Tech firms compete for REIT status — in an effort to save millions in taxes

Oct.October 11, 2012 08:45 AM

Technology firms are increasingly looking to convince the government that they are, in fact, in the real estate business,  according to the Wall Street Journal. If a firm can ditch its corporate tax status and become a non-taxed real estate investment trust, it stands to save millions in taxes.

American Tower, a cellphone tower operating firm, could save as much as $400 million per year by 2017, according to analysts, due to its new REIT tax status. Another tech firm, Equinix, and Iron Mountain, a data storage company, are both expected to save some $150 million a year in taxes as REITs.However, some actual real estate executives worry that the tax dodge could cause a backlash in Washington, at a time when REIT profits are strong. The total market value of REITs rose to $451 billion in 2011 — up from just $9 billion in 1990, according to National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts data cited by the Journal.

“The real-estate companies correctly are nervous about this phenomenon,” Kenneth Rosen, a real-estate economics consultant and former hedge fund manager, said. “The more it looks like a tax loophole, the more likely it is to affect them negatively.” [WSJ] – Christopher Cameron


Related Articles

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world

Big Tech locations in NYC

MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC

What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?

What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?

From left: Amy Brandt and Dennis Gilmore

First American to buy Docutech for $350M

NestApple head broker Nicole Fishman, president Stephen Kalifowitz, RentHop founder Lee Lin and RoomZoom founder Elien Becque

Broker-fee ban could boost some startups, doom others

House Canary CEO & co-founder Jeremy Sicklick (Credit: iStock)

Home-valuation startup closes $65M funding round

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

City Council wants more oversight of “ghost kitchens”

Kitopi CEO Mohamad Ballout (Credit: Kitopi and iStock)

“Smart” kitchen and delivery startup raises $60M for US expansion