US IRS and MEXICO'S TAX RULES YOU MUST FOLLOW
WHEN YOU OWN AND RENT OUT PROPERTY IN MEXICO
By Don D. Nelson, International Tax Attorney
Kauffman Nelson LLP CPAs
over 35 years experience helping Americans living and working in Mexico
When you are renting out your real property in Mexico, as a US Citizen or permanent resident, you must not only comply with all Mexican tax requirements but you must also comply with the Internal Revenue Service's US income tax return filing requirements. The rules are almost the same as those for rental property located in the US, but with some variations.
If the property was used for the 2 years during the previous 5 years prior to sale as your personal primary residence (you must actually live in it full time during that period), you may be able to exclude up to $500,000 of the gain from your US income taxes under the exclusion allowed for sales of personal residences. If the property was rented out part of that time, some of the gain on sale will be subject to US income tax.
If your Mexican property is held through a Mexican corporation, there can be adverse US tax consequences while renting out the property and upon sale on your US tax return. With the proper type of Mexican corporation, certain elections with the IRS can be made for US tax purposes which will negate almost of these US tax problems. These elections are only made for US tax purposes and do not in any way affect the way your Mexican corporation is taxed under Mexican law.
Other US Tax Forms That May be Required:
Form 5471: If your Mexican real estate is held in a Mexican corporation, you must file this form each year if you own 10% or more of the shares (actually or constructively) in the corporation. This form is due on the extended due date of your personal return. The IRS can impose a $10,000 per year penalty for filing this form late or not at all.
Form 114: This form reports your ownership in foreign bank and other financial accounts. It would include any accounts where your property manager or accountant is using to collect rents or pay Mexican taxes and rentals. If the highest total of all of your foreign financial and bank accounts when combined together equal or exceed at any time $10,000 US per year, you must file this form to report details of all accounts. It is filed separately from your tax return and is due on June 30th following the end of each calendar year. The due date cannot be extended. The IRS can impose a $10,000 penalty for filing the form late or not at all.
Mexico Also Taxes Your Rental Income: Mexico imposes income taxes, IVA and other taxes on all rental income derived by Landlords from renting properties in Mexico. You must pay these taxes even if you do not live in Mexico. The rules are complex and failure to comply with those rules can result in serious monetary and other problems with the Mexican taxing authorities. We recommend you contact a Mexican accountant, or rental property tax expert to learn what it takes to be in legal compliance with those Mexican tax laws.
We have been providing Tax Services to US Citizens in Mexico for over 35 years including the following:
D. Nelson, US INTERNATIONAL & EXPATRIATE TAX Attorney
Member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and American Bar Association
© TaxMeLess.com 2021 Last Updated on:1/11/2021