Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Floirida, Florida, United States
Born in the U.K. Almost ten years’ experience in property management/rentals on the islands. Specialty — International customers/Seniors/Second Homes/Investment Properties.
Sally was born near Bristol in Southwest England. . She spent a decade traveling and gaining work experience around the globe until settling in the New York metropolitan area as a corporate travel consultant. She now specializes in guiding customers from overseas and the USA through the process of finding and purchasing real estate on the Islands.
Initially inspired by a postcard of Blind Pass, Sally began visiting Sanibel regularly before making it her full-time home in 1996. Prior to becoming a licensed realtor, Sally was one of the original employees at Royal Shell Vacations and uses her in-depth knowledge of the vacation rental market daily to the advantage of her customers.
She was recently awarded the designation “MCNE” (Master Certified Negotiations Expert) and also holds the designations S.C.I.S. “Sanibel & Captiva Island Specialist” from the Sanibel & Captiva Board of Realtors, e-PRO and “TRC” (Transnational Referral Certification).
Important FIRPTA Update for non-US citizens planning to sell real estate
IRS has revised the rules for the interview process when applying for an
When a Non-U.S. resident sells U.S. real estate, they are
required to have an Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN). This is done by
completing form W-7, and having your passports and identity verified by a
Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA).
Typically, the CAA verifies the applicant’s passport in person with a
face-to-face interview. However, sometimes applicants cannot travel to the
U.S. because they are elderly, sick, have problems with VISAs, etc.
In these situations, the IRS has allowed a Skype interview with the CAA if
the applicant sends their original passport or a certified copy of their
passport to their CAA for review. While it does take some extra time and
cost, this method has still helped many applicants successfully obtain
their ITIN when selling their U.S. property.
updates have now changed this!
On April 17, 2017, the IRS sent out notification to all CAAs
stating that “U.S. based CAAs can only assist applicants who reside abroad
through face-to-face interviews when they are temporarily in the country.”
We immediately responded, asking for clarification on conducting Skype
interviews as we have in the past. The IRS responded confirming that U.S.
based CAAs will no longer be able to conduct interviews with foreign
clients via video-conferencing. It is clear that the interview must be held
with the U.S. based CAA in a face to face interview in our office while the
foreign applicant is visiting here in the states.
As if the IRS doesn’t make our foreign friends jump through enough hoops
already when selling U.S. real estate, this throws another hurdle in it! If
the non-U.S. resident is applying for an ITIN and cannot be in the U.S. to
interview with a CAA, they will now need to either find a CAA in their home
country to conduct the interview, visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center in
their country, or mail a completed W-7 form with their required
identification directly to the IRS.
How can I
help my foreign sellers prepare so their transaction is successful?
Preparation is key. As soon as you start working with a
foreign seller, find out if they have an ITIN. If they don’t, you’ll want
to set them up with someone who can help them apply for one. Even if they
don’t have a contract on their sale, they can still have their passport
verified by a CAA if they are in town. This way any issues are avoided when
applying for the ITIN if they should go back to their home country later.
If they will not be in the U.S. any time during the listing or contract
period, they will need to find a CAA in their home country. The sooner the
foreign seller is aware, the more time they will have to locate a CAA in
their country and make an appointment with them.
One of things you do not want to do is trying to switch, or quit claim, the
deed from one foreign person to another or to a corporation, LLC or trust
prior to the sale, as this will trigger the FIRPTA tax on the flip, and
potentially putting the foreigner in a real bind with the IRS.
As a Realtor, one of the best things you can do for your customers is
educate them. Make them aware of this process, and let them know you work
with a great firm that can help them with all the steps required to apply
for their ITIN!