The Congress of Deputies approves the definitive text of the Law regulating listed Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

13 November 2009

The final text introduced a series of significant changes to the bill sent to the Congress on December 19, 2008 including the following:

1.- The corporate purpose of the REIT has been broadened in scope to allow them to engage in building renovations.

2.- The minimum real estate and equivalent asset investment percentage has been lowered from 85% to 80%.

3.- The permissible income percentage for REIT secondary activities has been increased from 15% to 20%.

4.- Maximum outside financing percentage has been increased from 60 to 70%, allowing for a higher degree of debt for the REIT.

5.- The tax system for REIT income from leasing housing properties has improved for those cases in which said income equals at least 50% of their assets. Twenty per cent of said income is now exempt from corporate income tax.

6.- As regards indirect taxation, a lowering of the applicable tax rate for the Value Added Tax to 7% from the current 16% has been proposed for lease purchase contracts and to 4% from the current 7% for subsidized housing leasing.

7.- The reduced value added tax rate of 7% will apply to REITs who carry out building renovations in place of the current 16% rate.

8.- REIT incorporation or capital increase transactions are now exempt from the tax on property conveyances and documented legal acts.

For further information please contact Victor Manzanares: