on property income taxes

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    Usually, no, but sometimes there is a required holding period. Normally, a U.S. person may claim a foreign tax credit for the foreign income taxes he pays on income from property, regardless of how long he owned the property. That is, IRC 901 allows a direct credit for taxes a U.S. taxpayer pays to a foreign country.

    But this general rule is subject to two limitations. The first limitation relates to assets that pay dividends. IRC §901(k)(1) disallows the credit for certain “withholding taxes” on a dividend a corporation pays to the shareholder. Specifically, a credit is disallowed for those withholding taxes on a dividend if the shareholder held the stock for 15 (or less) days during the 31 days that begin 15 days before the ex-dividend date; and a credit is also disallowed if the shareholder is required to make a payment to match the dividend (but here it is only disallowed to the extent of the obligation).

    The second limitation is found in IRC 901(l), which disallows the foreign tax credit for withholding taxes on assets that are held for less than a certain period. IRC §901(l)(1) disallows a foreign tax credit for foreign withholding tax on an item of income (other than dividends) or gain with respect to property if either (a) the shareholder has not held the property for more than 15 days (within a certain 31 day period), or (b) he is required to make related payments with respect to “positions in substantially similar or related property.”

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