Filed Pursuant To Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-263169

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT DATED September 5, 2023

(To Prospectus Supplements dated May 10, 2023, February 22, 2023

and accompanying Prospectus dated March 1, 2022)

 

LOGO

$500,000,000

HANNON ARMSTRONG SUSTAINABLE

INFRASTRUCTURE CAPITAL, INC.

Common Stock

 

 

This supplement supplements the prospectus supplement dated February 22, 2023, as supplemented by that certain prospectus supplement dated May 10, 2023, and the accompanying prospectus dated March 1, 2022 relating to the issuance and sale of shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, or our common stock, having an aggregate offering price of up to $500,000,000 from time to time through our sales agents, B. Riley Securities, Inc., Barclays Capital Inc., BofA Securities, Inc., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Nomura Securities International, Inc., Truist Securities, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, or the Sales Agents by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE, at market prices, in negotiated transactions or by any other method permitted by law deemed to be an “at-the-market” offering as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, including by sales made directly on or through the NYSE or otherwise, in negotiated transactions, which may include block trades, at market prices prevailing at the time of sale or at negotiated prices, or as otherwise agreed with the applicable sales agent. This supplement shall be read in conjunction with the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Except as set forth herein, the prospectus supplement remains unchanged.

This supplement is being filed (i) to reflect the amendment dated on September 5, 2023, by and among the Sales Agents and us, or the Amendment, of our sales agreement, dated May 13, 2020, as amended on February 26, 2021, March 1, 2022, February 22, 2023 and May 10, 2023, by and among us and the Sales Agents, or the Existing Sales Agreement, to reflect our intention to revoke our REIT status, effective for our taxable year beginning January 1, 2024, subject to approval by our board of directors and (ii) to update certain related disclosure set forth under the heading “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” in the accompanying prospectus. Each reference to the term “Sales Agreement” in the prospectus supplement is hereby amended to refer to the Existing Sales Agreement as amended by the Amendment.

To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, stockholders are generally restricted from owning more than 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of our common stock, the outstanding shares of any class or series of our preferred stock, or the outstanding shares of our capital stock, and our charter contains certain additional restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares. As indicated in our Q2 2023 Form 10-Q, our management has made a determination that it would be advisable and in our best interests to revoke our REIT status, effective for our taxable year beginning January 1, 2024, subject to approval by our board of directors. Pursuant to our charter, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock will cease to apply, effective at the time as of which our board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT. As a result, if our board of directors determines that, effective January 1, 2024, it will no longer be in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, including the 9.8% ownership limits, will terminate on January 1, 2024.


As of the date of this supplement, we have sold approximately 1,164,240 shares of our common stock under the ATM Program for proceeds before commissions of approximately $34,213,963 million, leaving approximately $465,786,037 million available to be offered by this supplement, the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

Our common stock trades on the NYSE under the symbol “HASI.” On September 1, 2023, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the NYSE was $23.07 per share.

 

 

Investing in our common stock involves risks. You should carefully read and consider the “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-4 of the prospectus supplement and page 3 of the accompanying prospectus. You should also read carefully the risk factors described in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, and our other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, and incorporated by reference herein, in the prospectus supplement or in the accompanying prospectus, before investing in our common stock.

Neither the SEC nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these shares or determined if this supplement, the prospectus supplement, or the accompanying prospectus are truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

B. Riley Securities   Barclays   BofA Securities
Credit Suisse   Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC   Jefferies
J.P. Morgan   KeyBanc Capital Markets   Morgan Stanley
Nomura   Truist Securities   Wells Fargo Securities

The date of this prospectus supplement is September 5, 2023.


SUPPLEMENT TO U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

The following summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations supersedes in its entirety the discussion set forth under the heading “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” in the accompanying prospectus.

The following is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to our qualification and taxation as a REIT and the acquisition, holding, and disposition of our common stock. For purposes of this section, references to “we,” “our,” “us” or “our company” mean only Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc., and not our subsidiaries or other lower-tier entities, except as otherwise indicated. This summary is based upon the Internal Revenue Code, the regulations promulgated by the U.S. Treasury Department, or the Treasury Regulations, current administrative interpretations and practices of the IRS (including administrative interpretations and practices expressed in private letter rulings which are binding on the IRS only with respect to the particular taxpayers who requested and received those rulings), and judicial decisions, all as currently in effect and all of which are subject to differing interpretations or to change, possibly with retroactive effect. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to any of the tax consequences described below. No advance ruling has been or will be sought from the IRS regarding any matter discussed in this summary, with the exception of those matters specifically described herein. The summary is also based upon the assumption that the operation of our company, and of its subsidiaries and other lower-tier and affiliated entities will, in each case, be in accordance with its applicable organizational documents. This summary does not discuss the impact that U.S. state and local taxes and taxes imposed by non-U.S. jurisdictions could have on the matters discussed in this summary. This summary is for general information only, and does not purport to discuss all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be important to a particular stockholder in light of its investment or tax circumstances or to stockholders subject to special tax rules, such as:

 

   

U.S. expatriates;

 

   

persons who mark-to-market our common stock;

 

   

subchapter S corporations;

 

   

U.S. stockholders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;

 

   

financial institutions;

 

   

insurance companies;

 

   

broker-dealers;

 

   

RICs;

 

   

trusts and estates;

 

   

holders who receive our common stock through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;

 

   

persons holding our common stock as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction,” “synthetic security” or other integrated investment;

 

   

persons subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code;

 

   

persons holding their interest through a partnership or similar pass-through entity;

 

   

persons holding a 10% or more (by vote or value) beneficial interest in us; and

 

   

except to the extent discussed below, tax-exempt organizations and non-U.S. stockholders (as defined below).

This summary assumes that stockholders will hold our common stock as capital assets, which generally means as property held for investment.


THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX TREATMENT OF US AS A REIT AND HOLDERS OF OUR COMMON STOCK DEPENDS IN SOME INSTANCES ON DETERMINATIONS OF FACT AND INTERPRETATIONS OF COMPLEX PROVISIONS OF U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX LAW FOR WHICH NO CLEAR PRECEDENT OR AUTHORITY MAY BE AVAILABLE. IN ADDITION, THE TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE HOLDING AND DISPOSITION OF OUR COMMON STOCK TO ANY PARTICULAR STOCKHOLDER WILL DEPEND ON THE STOCKHOLDER’S PARTICULAR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES. YOU ARE URGED TO CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE U.S. FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, AND FOREIGN INCOME AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES TO YOU, IN LIGHT OF YOUR PARTICULAR INVESTMENT OR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES, OF ACQUIRING, HOLDING, AND DISPOSING OF OUR COMMON STOCK.

Taxation of Our Company—General

We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Internal Revenue Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. We believe that we have been organized and have operated in such a manner so as to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013 and through our current taxable year.

The law firm of Clifford Chance US LLP has acted as our counsel in connection with the preparation and filing of this prospectus supplement. We will receive an opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP to the effect that, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013, we have been organized and operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, and our current and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code with respect to our taxable year ending December 31, 2023. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP will be based on various assumptions relating to our organization and operation, including that all factual representations and statements set forth in all relevant documents, records and instruments are true and correct, all actions described in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are completed in a timely fashion and that we will at all times operate in accordance with the method of operation described in our organizational documents and this registration statement. Additionally, the opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP will be conditioned upon factual representations and covenants made by our management and affiliated entities regarding our organization, assets, present and future conduct of our business operations and other items regarding our ability to meet the various requirements for qualification as a REIT, and assumes that such representations and covenants are accurate and complete and that they and we will take no action inconsistent with our qualification as a REIT with respect to our taxable year ending December 31, 2023 and prior periods. The opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP will not foreclose the possibility that we may have to pay an excise or penalty tax, which could be significant in amount, in order to maintain our REIT qualification. In addition, the opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP will be based in part on the conclusion, which is discussed in more detail below, that the better view is that the scope and nature of the rights we hold in the buildings in which structural components securing our financing receivables have been installed are sufficient to cause such financing receivables to also be secured by real property interests in such buildings within the meaning of the Real Property Regulations (as defined below). However, no assurance can be provided that the IRS will not challenge this conclusion or that if this conclusion is challenged that this position would be sustained.

While we believe that we are organized and have operated in such a manner so as to qualify as a REIT, and intend to continue to operate so as to qualify as a REIT for the calendar year 2023, given the highly complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances or applicable law, no assurance can be given by Clifford Chance US LLP or us that we will so qualify for any particular year. Clifford Chance US LLP will have no obligation to advise us or the holders of shares of our common stock of any subsequent change in the matters stated, represented or assumed or of any subsequent change in the applicable law. You should be aware that opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge the conclusions set forth in such opinions.


Qualification and taxation as a REIT depends on our ability to meet, through actual results of operations, distribution levels, diversity of share ownership and various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Internal Revenue Code, the compliance with which will not be reviewed by Clifford Chance US LLP. In addition, our ability to continue to qualify as a REIT may depend in part upon the operating results, organizational structure and entity classification for U.S. federal income tax purposes of certain entities in which we invest, which could include entities that have made elections to be taxed as REITs, the qualification of which will not have been reviewed by Clifford Chance US LLP. Our ability to continue to qualify as a REIT also requires that we satisfy certain asset and income tests, some of which depend upon the fair market values of assets directly or indirectly owned by us or which serve as security for loans made by us. Such values may not be susceptible to a precise determination. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the actual results of our operations for any taxable year will satisfy the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.

As indicated in our Q2 2023 Form 10-Q, the Company’s management has made a determination that it would be advisable and in the best interests of the Company to revoke the Company’s REIT status, effective for the taxable year beginning January 1, 2024, subject to approval by the Company’s board of directors. If the Company revokes its REIT status, the Company will be taxable as a “C corporation” beginning with the first taxable year that such revocation is effective. The Company will be required to pay U.S. federal corporate income tax on its net income for such taxable year, and distributions to the Company’s stockholders would not be deductible by the Company in determining its taxable income. The transition from REIT to C corporation is not a taxable event to our stockholders, and does not affect a stockholder’s basis or holding period with respect to shares of our stock. Once the Company is taxed as a C corporation, distributions to stockholders will generally no longer be subject to the special rules that apply to REITs. For example, stockholders that are taxed as individuals will no longer be entitled to the deduction under Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code, further described below, that currently allows such stockholders to deduct up to 20% of distributions from the Company that qualify as “qualified REIT dividends.” However, such stockholders will generally be subject to the reduced U.S. federal income tax rates on “qualified dividend income” that apply to dividends from domestic C corporations, which generally results in a lower rate of U.S. federal income tax on such dividends. See “—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders—Taxation of Distributions and Dispositions of the Company’s Common Stock when the Company is a C Corporation.” It is possible that the Company’s transition from REIT to C corporation could impact whether stock of the Company is treated as a USRPI in the hands of a non-U.S. stockholder. See “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Taxation of Distributions and Dispositions of the Company’s Common Stock when the Company is a C Corporation” The remainder of this discussion relates to periods that the Company continues to qualify as a REIT unless otherwise noted.

Real Property Regulations

As previously disclosed in our reports filed under the Exchange Act, the Treasury Department and the IRS published proposed regulations which considered revisions to the definition of “real property” for purposes of the REIT income and asset tests. On August 30, 2016, these regulations, which we refer to as the Real Property Regulations, became final and apply to us with respect to our taxable years beginning after December 31, 2016. Among other things, the Real Property Regulations provide that an obligation secured by a structural component of a building or other inherently permanent structure qualifies as a real estate asset for REIT qualification purposes only if such obligation is also secured by a real property interest in the inherently permanent structure served by such structural component. This aspect of the Real Property Regulations has important implications for our qualification as a REIT since a significant portion of our REIT qualifying assets consists of financing receivables that are secured by liens on installed structural improvements designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and a significant portion of REIT qualifying gross income is interest income earned with respect to such financing receivables.

The structural improvements securing our financing receivables generally qualify as “fixtures” under local real property law, as well as under the Uniform Commercial Code, or the UCC, which governs rights and obligations of parties in secured transactions. Although not controlling for REIT purposes, the general rule in the United States is that once improvements are permanently installed in real properties, such improvements become fixtures and thus take on the character of and are considered to be real property for certain state and local law


purposes. In general, in the United States, laws governing fixtures, including the UCC and real property law, afford lenders who have secured their financings with security interests in fixtures with rights that extend not just to the fixtures that secure their financings, but also to the real properties in which such fixtures have been installed. By way of example only, Section 9-604(b) of the UCC, which has been adopted in all but two states in the United States, permits a lender secured by fixtures, upon a default, to enforce its rights under the UCC or under applicable real property laws. The opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP to the effect that, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013, we have been organized and have operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code through our current taxable year is based on its conclusion that, although there is limited authority directly on point, given the nature of, and the extent to which the structural improvements securing our financing receivables are fully integrated into and serve the related buildings, the better view is that the nature and scope of our rights in such buildings that inure to us as a result of our financing receivables are sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Real Property Regulations described above. In addition to the limited authority directly on point, two other important caveats that relate to this conclusion: First, the Real Property Regulations do not define what is required for an obligation secured by a lien on a structural component to also be secured by a real property interest in the building served by such structural component. However, the initial proposed version of the Real Property Regulations, which never became effective, included a requirement that the interest in the real property held by a REIT be “equivalent” to the REIT’s interest in a structural component held by the REIT in order for the structural component to be treated as a real estate asset. This requirement was ultimately not included in the final Real Property Regulations, in part in response to comments that such requirement may negatively affect investment in energy efficient and renewable energy assets. We believe that the deletion of this requirement implies that, under the final Real Property Regulations, our rights in the building need not be equivalent to our rights in the structural components serving the building. Second, real property law is typically relegated to the states and the specific rights available to any lien or mortgage holder, including our rights as a fixture lien holder described above, may vary between jurisdictions as a result of a range of factors, including the specific local real property law requirements and judicial and regulatory interpretations of such laws, and the competing rights of mortgage and other lenders. We have applied the analysis described above in a number of states that have adopted Section 9-604(b) of the UCC. In addition, in states where Section 9-604(b) of the UCC has not been adopted, we apply the analysis described above to the extent that we have received advice from counsel in those jurisdictions that local real property law provides us with appropriate rights to the building in which the structural improvements securing our receivables have been installed. Furthermore, we apply the analysis described above to certain financing receivables secured by liens on structural improvements installed in buildings located in certain U.S. government installations outside of the United States, based on our view, supported by advice we have received from special counsel, that such installations are subject to U.S. sovereignty and as a result the UCC applies in such installations. While a number of cases have addressed the rights of fixture lien holders generally, there are limited judicial interpretations in only a few jurisdictions that directly address the rights and remedies available to a fixture lien holder in the real property in which the fixtures have been installed. Such rights have been addressed in some cases that support the conclusion described above and, in factual circumstances distinguishable from our own, in some cases where the courts have found these rights to be more limited. The resolution of these issues in many jurisdictions therefore remains uncertain. As a result of the foregoing, the opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP also includes language to the effect that no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge the conclusion that such financing receivables meet the requirements of the Real Property Regulations or that, if challenged, such position would be sustained.

Prior to the issuance of the Real Property Regulations, we received a private letter ruling from the IRS, which we refer to as the Ruling, which, based on the representations and assumptions contained therein, held that our financing receivables qualify as real estate assets and the income from such financing receivables qualify as interest income from mortgages on real property for purposes of the REIT requirements. The preamble to the Real Property Regulations provides that, to the extent a private letter ruling issued prior to the issuance of the Real Property Regulations is inconsistent with the Real Property Regulations, the private letter ruling is revoked prospectively from the applicability date of the Real Property Regulations. We do not believe that the Ruling is inconsistent with the Real Property Regulations because we believe the analysis in the Ruling was based on similar principles as the relevant portions of the Real Property Regulations, and accordingly we do not believe


that the Real Property Regulations impact our ability to rely on the Ruling. However, no assurance can be given that the IRS would not successfully assert that we are not permitted to rely on the Ruling because the Ruling has been revoked by the Real Property Regulations.

If the IRS were to assert that a significant portion of our financing receivables do not qualify as real estate assets and do not generate income treated as interest income from mortgages on real property, we would fail to satisfy both the gross income requirements and asset requirements applicable to REITs. As a result, we could be required to pay one or more penalty taxes, which could be significant in amount, alter our mix of assets or adjust our business strategy, or we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

Taxation of REITs in General

As indicated above, qualification and taxation as a REIT depends upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Internal Revenue Code. The material qualification requirements are summarized below, under “—Requirements for Qualification as a REIT.” While we intend to operate so that we continue to qualify as a REIT through our current taxable year, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our qualification as a REIT or that we will be able to continue to operate in accordance with the REIT requirements after the date hereof. See “—Failure to Qualify.”

Provided that we qualify as a REIT, we will generally be entitled to a deduction for dividends that we pay and, therefore, will not be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our taxable income that is currently distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the “double taxation” at the corporate and stockholder levels that generally results from investment in a corporation. Rather, income generated by a REIT generally is taxed only at the stockholder level, upon a distribution of dividends by the REIT.

Individual U.S. stockholders (as defined below) are generally taxed on corporate dividends from U.S. corporations at a maximum rate of 20% (the same as long-term capital gains), thereby substantially reducing, though not completely eliminating, the double taxation that has historically applied to corporate dividends. With limited exceptions, however, ordinary dividends received by noncorporate U.S. stockholders from us or from other entities that are taxed as REITs are not eligible for the reduced qualified dividend rate. However, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, noncorporate taxpayers may deduct up to 20% of certain qualified business income, including “qualified REIT dividends” (generally, dividends received by a REIT shareholder that are not designated as capital gain dividends or qualified dividend income), subject to certain limitations, resulting in an effective maximum U.S. federal income tax rate of 29.6% on such income. Net operating losses, foreign tax credits and other tax attributes of a REIT generally do not pass through to the stockholders of the REIT, subject to special rules for certain items, such as capital gains, recognized by REITs. See “—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders.”

Even if we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we will be subject to U.S. federal income taxation as follows:

 

   

We will be taxed at regular U.S. federal corporate rates on any undistributed income, including undistributed net capital gains.

 

   

For taxable years prior to 2018, we may be subject to the “alternative minimum tax” on our items of tax preference, if any.

 

   

If we have net income from prohibited transactions, which are, in general, sales or other dispositions of property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property, such income will be subject to a 100% tax. See “—Prohibited Transactions” and “—Foreclosure Property” below.

 

   

If we elect to treat property that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or from certain leasehold terminations as “foreclosure property,” we may thereby avoid (a) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (b) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax at the highest applicable rate (currently 21%).


   

If we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as discussed below, but nonetheless maintain our qualification as a REIT because other requirements are met, we will be subject to a 100% tax on an amount equal to (a) the greater of (1) the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or (2) the amount by which we fail the 95% gross income test, as the case may be, multiplied by (b) a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

 

   

If we fail to satisfy any of the REIT asset tests, as described below, other than a failure of the 5% or 10% REIT asset tests that does not exceed a statutory de minimis amount as described more fully below, but our failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and we nonetheless maintain our REIT qualification because of specified cure provisions, we will be required to pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest corporate tax rate (currently 21%) of the net income generated by the nonqualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests.

 

   

If we fail to satisfy any provision of the Internal Revenue Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT (other than a gross income or asset test requirement) and the violation is due to reasonable cause and not due to wilful neglect, we may retain our REIT qualification but we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure.

 

   

If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (a) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year, (b) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year and (c) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, or the required distribution, we will be subject to a 4% non-deductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the sum of (1) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior years), plus (2) retained amounts on which U.S. federal income tax is paid at the corporate level.

 

   

We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet record-keeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of our stockholders, as described below in “—Requirements for Qualification as a REIT.”

 

   

A 100% excise tax may be imposed on some items of income and expense that are directly or constructively paid between us and any TRSs we may own if and to the extent that the IRS successfully adjusts the reported amounts of these items.

 

   

If we acquire appreciated assets from a corporation that is not a REIT in a transaction in which the adjusted tax basis of the assets in our hands is determined by reference to the adjusted tax basis of the assets in the hands of the non-REIT corporation, we will be subject to tax on such appreciation at the highest U.S. federal corporate income tax rate then applicable if we subsequently recognize gain on a disposition of any such assets during the 5-year period following their acquisition from the non-REIT corporation. The results described in this paragraph assume that the non-REIT corporation will not elect, in lieu of this treatment, to be subject to an immediate tax when the asset is acquired by us.

 

   

We will generally be subject to tax on the portion of any “excess inclusion income” derived from an investment in residual interests in certain loan securitization structures (i.e., a “taxable mortgage pool” or a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or “REMIC”) to the extent that our common stock is held by specified types of tax-exempt organizations known as “disqualified organizations” that are not subject to tax on unrelated business taxable income. To the extent that we own a residual interest in a REMIC or a taxable mortgage pool through a TRS, we will not be subject to this tax. See “—Effect of Subsidiary Entities—Taxable Mortgage Pools” and “—Excess Inclusion Income.”

 

   

We may elect to retain and pay U.S. federal income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a stockholder would include its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent we make a timely designation of such gain to the stockholder) in its income, would be deemed to have paid the tax that we paid on such gain, and would be allowed a credit for its proportionate share of the tax deemed to have been paid, and an adjustment would be made to increase the stockholder’s basis in our common stock. Stockholders that are U.S. corporations will also appropriately adjust their earnings and profits for the retained capital gains in accordance with Treasury Regulations to be promulgated.


   

We will have subsidiaries or own interests in other lower-tier entities that are subchapter C corporations, the earnings of which could be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax.

In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including state, local, and foreign income, franchise property and other taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.

Requirements for Qualification as a REIT

The Internal Revenue Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:

 

1.

that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;

 

2.

the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;

 

3.

that would be taxable as a domestic corporation but for the special Internal Revenue Code provisions applicable to REITs;

 

4.

that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to specific provisions of the Internal Revenue Code;

 

5.

the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months;

 

6.

in which, during the last half of each taxable year, not more than 50% in value of the outstanding stock is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “individuals” (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code to include specified entities);

 

7.

that makes an election to be a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such an election for a previous taxable year that has not been terminated or revoked;

 

8.

that uses a calendar year for U.S. federal income tax purposes;

 

9.

that has no earnings and profits from any non-REIT taxable year at the close of any taxable year; and

 

10.

which meets other tests, and satisfies all of the relevant filing and other administrative requirements established by the IRS that must be met to elect and maintain REIT qualification described below, including with respect to the nature of its income and assets and the amount of its distributions.

 

11.

The Internal Revenue Code provides that conditions (1) through (4) must be met during the entire taxable year, that condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year; and that conditions (5) and (6) do not need to be satisfied for the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT has been made. We believe that our common stock has sufficient diversity of ownership to satisfy the requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. Our charter provides restrictions regarding the ownership and transfer of shares of our stock, which are intended, among other purposes, to assist us in satisfying the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. For purposes of condition (6), an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefit plan, a private foundation or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes, but does not include a qualified pension plan or profit sharing trust.

To monitor compliance with the share ownership requirements, we are generally required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of shares of our stock. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of shares of our stock, in which the record holders are to disclose the actual owners of the shares (i.e., the persons required to include in gross income the dividends paid by us). A list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand must be maintained as part of our records. Failure by us to comply with these record-keeping requirements could subject us to monetary penalties. If we satisfy these requirements and after exercising reasonable diligence would not have known that condition


(6) is not satisfied, we will be deemed to have satisfied such condition. A stockholder that fails or refuses to comply with the demand is required by Treasury Regulations to submit a statement with its tax return disclosing the actual ownership of the shares and other information.

For purposes of condition (8), we have adopted December 31 as our year end, and thereby satisfy this requirement.

Effect of Subsidiary Entities

Ownership of Partnership Interests

In the case of a REIT that is a partner in a partnership (references herein to partnerships include entities such as limited liability companies to the extent that they are classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes), Treasury regulations provide that the REIT is deemed to own its proportionate share of the partnership’s assets and to earn its proportionate share of the partnership’s gross income based on its pro rata share of capital interests in the partnership for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, as described below. However, solely for purposes of the 10% value test, described below, the determination of a REIT’s interest in partnership assets will be based on the REIT’s proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, excluding for these purposes, certain excluded securities as described in the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership generally are deemed to retain the same character in the hands of the REIT. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets and items of income of our operating partnership and other partnerships in which we own an equity interest (including equity interests in any lower tier partnerships) is treated as assets and items of income of our company for purposes of applying the REIT requirements described below. Consequently, to the extent that we directly or indirectly hold a preferred or other equity interest in a partnership, the partnership’s assets and operations may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, even though we may have no control or only limited influence over the partnership.

Disregarded Subsidiaries

If a REIT owns a corporate subsidiary that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary,” that subsidiary is disregarded as a separate entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and all assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the subsidiary are treated as assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the REIT itself, including for purposes of the gross income and asset tests applicable to REITs, as summarized below. A qualified REIT subsidiary is any corporation, other than a TRS, that is wholly-owned by a REIT, by other disregarded subsidiaries of a REIT or by a combination of the two. Single member limited liability companies that are wholly-owned by a REIT are also generally disregarded as separate entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the REIT gross income and asset tests. Disregarded subsidiaries, along with partnerships in which we hold an equity interest, are sometimes referred to herein as “pass-through subsidiaries.”

In the event that a disregarded subsidiary ceases to be wholly-owned by us (for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of us), the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, it would have multiple owners and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation. Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the value or voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Gross Income Tests.”

Taxable REIT Subsidiaries

A REIT, in general, may jointly elect with a subsidiary corporation, whether or not wholly-owned, to treat the subsidiary corporation as a TRS. We generally may not own more than 10% of the securities of a taxable corporation, as measured by voting power or value, unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a TRS. The separate existence of a TRS or other taxable corporation, unlike a disregarded subsidiary as


discussed above, is not ignored for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, such an entity would generally be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on its earnings, which may reduce the cash flow generated by us and our subsidiaries in the aggregate and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders. We and each of our TRSs have made a TRS election with respect to each of our TRSs, which allows our TRSs to invest in assets and engage in activities that could not be held or conducted directly by us without jeopardizing our qualification as a REIT.

A REIT is not treated as holding the assets of a TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporation or as receiving any income that the subsidiary earns. Rather, the stock issued by the subsidiary is an asset in the hands of the REIT, and the REIT generally recognizes as income the dividends, if any, that it receives from the subsidiary. This treatment can affect the gross income and asset test calculations that apply to the REIT, as described below. Because a parent REIT does not include the assets and income of such subsidiary corporations in determining the parent’s compliance with the REIT requirements, such entities may be used by the parent REIT to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude it from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries or render commercially unfeasible (for example, activities that give rise to certain categories of income such as non-qualifying hedging income or inventory sales). We hold assets in our TRSs, subject to the limitation that securities in TRSs may not represent more than 20% of our total assets. In order to satisfy the TRS limitation, we may make loans to our TRSs that meet the requirements to be treated as qualifying investments of new capital, which are generally treated as real estate assets under the Internal Revenue Code. Because such loans are treated as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT requirements, we do not treat these loans as TRS securities for purposes of the TRS asset limitation. However, no assurance can be provided that the IRS may not successfully assert that such loans should be treated as securities of our TRSs, which could adversely impact our qualification as a REIT. In addition, our TRSs have obtained financing in transactions in which we and our other subsidiaries have provided guaranties and similar credit support. Although we believe that these financings are properly treated as financings of our TRSs for U.S. federal income tax purposes, no assurance can be provided that the IRS would not assert that such financings should be treated as issued by other entities in our structure, which could impact our compliance with the TRS limitation and the other REIT requirements. While we monitor the aggregate value of the securities of our TRSs and intend to conduct our affairs so that such securities will represent less than 20% of the value of our total assets, there can be no assurance that we will be able to comply with the TRS limitation in all market conditions. To the extent that we acquire loans with an intention of selling such loans in a manner that might expose us to a 100% tax on “prohibited transactions,” such loans will be acquired by a TRS. If dividends are paid to us by our TRSs, then a portion of dividends, if any, that we distribute to stockholders who are taxed at individual rates generally will be eligible for taxation at preferential qualified dividend income tax rates rather than at ordinary income rates. See “—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders” and “—Annual Distribution Requirements.”

Certain restrictions imposed on TRSs are intended to ensure that such entities will be subject to appropriate levels of U.S. federal income taxation. Deductions for interest paid by a TRS on a loan we make to a TRS are subject to limitations.

In addition, if amounts are paid to a REIT or a TRS or deducted by a TRS due to transactions between a REIT, its tenants and/or the TRS, that exceed the amount that would be paid to a REIT or deducted by a TRS or are less than the amount that would be paid to a TRS in an arm’s-length transaction, the REIT generally will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of such excess. We intend to scrutinize all of our transactions with any of our subsidiaries that are treated as TRSs in an effort to ensure that we will not become subject to this excise tax; however, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in avoiding this excise tax.

Taxable Mortgage Pools

An entity, or a portion of an entity, may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool, or TMP, under the Internal Revenue Code if:

 

   

substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations;

 

   

more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgages or interests in real estate mortgages as of specified testing dates;


   

the entity has issued debt obligations that have two or more maturities; and

 

   

the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.

Under Treasury regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consist of debt obligations, these debt obligations are considered not to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a TMP. We may enter into financing and securitization arrangements that give rise to TMPs. Specifically, we may securitize certain loans that we hold and such securitizations may result in us owning interests in a TMP. To the extent that we do so, we may enter into such transactions through a qualified REIT subsidiary or a subsidiary REIT. We would be precluded from selling to outside investors equity interests in securitizations entered into through a qualified REIT subsidiary or from selling any debt securities issued in connection with such securitizations that might be considered equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes in order to ensure that such entity remains a qualified REIT subsidiary.

A TMP generally is treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes; it cannot be included in any consolidated U.S. federal corporate income tax return. However, special rules apply to a REIT, a portion of a REIT, or a qualified REIT subsidiary that is a taxable mortgage pool. If a REIT owns directly, or indirectly through one or more qualified REIT subsidiaries or other entities that are disregarded as a separate entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, 100% of the equity interests in the TMP, the TMP will be a qualified REIT subsidiary and, therefore, ignored as an entity separate from the REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and would not generally affect the tax qualification of the REIT. Rather, the consequences of the taxable mortgage pool classification would generally, except as described below, be limited to the REIT’s stockholders. See “—Excess Inclusion Income.”

If we own less than 100% of the ownership interests in a subsidiary that is a TMP, the foregoing rules would not apply unless such subsidiary is itself a REIT. Rather, the subsidiary would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax. In addition, this characterization would alter our REIT income and asset test calculations and could adversely affect our compliance with those requirements. We do not expect that we would form any subsidiary that would become a TMP, in which we own some, but less than all, of the ownership interests (unless such subsidiary is a REIT), and we intend to monitor the structure of any TMPs in which we have an interest to ensure that they will not adversely affect our qualification as a REIT. If any subsidiary in which we hold an interest was treated as a TMP, our REIT qualification could be adversely affected.

Gross Income Tests

In order to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we annually must satisfy two gross income tests. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year, excluding gross income from sales of inventory or dealer property in “prohibited transactions” and certain hedging and foreign currency transactions must be derived from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property, including “rents from real property,” dividends received from and gains from the disposition of other shares of other REITs, interest income derived from loans secured by real property, and gains from the sale of real estate assets (other than income or gains with respect to debt instruments issued by public REITs that are not otherwise secured by real property), as well as income from certain kinds of temporary investments. Second, at least 95% of our gross income in each taxable year, excluding gross income from prohibited transactions and certain hedging and foreign currency transactions, must be derived from some combination of income that qualifies under the 75% income test described above, as well as other dividends, interest, and gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, which need not have any relation to real property. We intend to continue to monitor the amount of our non-qualifying income and manage our portfolio of assets to comply with the gross income tests, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful in this effort.

For purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, a REIT is deemed to have earned a proportionate share of the income earned by any partnership, or any limited liability company treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, in which it owns an interest, which share is determined by reference to its capital interest in such entity, and is deemed to have earned the income earned by any qualified REIT subsidiary.


Interest Income

Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by a mortgage on real property. If we receive interest income with respect to a loan that is secured by both real property and other property and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property on the date of our binding commitment to make or purchase the mortgage loan, then, subject to the exception described below, the interest income will be apportioned between the real property and the other property, and our income from the arrangement will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test only to the extent that the interest is allocable to the real property. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, if a loan is secured by both real property and personal property and the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the fair market value of all real and personal property securing the loan, the loan is generally treated as secured solely by real property for purposes of these rules. We invest in loans made for purposes of improving or developing real property, the interest from which is qualifying income for purposes of the REIT income tests, provided that the loan value of the real property securing the loan is equal to or greater than the highest outstanding principal amount of the loan during any taxable year, and other requirements are met, or beginning as of 2016, provided the fair market value of the personal property securing the loan does not exceed 15% of the fair market value of the real and personal property securing the loan. With respect to loans made for purposes of improving or developing real property, the loan value of the real property is the fair market value of the land plus the reasonably estimated cost of the improvements or developments (other than personal property) which will secure the loan and which are to be constructed from the proceeds of the loan. In particular, we intend to continue to treat the interest income that we receive from loans secured by the financing of real property included in our sustainable infrastructure projects, which we include in our “financing receivables,” as interest on obligations secured by mortgages on real property that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. As discussed above under “Taxation of Our Company—General—Real Property Regulations,” we received a private letter ruling from the IRS relating to our ability to treat income from certain of our financing receivables as qualifying REIT income to the extent it falls within the scope of such private letter ruling and to the extent such private letter ruling is not inconsistent with the Real Property Regulations. We are entitled to rely upon this ruling for that income which fits within the scope of such private letter ruling only to the extent that we have the legal and contractual rights described therein and did not misstate or omit in the ruling request a relevant fact and that we continue to operate in the future in accordance with the relevant facts described in such request, and no assurance can be given that we will always be able to do so. If we were not able to treat the interest income that we receive as qualifying income for purposes of the REIT gross income tests, we would be required to restructure the manner in which we receive such income and we may realize significant income that does not qualify for the REIT gross income tests, which could cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT. Even if a loan is not secured by real property or is undersecured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test.

In the event that we invest in a financing receivable or other loan that is not fully secured by real property, is secured by personal property and, beginning as of 2016, if the fair market value of the personal property securing the loan exceeds 15% of the fair market value of the real and personal property securing the loan, we would be required to apportion our annual interest income to the real property security based on a fraction, the numerator of which is the value of the real property securing the financing receivable or other loan, determined when we commit to acquire the financing receivable or other loan, and the denominator of which is the highest “principal amount” of the financing receivable or other loan during the year. The IRS has issued Revenue Procedure 2014-51 addressing a REIT’s investment in distressed debt, or the Distressed Debt Revenue Procedure. The Distressed Debt Revenue Procedure interprets the “principal amount” of the loan to be the face amount of the loan, despite the Internal Revenue Code requiring taxpayers to treat gain attributable to any market discount, that is the difference between the purchase price of the loan and its face amount, for all purposes (other than certain withholding and information reporting purposes) as interest. Any financing receivable that we invest in that is not fully secured by real property, is secured in part by personal property and, beginning in 2016, is secured by personal property the fair market value of which exceeds 15% of the fair market value of all real and personal property securing the mortgage loan will therefore be subject to the interest apportionment rules and the position taken in the Distressed Debt Revenue Procedure, as described above.


In the future, we may hold mezzanine loans secured by equity interests in a pass-through entity that directly or indirectly owns real property, rather than a direct mortgage on the real property. Revenue Procedure 2003-65 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which a mezzanine loan, if it meets each of the requirements contained in the Revenue Procedure, will be treated by the IRS as a real estate asset for purposes of the REIT asset tests (described below), and interest derived from it will be treated as qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law. The mezzanine loans that we acquire may not meet all of the requirements for reliance on this safe harbor. Hence, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge the qualification of such assets as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests or the interest generated by these loans as qualifying income under the 75% gross income test. In addition, we invest in assets such as PACE bonds, which we believe are secured by real property for purposes of the REIT income tests but with respect to which no authority is directly on point. If the IRS were to successfully assert that such PACE bonds do not generate qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, our REIT qualification could be adversely affected.

To the extent that we derive interest income from a loan where all or a portion of the amount of interest payable is contingent, such income generally will qualify for purposes of the gross income tests only if it is based upon the gross receipts or sales and not the net income or profits of any person. This limitation does not apply, however, to a loan where the borrower derives substantially all of its income from the property from the leasing of substantially all of its interest in the property to tenants, to the extent that the rental income derived by the borrower would qualify as rents from real property had it been earned directly by us.

To the extent that the terms of a loan provide for contingent interest that is based on the cash proceeds realized upon the sale of the property securing the loan (or a shared appreciation provision), income attributable to the participation feature will be treated as gain from sale of the underlying property, which generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property in the hands of the borrower or us.

Fee Income

We may receive various fees in connection with our operations. The fees generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if they are received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property and the fees are not determined by income or profits. Other fees are not qualifying income for purposes of either the 75% or 95% gross income test. Any fees earned by a TRS are not included for purposes of the gross income tests.

Dividend Income

We may receive distributions from TRSs or other corporations that are not REITs or qualified REIT subsidiaries. These distributions are generally classified as dividend income to the extent of the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation. Such distributions generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. Any dividends received by us from a REIT will be qualifying income in our hands for purposes of both the 95% and 75% gross income tests.

Hedging Transactions

We have entered and may in the future enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including hedging instruments such as interest rate swap agreements, interest rate cap agreements, swaptions, and options on such contracts, futures contracts, puts and calls, similar financial instruments or other financial instruments that we deem appropriate. Except to the extent provided by Treasury regulations, any income from a hedging transaction we enter into (1) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate or price changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, which is clearly identified as specified in Treasury regulations before the close


of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, (2) primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% income tests which is clearly identified as such before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into, and (3) primarily to manage risk with respect to a hedging transaction described in clause (1) or (2) after the extinguishment of such borrowings or disposal of the asset producing such income that is hedged by the hedging transaction, which is clearly identified as such before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated or entered into, in each case will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. We intend to continue to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT but there can be no assurances we will be successful in this regard.

Phantom Income

Due to the nature of the assets in which we expect to invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from those assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow on or proceeds from disposition of such assets, and may be required to report taxable income in early periods that exceeds the economic income ultimately realized on such assets.

To the extent we acquire debt instruments in the secondary market for less than their face amount, the amount of such discount generally will be treated as “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We will accrue market discount on the basis of a constant yield to maturity of a debt instrument. Accrued market discount is reported as income when, and to the extent that, any payment of principal of the debt instrument is made, unless we elect to include accrued market discount in income as it accrues. Principal payments on certain loans are made monthly, and consequently accrued market discount may have to be included in income each month as if the debt instrument were assured of ultimately being collected in full. If we collect less on the debt instrument than our purchase price plus the market discount we had previously reported as income, we may not be able to benefit from any offsetting loss deductions in a subsequent taxable year.

Some of the debt instruments that we acquire may have been issued with original issue discount. In general, we will be required to accrue original issue discount based on the constant yield to maturity of the debt instrument, and to treat it as taxable income in accordance with applicable U.S. federal income tax rules even though smaller or no cash payments are received on such debt instrument. As in the case of the market discount discussed in the preceding paragraph, the constant yield in question will be determined and we will be taxed based on the assumption that all future payments due on the debt instrument in question will be made, with consequences similar to those described in the previous paragraph if all payments on the debt instrument are not made.

Although we do not presently intend to, we may, in the future, acquire debt investments that are subsequently modified by agreement with the borrower. If the amendments to the outstanding debt are “significant modifications” under the applicable Treasury regulations, the modified debt may be considered to have been reissued to us in a debt-for-debt exchange with the borrower. In that event, we may be required to recognize taxable income to the extent the principal amount of the modified debt exceeds our adjusted tax basis in the unmodified debt, and would hold the modified loan with a cost basis equal to its principal amount for U.S. federal tax purposes.

In addition, in the event that any debt instruments acquired by us are delinquent as to mandatory principal and interest payments, or in the event payments with respect to a particular debt instrument are not made when due, we may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income. Similarly, we may be required to accrue interest income with respect to subordinate mortgage-backed securities at the stated rate regardless of whether corresponding cash payments are received.


We also may be required under the terms of indebtedness that we incur to private lenders to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payments on that indebtedness, with the effect of recognizing income but not having a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

Finally, we and our TRSs are required to accelerate our accrual for U.S. federal income tax purposes of certain items of income to the extent that we or our TRSs, as applicable, would otherwise recognize such items of income for U.S. federal income tax purposes later than we would report such items on our financial statements.

Due to each of these potential timing differences between income recognition and the related cash receipts, there is a significant risk that we may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may need to borrow funds or take other action to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this “phantom income” is recognized. See “—Annual Distribution Requirements.”

Rents from Real Property

Rents that we receive from real property or interests therein that we own or purchase in the future qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income tests described above, only if several conditions are met, including the following. If rent attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property is greater than 15% of the total rent received under any particular lease, then all of the rent attributable to such personal property will not qualify as rents from real property. The determination of whether an item of personal property constitutes real or personal property under the REIT provisions of the Internal Revenue Code is subject to both legal and factual considerations and is therefore subject to different interpretations. We intend to structure any leases so that the rent payable thereunder will qualify as “rents from real property,” but there can be no assurance we will be successful in this regard.

In addition, in order for rents received by us to qualify as “rents from real property,” the rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount will not be excluded from rents from real property solely by being based on a fixed percentage or percentages of sales or if it is based on the net income of a tenant which derives substantially all of its income with respect to such property from subleasing of substantially all of such property, to the extent that the rents paid by the subtenants would qualify as rents from real property, if earned directly by us. Moreover, for rents received to qualify as “rents from real property,” we generally must not operate or manage the property or furnish or render certain services to the tenants of such property, other than through an “independent contractor” who is adequately compensated and from which we derive no income or through a TRS. We are permitted, however, to perform services that are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not otherwise considered rendered to the occupant of the property. In addition, we may directly or indirectly provide non-customary services to tenants of our properties without disqualifying all of the rent from the property if the greater of 150% of our direct cost in furnishing or rendering the services or the payment for such services does not exceed 1% of the total gross income from the property. In such a case, only the amounts for non-customary services are not treated as rents from real property and the provision of the services does not disqualify the related rent.

Rental income will qualify as rents from real property only to the extent that we do not directly or constructively own, (1) in the case of any tenant which is a corporation, stock possessing 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote, or 10% or more of the total value of shares of all classes of stock of such tenant, or (2) in the case of any tenant which is not a corporation, an interest of 10% or more in the assets or net profits of such tenant.

Failure to Satisfy the Gross Income Tests

We intend to continue to monitor our sources of income, including any non-qualifying income received by us, and manage our assets so as to ensure our compliance with the gross income tests during any period that we intend to qualify as a REIT. We cannot assure you, however, that we will be able to satisfy the gross income tests. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may still


qualify as a REIT for the year if we are entitled to relief under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. These relief provisions will generally be available if the failure of our company to meet these tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and, following the identification of such failure, we set forth a description of each item of our gross income that satisfies the gross income tests in a schedule for the taxable year filed in accordance with the Treasury regulation. It is not possible to state whether we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions in all circumstances. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances involving our failure to satisfy the gross income tests, we will not qualify as a REIT. As discussed above under “—Taxation of REITs in General,” even where these relief provisions apply, a tax would be imposed upon the profit attributable to the amount by which we fail to satisfy the particular gross income test, which could be a significant amount.

Asset Tests

We, at the close of each calendar quarter, must also satisfy five tests relating to the nature of our assets. First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by some combination of “real estate assets,” cash, cash items, U.S. government securities and, under some circumstances, stock or debt instruments purchased with new capital. For this purpose, real estate assets include interests in real property, such as land, buildings, certain building improvements, leasehold interests in real property, stock of other corporations that qualify as REITs, mortgage loans, and beginning in 2016, debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs and personal property to the extent rents attributable to such personal property are treated as “rents from real property” for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests discussed above. Assets that do not qualify for purposes of the 75% test are subject to the additional asset tests described below. Second, the value of any one issuer’s securities owned by us may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets. Third, we may not own more than 10% of any one issuer’s outstanding securities, as measured by either voting power or value. Fourth, the aggregate value of all securities of TRSs held by us may not exceed 20% of the value of our total assets. Fifth, the aggregate value of debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs held by us that are not otherwise secured by real property may not exceed 25% of the value of our total assets.

The 5% and 10% asset tests do not apply to securities of TRSs and qualified REIT subsidiaries. The 10% value test does not apply to certain “straight debt” and other excluded securities, as described in the Internal Revenue Code, including but not limited to any loan to an individual or an estate, any obligation to pay rents from real property and any security issued by a REIT. In addition, (a) a REIT’s interest as a partner in a partnership is not considered a security for purposes of applying the 10% value test; (b) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or other excluded security) will not be considered a security issued by the partnership if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income is derived from sources that would qualify for the 75% REIT gross income test; and (c) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or other excluded security) will not be considered a security issued by the partnership to the extent of the REIT’s interest as a partner in the partnership.

For purposes of the 10% value test, “straight debt” means a written unconditional promise to pay on demand or on a specified date a sum certain in money if (i) the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock, (ii) the interest rate and interest payment dates are not contingent on profits, the borrower’s discretion, or similar factors other than certain contingencies relating to the timing and amount of principal and interest payments, as described in the Internal Revenue Code and (iii) in the case of an issuer which is a corporation or a partnership, securities that otherwise would be considered straight debt will not be so considered if we, and any of our “controlled taxable REIT subsidiaries” as defined in the Internal Revenue Code, hold any securities of the corporate or partnership issuer which (a) are not straight debt or other excluded securities (prior to the application of this rule), and (b) have an aggregate value greater than 1% of the issuer’s outstanding securities (including, for the purposes of a partnership issuer, our interest as a partner in the partnership).

We may hold certain mezzanine loans that do not qualify for the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2003-65 discussed above pursuant to which certain loans secured by a first priority security interest in equity interests in a pass-through entity that directly or indirectly own real property will be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% real estate asset test and therefore not be subject to the 10% vote or value test. In addition such


mezzanine loans may not qualify as “straight debt” securities or for one of the other exclusions from the definition of “securities” for purposes of the 10% value test. We intend to make any such investments in such a manner as not to fail the asset tests described above but there can be no assurance that we will be successful in this regard.

We may hold certain participation interests, including B Notes, in loans secured by real property and mezzanine loans originated by other lenders. B Notes are interests in underlying loans created by virtue of participations or similar agreements to which the originators of the loans are parties, along with one or more participants. The borrower on the underlying loan is typically not a party to the participation agreement. The performance of this investment depends upon the performance of the underlying loan and, if the underlying borrower defaults, the participant typically has no recourse against the originator of the loan. The originator often retains a senior position in the underlying loan and grants junior participations which absorb losses first in the event of a default by the borrower. We generally expect to treat our participation interests as qualifying real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests and interest that we derive from such investments as qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test discussed above. The appropriate treatment of participation interests for U.S. federal income tax purposes is not entirely certain, however, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our treatment of our participation interests. In the event of a determination that such participation interests do not qualify as real estate assets, or that the income that we derive from such participation interests does not qualify as mortgage interest for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests, we could be subject to a penalty tax, or could fail to qualify as a REIT.

We intend to continue to treat a portion of our interests in the loans secured by real property included in our sustainable infrastructure projects, which we include in our “financing receivables,” as real estate assets that qualify under the 75% asset test. We received a private letter ruling from the IRS relating to our ability to treat certain of our financing receivables as qualifying REIT assets to the extent they fall within the scope of such private letter ruling (see “Taxation of Our Company—General—Real Property Regulations” and “Gross Income Tests—Interest Income” above). We expect that our holdings of TRSs and other assets is, and will continue to be, structured in a manner that will comply with the foregoing REIT asset requirements, and we intend to continue to monitor compliance on an ongoing basis. There can be no assurance, however, that we will be successful in this effort. In this regard, to determine compliance with these requirements, we will need to estimate the value of our assets. We do not expect to obtain independent appraisals to support our conclusions as to the total value of our assets or the value of any particular security or other asset. Moreover, values of some assets, including our interests in our TRSs, may not be susceptible to a precise determination and are subject to change in the future. Although we will be prudent in making these estimates, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not disagree with these determinations and assert that a different value is applicable, in which case we might not satisfy the REIT asset tests, and could fail to qualify as a REIT. A financing receivable that we own will generally be treated as a real estate asset for purposes of the 75% asset test if, on the date that we acquire or originate the financing receivable, the value of the real property securing the loan is equal or greater to the principal amount of the loan. In the event that we invest in a financing receivable or other loan that is secured by both real property and other property, the Distressed Debt Revenue Procedure may apply to determine what portion of the financing receivable or other loan will be treated as a real estate asset for purposes of the 75% asset test. The interest apportionment rules apply if the financing receivable or other loan in question is secured by both real property and other property. Pursuant to the Distressed Debt Revenue Procedure, the IRS has announced that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a financing receivable or other loan as a real estate asset in its entirety to the extent that the value of the financing receivable or other loan is equal to or less than the value of the real property securing the financing receivable or other loan at the relevant testing date. However, uncertainties exist regarding the application of Distressed Debt Revenue Procedure, particularly with respect to the proper treatment under the asset tests of financing receivable or other loans acquired at a discount that increase in value following their acquisition, and no assurance can be given that the IRS would not challenge our treatment of such assets. Furthermore, the proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT asset tests.

In addition, we may enter into repurchase agreements under which we will nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets. We believe that


we will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any repurchase agreement and that the repurchase agreement will be treated as a secured lending transaction notwithstanding that we may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT. In addition, we invest in assets such as PACE bonds, which we believe are secured by real property for purposes of the REIT asset tests but with respect to which no authority is directly on point. If the IRS were to successfully assert that such PACE bonds are not qualifying real property assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests, our REIT qualification could be adversely affected.

Failure to Satisfy the Asset Tests

After initially meeting the asset tests at the close of any quarter, we will not lose our qualification as a REIT for failure to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in asset values. If we fail to satisfy the asset tests because we acquire or increase our ownership of assets during a quarter, we can cure this failure by disposing of sufficient non-qualifying assets within 30 days after the close of that quarter. If we fail the 5% asset test, or the 10% vote or value asset tests at the end of any quarter and such failure is not cured within 30 days thereafter, we may dispose of sufficient assets (generally within six months after the last day of the quarter in which our identification of the failure to satisfy these asset tests occurred) to cure such a violation that does not exceed the lesser of 1% of our assets at the end of the relevant quarter or $10.0 million. If we fail any of the other asset tests or our failure of the 5% and 10% asset tests is in excess of the de minimis amount described above, as long as such failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, we are permitted to avoid disqualification as a REIT, after the 30 day cure period, by taking steps, including the disposition of sufficient assets to meet the asset tests (generally within six months after the last day of the quarter in which our identification of the failure to satisfy the REIT asset test occurred), and paying a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest U.S. federal corporate income tax rate (currently 21%) of the net income generated by the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset test.

Annual Distribution Requirements

In order to qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends, to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:

(a) the sum of:

 

   

90% of our “REIT taxable income” (computed without regard to our deduction for dividends paid and excluding our net capital gains); and

 

   

90% of the net income (after tax), if any, from foreclosure property (as described below) and recognized built-in gain (as discussed below); minus

(b) the sum of specified items of non-cash income that exceeds a percentage of our income.

These distributions must be paid in the taxable year to which they relate or in the following taxable year if such distributions are declared in October, November or December of the taxable year, are payable to stockholders of record on a specified date in any such month and are actually paid before the end of January of the following year. Such distributions are treated as both paid by us and received by each stockholder on December 31 of the year in which they are declared. In addition, at our election, a distribution for a taxable year may be declared before we timely file our tax return for the year and be paid with or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration, provided that such payment is made during the 12-month period following the close of such taxable year. These distributions are taxable to our stockholders in the year in which paid, even though the distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement.

For taxable years beginning prior to January 1, 2015, in order for distributions to be counted towards our distribution requirement and to give rise to a tax deduction by us, they could not be “preferential dividends.” A


dividend is not a preferential dividend if it is pro rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class and is in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in the organizational documents. Beginning in 2015, this preferential dividend limitation no longer applies to us during any period that we are treated as a publicly offered REIT, which generally includes a REIT required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC.

To the extent that we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100%, of our “REIT taxable income,” as adjusted, we will be subject to tax at ordinary U.S. federal corporate tax rates on the retained portion. In addition, we may elect to retain, rather than distribute, our net long-term capital gains and pay tax on such gains. In this case, we could elect to have our stockholders include their proportionate share of such undistributed long-term capital gains in income and receive a corresponding credit or refund, as the case may be, for their proportionate share of the tax paid by us. Our stockholders would then increase the adjusted basis of their stock in us by the difference between the designated amounts included in their long-term capital gains and the tax deemed paid with respect to their proportionate shares. Stockholders that are U.S. corporations would also appropriately adjust their earnings and profits for the retained capital gains in accordance with Treasury Regulations to be promulgated.

If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (a) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year, (b) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year and (c) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, we will be subject to a 4% non-deductible excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (x) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior periods) and (y) the amounts of income retained on which we have paid U.S. federal corporate income tax. We intend to continue to make timely distributions so that we are not subject to the 4% excise tax.

It is possible that we, from time to time, may not have sufficient cash to meet the distribution requirements due to timing differences between (a) the actual receipt of cash, including receipt of distributions from our subsidiaries and (b) the inclusion of items in income by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the event that such timing differences occur, in order to meet the distribution requirements, it might be necessary to arrange for short-term, or possibly long-term, borrowings, to use cash reserves, to liquidate non cash assets at rates or times we regard as unfavorable, or to pay dividends in the form of taxable in-kind distributions of property including taxable stock dividends. In the case of a taxable stock dividend, stockholders would be required to include the dividend as income and would be required to satisfy the tax liability associated with the distribution with cash from other sources including sales of our common stock. Both a taxable stock distribution and sale of common stock resulting from such distribution could adversely affect the price of our common stock. We may be able to rectify a failure to meet the distribution requirements for a year by paying “deficiency dividends” to stockholders in a later year, which may be included in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. In this case, we may be able to avoid losing our qualification as a REIT or being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends. However, we will be required to pay interest and a penalty based on the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.

Recordkeeping Requirements

We are required to maintain records and request on an annual basis information from specified stockholders. These requirements are designed to assist us in determining the actual ownership of our outstanding stock and maintaining our qualification as a REIT.

Excess Inclusion Income

It is possible that a portion of our income from a TMP arrangement, which might be non-cash accrued income, could be treated as “excess inclusion income,” although we have no current intention of entering into TMP arrangements that would give rise to excess inclusion income. A REIT’s excess inclusion income (including any excess inclusion income from a residual interest in a REMIC) must be allocated among its stockholders in proportion to dividends paid. We are required to notify stockholders of the amount of “excess inclusion income” allocated to them. A stockholder’s share of excess inclusion income:

 

   

cannot be offset by any net operating losses otherwise available to the stockholder,


   

in the case of a stockholder that is a REIT, a RIC, or a common trust fund or other pass through entity, is considered excess inclusion income of such entity,

 

   

is subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income in the hands of most types of stockholders that are otherwise generally exempt from U.S. federal income tax,

 

   

results in the application of U.S. federal income tax withholding at the maximum rate (30%), without reduction for any otherwise applicable income tax treaty or other exemption, to the extent allocable to most types of non-U.S. stockholders, and

 

   

is taxable (at the highest U.S. federal corporate tax rate, currently 21%) to the REIT, rather than its stockholders, to the extent allocable to the REIT’s stock held in record name by disqualified organizations (generally, tax-exempt entities not subject to unrelated business income tax, including governmental organizations).

The manner in which excess inclusion income is calculated, or would be allocated to stockholders, including allocations among shares of different classes of stock, is not clear under current law. As required by IRS guidance, we intend to make such determinations using a reasonable method.

Tax-exempt investors, RIC or REIT investors, non-U.S. investors and taxpayers with net operating losses should carefully consider the tax consequences described above, and are urged to consult their tax advisors with respect to the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in our common stock.

If a subsidiary partnership of ours that we do not wholly-own, directly or through one or more disregarded entities, were a TMP, the foregoing rules would not apply. Rather, the partnership that is a TMP would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and potentially would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax or withholding tax. In addition, this characterization would alter our income and asset test calculations, and could adversely affect our compliance with those requirements. We intend to monitor the structure of any TMPs in which we will have an interest to ensure that they will not adversely affect our qualification as a REIT.

Prohibited Transactions

Net income we derive from a prohibited transaction is subject to a 100% tax. The term “prohibited transaction” generally includes a sale or other disposition of property (other than foreclosure property) that is held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers, in the ordinary course of a trade or business by a REIT, by a lower-tier partnership in which the REIT holds an equity interest or by a borrower that has issued a shared appreciation mortgage or similar debt instrument to the REIT. We intend to continue to conduct our operations so that no asset owned by us or our pass-through subsidiaries will be held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers, and that a sale of any assets owned by us directly or through a pass-through subsidiary will not be in the ordinary course of business. However, whether property is held as inventory or “primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business” depends on the particular facts and circumstances. No assurance can be given that any particular asset in which we hold a direct or indirect interest will not be treated as property held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers or that certain safe harbor provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that prevent such treatment will apply. The 100% tax will not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a TRS or other taxable corporation, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the corporation at regular U.S. federal corporate income tax rates.

Foreclosure Property

Foreclosure property is real property and any personal property incident to such real property (1) that is acquired by a REIT as a result of the REIT having bid on the property at foreclosure or having otherwise reduced the property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law after there was a default (or default was imminent) on a lease of the property or a mortgage loan held by the REIT and secured by the property, (2) for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when default was not imminent or anticipated


and (3) for which such REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property. REITs generally are subject to tax at the maximum U.S. federal corporate tax rate (currently 21%) on any net income from foreclosure property, including any gain from the disposition of the foreclosure property, other than income that would otherwise be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Any gain from the sale of property for which a foreclosure property election has been made will not be subject to the 100% tax on gains from prohibited transactions described above, even if the property would otherwise constitute inventory or dealer property in the hands of the selling REIT. We do not anticipate that we will receive any income from foreclosure property that is not qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but, if we do receive any such income, we intend to elect to treat the related property as foreclosure property.

Tax on Built-In Gains

If we acquire appreciated assets from a subchapter C corporation in a transaction in which the adjusted tax basis of the assets in our hands is determined by reference to the adjusted tax basis of the assets in the hands of the subchapter C corporation (a “carry-over basis transaction”), and if we subsequently dispose of any such assets during the 5-year period following the acquisition of the assets from the subchapter C corporation, we will be subject to tax at the highest corporate tax rates on any gain from such assets to the extent of the excess of the fair market value of the assets on the date that they were acquired by us over the basis of such assets on such date, which we refer to as built-in gains. However, the built-in gains tax will not apply if the subchapter C corporation elects to be subject to an immediate tax when the asset is acquired by us. We do not expect any tax payable by our company that is attributable to built-in gains to be material.

Failure to Qualify

In the event that we violate a provision of the Internal Revenue Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT, we may nevertheless continue to qualify as a REIT under specified relief provisions available to us to avoid such disqualification if (1) the violation is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, (2) we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each failure to satisfy a requirement for qualification as a REIT and (3) the violation does not include a violation under the gross income or asset tests described above (for which other specified relief provisions are available). This cure provision reduces the instances that could lead to our disqualification as a REIT for violations due to reasonable cause. If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year and none of the relief provisions of the Internal Revenue Code apply, we will be subject to tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. Distributions to our stockholders in any year in which we are not a REIT will not be deductible by us, nor will they be required to be made. In this situation, to the extent of current or accumulated earnings and profits, and, subject to limitations of the Internal Revenue Code, distributions to our stockholders will generally be taxable in the case of our stockholders who are individual U.S. stockholders (as defined below), at a maximum rate of 20%, and dividends in the hands of our corporate U.S. stockholders may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Unless we are entitled to relief under the specific statutory provisions, we will also be disqualified from re-electing to be taxed as a REIT for the four taxable years following a year during which qualification was lost. It is not possible to state whether, in all circumstances, we will be entitled to statutory relief.

Tax Aspects of Ownership of Equity Interests in Partnerships and Other Transparent Entities

General

We hold our assets through entities that are classified as partnerships and other transparent entities, including trusts, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including our interest in our operating partnership and any equity interests in lower-tier partnerships. For a discussion of the tax treatment of transparent “pass-through” entities in which we hold interests, see “—Effect of Subsidiary Entities—Disregarded Subsidiaries.” In general, partnerships are “pass-through” entities that are not subject to U.S. federal income tax. Rather, partners are allocated their proportionate shares of the items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit of a partnership, and are subject to tax on these items without regard to whether the partners receive a distribution from the partnership. We include in our income our proportionate share of these partnership items for purposes of the


various REIT income tests, based on our capital interest in such partnership, and in the computation of our REIT taxable income. Moreover, for purposes of the REIT asset tests, we include our proportionate share of assets held by subsidiary partnerships, based on our capital interest in such partnerships (other than for purposes of the 10% value test, for which the determination of our interest in partnership assets will be based on our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership excluding, for these purposes, certain excluded securities as described in the Internal Revenue Code). Consequently, to the extent that we hold an equity interest in a partnership, the partnership’s assets and operations may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, even though we may have no control, or only limited influence, over the partnership.

Entity Classification

The ownership by us of equity interests in partnerships, including our operating partnership, involves special tax considerations, including the possibility of a challenge by the IRS of the status of any of our subsidiary partnerships as a partnership, as opposed to an association taxable as a corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Because it is likely that at least half of our operating partnership’s investments will be loans secured by real property and the operating partnership intends to use leverage to finance the investments, the taxable mortgage pool rules potentially could apply to the operating partnership. However, we and the operating partnership do not presently intend that the operating partnership will incur any indebtedness, the payments on which bear a relationship to payments (including payments at maturity) received by the operating partnership from its investments. Accordingly, we and the operating partnership do not believe that the operating partnership will be an obligor under debt obligations with two or more maturities, the payments on which bear a relationship to payments on the operating partnership’s debt investments, and, therefore, we and the operating partnership do not believe that the operating partnership will be classified as a taxable mortgage pool. Furthermore, a partnership that does not elect to be treated as a corporation nevertheless will be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes if it is a “publicly traded partnership” and it does not receive at least 90% of its gross income from certain specified sources of “qualifying income” within the meaning of that section. A “publicly traded partnership” is any partnership (i) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market or (ii) the interests in which are readily tradable on a “secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof.” Although interests in our operating partnership are not traded on an established securities market, there is a significant risk that the right of a holder of such interests to redeem the interests for cash or, at our option, our common stock, could cause the interests in our operating partnership to be considered readily tradable on the substantial equivalent of a secondary market. Under the relevant Treasury Regulations, interests in a partnership will not be considered readily tradable on a secondary market or on the substantial equivalent of a secondary market if the partnership qualifies for specified “safe harbors,” which are based on the specific facts and circumstances relating to the partnership. We believe that our operating partnership currently satisfies one or more of the applicable safe harbors. However, we cannot provide any assurance that our operating partnership will, in each of its taxable years, qualify for one of these safe harbors. If our operating partnership or any subsidiary partnership were treated as an association for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it would be taxable as a corporation and, therefore, generally would be subject to an entity-level tax on its income. In such a situation, the character of our assets and items of our gross income would change and would preclude us from satisfying the REIT asset tests (particularly the tests generally preventing a REIT from owning more than 10% of the voting securities, or more than 10% of the value of the securities, of a corporation) or the gross income tests as discussed in “—Asset Tests” and “—Gross Income Tests” above, and in turn would prevent us from qualifying as a REIT. See “—Failure to Qualify,” above, for a discussion of the effect of our failure to meet these tests for a taxable year.

In addition, any change in the status of any of our subsidiary partnerships for tax purposes might be treated as a taxable event, in which case we could have taxable income that is subject to the REIT distribution requirements without receiving any cash.

Tax Allocations with Respect to Partnership Properties

A partnership is not a taxable entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Rather, we are required to take into account our allocable share of each partnership item of income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits for any


taxable year of such partnership ending with our taxable year, without regard to whether we have received or will receive any distribution from the partnership. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, however, the tax liability for adjustments to a partnership’s tax returns made as a result of an audit by the IRS are imposed on the partnership itself in certain circumstances absent an election to the contrary.

The partnership agreement of our operating partnership generally provides that items of operating income and loss will be allocated to the holders of units in proportion to the number of units held by each holder. If an allocation of partnership income or loss does not comply with the requirements of Section 704(b) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder, the item subject to the allocation will be reallocated in accordance with the partners’ interests in the partnership. This reallocation will be determined by taking into account all of the facts and circumstances relating to the economic arrangement of the partners with respect to such item. Our operating partnership’s allocations of income and loss are intended to comply with the requirements of Section 704(b) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Treasury Regulations promulgated under this section of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the Internal Revenue Code and the Treasury Regulations, income, gain, loss and deduction attributable to appreciated or depreciated property that is contributed to a partnership in exchange for an interest in the partnership must be allocated for tax purposes in a manner such that the contributing partner is charged with, or benefits from, the unrealized gain or unrealized loss associated with the property at the time of the contribution. The amount of the unrealized gain or unrealized loss is generally equal to the difference between the fair market value of the contributed property and the adjusted tax basis of such property at the time of the contribution (a “book-tax difference”). Such allocations are solely for U.S. federal income tax purposes and do not affect partnership capital accounts or other economic or legal arrangements among the partners.

To the extent that any of our subsidiary partnerships acquires appreciated (or depreciated) properties by way of capital contributions from its partners, allocations would need to be made in a manner consistent with these requirements. Where a partner contributes cash to a partnership at a time that the partnership holds appreciated or depreciated property, the Treasury regulations provide for a similar allocation of these items to the other (i.e., non-contributing) partners. These rules apply to the contribution that we made to our operating partnership of the cash proceeds received in offerings of shares of our common stock. As a result, the partners of our operating partnership, including us, could be allocated greater or lesser amounts of depreciation and taxable income in respect of the operating partnership’s properties than would be the case if all of the partnership’s assets (including any contributed assets) had a tax basis equal to their fair market values at the time of any contributions to that partnership. This could cause us to recognize, over a period of time, taxable income in excess of cash flow from the operating partnership, which might adversely affect our ability to comply with the REIT distribution requirements discussed above and result in a greater portion of our distributions being taxable as dividends.

Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders

This section summarizes the taxation of U.S. stockholders that are not tax-exempt organizations. For these purposes, a U.S. stockholder is a beneficial owner of our common stock that for U.S. federal income tax purposes is:

 

   

a citizen or resident of the United States;

 

   

a corporation (including an entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the United States or of a political subdivision thereof (including the District of Columbia);

 

   

an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

   

any trust if (1) a U.S. court is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of such trust and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (2) it has a valid election in place to be treated as a U.S. person.

If an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds our stock, the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a partner generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the


activities of the partnership. A partner of a partnership holding our common stock should consult its own tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences to the partner of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our stock by the partnership.

Distributions when the Company is a REIT

During any period that we continue to qualify as a REIT, distributions made to our taxable U.S. stockholders out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, and not designated as capital gain dividends, will generally be taken into account by them as ordinary dividend income and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. In determining the extent to which a distribution with respect to our common stock constitutes a dividend for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to distributions with respect to our preferred stock, if any, and then to our common stock. Dividends received from REITs are generally not eligible to be taxed at the preferential qualified dividend income rates applicable to individual U.S. stockholders who receive dividends from taxable subchapter C corporations. However, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, under Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code, noncorporate U.S. stockholders may deduct up to 20% of certain qualified business income, including “qualified REIT dividends” (generally, dividends received by a REIT shareholder that are not designated as capital gain dividends or qualified dividend income), subject to certain limitations, resulting in an effective maximum U.S. federal income tax rate of 29.6% on such income. Pursuant to Treasury regulations, in order for a dividend paid by a REIT to be eligible to be treated as a “qualified REIT dividend,” the U.S. stockholder must meet two holding period requirements. First, the U.S. stockholder must hold the REIT stock for a minimum of 46 days during the 91-day period that begins 45 days before the date on which the REIT stock becomes ex-dividend with respect to the dividend. Second, the qualifying portion of the REIT dividend is reduced to the extent that the U.S. stockholder is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property. In addition, Treasury regulations provide that stockholders of RICs are also entitled to the 20% deduction with respect to certain “Section 199A dividends” that are attributable to qualified REIT dividends received by such RICs. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors concerning the applicability of these rules and any limitations on the ability to deduct all or a portion of dividends received on our securities.

In addition, distributions from us that are designated as capital gain dividends during any period that we qualify as a REIT will be taxed to U.S. stockholders as long-term capital gains, to the extent that they do not exceed the actual net capital gain of our company for the taxable year, without regard to the period for which the U.S. stockholder has held its stock. To the extent that we elect under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to retain our net capital gains during any period that we qualify as a REIT, U.S. stockholders will be treated as having received, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our undistributed capital gains as well as a corresponding credit or refund, as the case may be, for taxes paid by us on such retained capital gains. U.S. stockholders will increase their adjusted tax basis in our common stock by the difference between their allocable share of such retained capital gain and their share of the tax paid by us. Corporate U.S. stockholders may be required to treat up to 20% of some capital gain dividends as ordinary income. Long-term capital gains are generally taxable at maximum U.S. federal tax rates of 20% in the case of U.S. stockholders who are individuals, and 21% for corporations. Capital gains attributable to the sale of depreciable real property held for more than 12 months are subject to a 25% maximum U.S. federal income tax rate for U.S. stockholders who are individuals, to the extent of previously claimed depreciation deductions.

Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a U.S. stockholder to the extent that they do not exceed the adjusted tax basis of the U.S. stockholder’s shares of our common stock in respect of which the distributions were made, but rather will reduce the adjusted tax basis of these shares. To the extent that such distributions exceed the adjusted tax basis of a U.S. stockholder’s shares of our common stock, they will be included in income as long-term capital gain, or short-term capital gain if the shares have been held for one year or less. In addition, any dividend declared by us in October, November or December of any year and payable to a U.S. stockholder of record on a specified date in any such month will be treated as both paid by us and received by the U.S. stockholder on December 31 of such year, provided that the dividend is actually paid by us before the end of January of the following calendar year.


With respect to U.S. stockholders who are taxed at the rates applicable to individuals, we may elect to designate a portion of our distributions paid to such U.S. stockholders as “qualified dividend income.” A portion of a distribution that is properly designated as qualified dividend income is taxable to non-corporate U.S. stockholders as capital gain, provided that the U.S. stockholder has held our common stock with respect to which the distribution is made for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date that is 60 days before the date on which such common stock became ex-dividend with respect to the relevant distribution. The maximum amount of our distributions eligible to be designated as qualified dividend income for a taxable year that we qualify as a REIT is equal to the sum of:

 

(a)

the qualified dividend income received by us during such taxable year from non-REIT C corporations (including any TRS in which we own an interest);

 

(b)

the excess of any “undistributed” net taxable income recognized during the immediately preceding year over the U.S. federal income tax paid by us with respect to such undistributed net taxable income; and

 

(c)

the excess of any income recognized during the immediately preceding year attributable to the sale of a built-in-gain asset that was acquired in a carry-over basis transaction from a non-REIT C corporation over the U.S. federal income tax paid by us with respect to such built-in gain.

Generally, dividends that we receive will be treated as qualified dividend income for purposes of (a) above if the dividends are received from a domestic C corporation (other than a REIT or a RIC), any of our TRSs, or a “qualified foreign corporation” and specified holding period requirements and other requirements are met.

To the extent that we have available net operating losses and capital losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may reduce the amount of distributions that must be made in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. Any net operating losses generated in years beginning after December 31, 2017 will only be able to offset 80% of our net taxable income (prior to the application of the dividends paid deduction). See “—Taxation of our Company—General” and “—Annual Distribution Requirements.” Such losses are not passed through to U.S. stockholders and do not offset income of U.S. stockholders from other sources, nor do they affect the character of any distributions that are actually made by us, which are generally subject to tax in the hands of U.S. stockholders to the extent that we have current or accumulated earnings and profits.

If excess inclusion income from a taxable mortgage pool or REMIC residual interest is allocated to any stockholder, that income will be taxable in the hands of the stockholder and would not be offset by any net operating losses of the stockholder that would otherwise be available. See “—Effect of Subsidiary Entities—Taxable Mortgage Pools” and “—Excess Inclusion Income.” As required by IRS guidance, we intend to notify our stockholders if a portion of a dividend paid by us is attributable to excess inclusion income.

Dispositions of Our Common Stock when the Company is a REIT

In general, a U.S. stockholder will realize gain or loss upon the sale, redemption or other taxable disposition of our common stock in an amount equal to the difference between the sum of the fair market value of any property and the amount of cash received in such disposition and the U.S. stockholder’s adjusted tax basis in our common stock at the time of the disposition. In general, a U.S. stockholder’s adjusted tax basis will equal the U.S. stockholder’s acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. stockholder (discussed above) less tax deemed paid on it and reduced by returns of capital. In general, capital gains recognized by individuals and other non-corporate U.S. stockholders upon the sale or disposition of shares of our common stock will be subject to a maximum U.S. federal income tax rate of 20%, if our common stock is held for more than 12 months, and will be taxed at ordinary income rates (of up to 37% for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026) if our common stock is held for 12 months or less. Gains recognized by U.S. stockholders that are corporations are subject to U.S. federal income tax at a maximum rate of 21%, whether or not classified as long-term capital gains. The IRS has the authority to prescribe, but has not yet prescribed, regulations that would apply a capital gain tax rate of 25% (which is generally higher than the long-term capital gain tax rates for non-corporate holders) to a portion of capital gain realized by a non-corporate holder on the sale of REIT stock or depositary shares that would correspond to the REIT’s “unrecaptured Section 1250 gain.”


Holders are advised to consult with their tax advisors with respect to their capital gain tax liability. Capital losses recognized by a U.S. stockholder upon the disposition of our common stock held for more than one year at the time of disposition will be considered long-term capital losses, and are generally available only to offset capital gain income of the U.S. stockholder but not ordinary income (except in the case of individuals, who may offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income each year). In addition, any loss upon a sale or exchange of shares of our common stock by a U.S. stockholder who has held the shares for six months or less, after applying holding period rules, will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of distributions received from us that were required to be treated by the U.S. stockholder as long-term capital gain.

If a U.S. stockholder recognizes a loss upon a subsequent disposition of our common stock in an amount that exceeds a prescribed threshold, it is possible that the provisions of Treasury regulations involving “reportable transactions” could apply, with a resulting requirement to separately disclose the loss generating transactions to the IRS. While these regulations are directed towards “tax shelters,” they are written quite broadly, and apply to transactions that would not typically be considered tax shelters. Significant penalties apply for failure to comply with these requirements. You should consult your tax advisors concerning any possible disclosure obligation with respect to the receipt or disposition of our common stock, or transactions that might be undertaken directly or indirectly by us. Moreover, you should be aware that we and other participants in transactions involving us (including our advisors) might be subject to disclosure or other requirements pursuant to these Treasury regulations.

Passive Activity Losses and Investment Interest Limitations

Distributions made by us and gain arising from the sale or exchange by a U.S. stockholder of our common stock will not be treated as passive activity income. As a result, U.S. stockholders will not be able to apply any “passive losses” against income or gain relating to our common stock. Distributions made by us, to the extent they do not constitute a return of capital, generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of computing the investment interest limitation. A U.S. stockholder that elects to treat capital gain dividends, capital gains from the disposition of stock or qualified dividend income as investment income for purposes of the investment interest limitation will be taxed at ordinary income rates on such amounts.

Medicare Tax on Unearned Income

Certain U.S. stockholders that are individuals, estates or trusts must pay an additional 3.8% tax on, among other things, dividends on and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of stock. The temporary 20% deduction currently allowed by Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to ordinary REIT dividends received by noncorporate taxpayers, is allowed only for Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code and this is not allowed as a deduction allocable to such dividends for purposes of determining the amount of net investment income subject to the 3.8% Medicare tax, which is imposed under Section 2A of the Internal Revenue Code. U.S. stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding this tax on net investment income.

Foreign Accounts

A 30% withholding tax may, pursuant to Treasury Regulations and IRS guidance, be imposed on dividends paid to “foreign financial institutions” in respect of accounts of U.S. stockholders at such financial institutions. U.S. stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect, if any, of this withholding provision on their ownership and disposition of our common stock. See “—Foreign Accounts” below.

Taxation of Distributions and Dispositions of the Company’s Common Stock when the Company is a C Corporation

For taxable years that the Company is treated as a C corporation, distributions paid on the Company’s common stock will generally be included in a taxable U.S. stockholder’s income as dividend income to the extent made out of the Company’s current or accumulated earnings and profits, as determined under U.S. federal income tax principles. Distributions in excess of the Company’s current earnings and profits for the year and


accumulated earnings and profits for previous years will be treated first as a non-taxable return of capital to the extent of the taxable U.S. stockholder’s basis in their common stock and thereafter will generally be treated as capital gains from the disposition of such shares. Dividends on the Company’s common stock during such periods should generally qualify the preferential rates on qualified dividend income applicable to noncorporate taxpayers, provided that the taxable U.S. stockholder meets certain holding period and other requirements.

Upon the sale, exchange, or other disposition of common stock, a taxable U.S. stockholder generally will recognize capital gain or capital loss equal to the difference between the amount realized on such sale or exchange and such holder’s adjusted basis in such common stock. Capital losses are subject to certain limitations.

Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Stockholders

U.S. tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from U.S. federal income taxation. However, they are subject to taxation on their unrelated business taxable income, which we refer to herein as UBTI. While many investments in real estate may generate UBTI, the IRS has ruled that dividend distributions from a REIT to a tax-exempt entity do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, and provided that (1) a tax-exempt U.S. stockholder has not held our common stock as “debt financed property” within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code (i.e., where the acquisition or holding of the property is financed through a borrowing by the tax-exempt stockholder), (2) our common stock is not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business and (3) we do not hold an asset that gives rise to “excess inclusion income” (see “—Effect of Subsidiary Entities,” and “—Excess Inclusion Income”), distributions from us and income from the sale of our common stock generally should not give rise to UBTI to a tax-exempt U.S. stockholder. As previously noted, we may engage in transactions that would result in a portion of our dividend income being considered “excess inclusion income,” and accordingly, it is possible that a portion of our dividends received by a tax-exempt stockholder will be treated as UBTI.

Tax-exempt U.S. stockholders that are social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations and supplemental unemployment benefit trusts exempt from U.S. federal income taxation under Sections 501(c)(7), (c)(9) and (c)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code, respectively, are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions from us as UBTI, unless they are able to properly exclude certain amounts set aside or placed in reserve for specific purposes so as to offset the income generated by its investment in our common stock. These prospective investors should consult their tax advisors concerning these “set aside” and reserve requirements.

In certain circumstances, a pension trust (1) that is described in Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, (2) is tax exempt under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, and (3) that owns more than 10% of our stock could be required to treat a percentage of the dividends from us as UBTI if we are a “pension-held REIT.” We will not be a pension-held REIT unless (1) either (A) one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our stock, or (B) a group of pension trusts, each individually holding more than 10% of the value of our stock, collectively owns more than 50% of such stock; and (2) we would not have qualified as a REIT but for the fact that Section 856(h)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code provides that stock owned by such trusts shall be treated, for purposes of the requirement that not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding stock of a REIT is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “individuals” (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code to include certain entities), as owned by the beneficiaries of such trusts. Certain restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock should generally prevent a tax-exempt entity from owning more than 10% of the value of our stock, or us from becoming a pension-held REIT. In addition, the “pension held REIT” rules will not apply to us during any period that we do not qualify as a REIT.

Tax-exempt U.S. stockholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences of owning our stock.

Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders

The following is a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our common stock applicable to non-U.S. stockholders of our common stock. For purposes of


this summary, a non-U.S. stockholder is a beneficial owner of our common stock that is not a U.S. stockholder or an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The discussion is based on current law and is for general information only. It addresses only selective and not all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation.

Non-U.S. stockholders should consult their tax advisors concerning the U.S. federal estate consequences of ownership of our common stock.

Ordinary Dividends when the Company is a REIT

The portion of dividends received by non-U.S. stockholders payable out of our earnings and profits that are not attributable to gains from sales or exchanges of U.S. real property interests and which are not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. stockholder will generally be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless reduced or eliminated by an applicable income tax treaty. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. In addition, any portion of the dividends paid to non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as excess inclusion income will not be eligible for exemption from the 30% withholding tax or a reduced treaty rate. As previously noted, we may engage in transactions that would result in a portion of our dividends being considered excess inclusion income, and accordingly, it is possible that a portion of our dividend income will not be eligible for exemption from the 30% withholding rate or a reduced treaty rate. In the case of a taxable stock dividend with respect to which any withholding tax is imposed on a non-U.S. stockholder, we may have to withhold or dispose of part of the shares otherwise distributable in such dividend and use such withheld shares or the proceeds of such disposition to satisfy the withholding tax imposed.

In general, non-U.S. stockholders will not be considered to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business solely as a result of their ownership of our stock. In cases where the dividend income from a non-U.S. stockholder’s investment in our common stock is, or is treated as, effectively connected with the non-U.S. stockholder’s conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the non-U.S. stockholder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. stockholders are taxed with respect to such dividends, and may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax (unless reduced or eliminated by a treaty) on the income after the application of the income tax in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation.

Non-Dividend Distributions when the Company is a REIT

Unless (A) our common stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest, or USRPI, or (B) either (1) the non-U.S. stockholder’s investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain and, in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation, may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on such gain after the application of the income tax) or (2) the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gain for the year), distributions by us which are not dividends out of our earnings and profits will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax. If it cannot be determined at the time at which a distribution is made whether or not the distribution will exceed current and accumulated earnings and profits, the distribution will be subject to withholding at the rate applicable to dividends. However, the non-U.S. stockholder may seek a refund from the IRS of any amounts withheld if it is subsequently determined that the distribution was, in fact, in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits.

If our common stock constitutes a USRPI, as described below, distributions by us in excess of the sum of (1) a non-U.S. stockholder’s proportionate share of our earnings and profits (2) plus the non-U.S. stockholder’s adjusted tax basis in our common stock will be taxed under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, or FIRPTA, at the rate of tax, including any applicable capital gains rates, that would apply to a U.S. stockholder of the same type (e.g., an individual or a corporation, as the case may be), and the collection of the tax will be enforced by a refundable withholding at a rate of 15% of the amount by which the distribution


exceeds the stockholder’s share of our earnings and profits. Non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as “qualified foreign pension funds” or that are non-U.S. publicly traded investment vehicles meeting certain requirements are exempt from the federal income and withholding taxes applicable under FIRPTA on such distributions by us.

Capital Gain Dividends when the Company is a REIT

Under FIRPTA, a distribution made by us during a period that we qualify as a REIT to a non-U.S. stockholder, to the extent attributable to gains from dispositions of USRPIs held by us directly or through pass-through subsidiaries, or USRPI capital gains, will be considered effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. stockholder and will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the rates applicable to U.S. stockholders, without regard to whether the distribution is designated as a capital gain dividend. In addition, we will be required to withhold tax equal to 35% of the amount of capital gain dividends to the extent the dividends constitute USRPI capital gains. Distributions subject to FIRPTA may also be subject to a 30% branch profits tax (unless reduced or eliminated by a treaty) in the hands of a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation. However, the 35% withholding tax will not apply to any capital gain dividend (i) with respect to any class of our stock which is regularly traded on an established securities market located in the U.S. as defined by applicable Treasury regulations if the non-U.S. stockholder did not own more than 10% of such class of stock at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of such dividend or (ii) received by certain non-U.S. publicly traded investment vehicles meeting certain requirements. Instead, any capital gain dividend received by such a stockholder will be treated as a distribution subject to the rules discussed above under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Ordinary Dividends.” Also, the branch profits tax will not apply to such a distribution. In addition, non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as “qualified foreign pension funds” are exempt from income and withholding taxes applicable under FIRPTA on distributions from us. We believe our common stock is, and will continue to be, regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States.

A distribution is not a USRPI capital gain if we held the underlying asset solely as a creditor, although the holding of a shared appreciation mortgage loan would not be solely as a creditor. Capital gain dividends received by a non-U.S. stockholder from a REIT that are not USRPI capital gains are generally not subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless either (1) the non-U.S. stockholder’s investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain and, in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation, may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on such gain after the application of the income tax) or (2) the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gain for the year).

Dispositions of Our Common Stock when the Company is a REIT

Unless our common stock constitutes a USRPI, a sale of the stock by a non-U.S. stockholder generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA. Generally, with respect to any particular stockholder, our common stock will constitute a USRPI only if each of the following three statements is true:

 

(a)

Fifty percent or more of our assets on any of certain testing dates during a prescribed testing period consist of interests in real property located within the United States, excluding for this purpose, interests in real property solely in a capacity as creditor;

 

(b)

We are not a “domestically-controlled qualified investment entity.” A domestically-controlled qualified entity includes a REIT, less than 50% of value of which is held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. stockholders at all times during a specified testing period. For this purpose, effective beginning December 18, 2015, a REIT may generally presume that any class of the REIT’s stock that is “regularly traded,” as defined by the applicable Treasury Regulations, on an established securities market is held by U.S. persons except in the case of holders of 5% or more such class of stock and except to the extent that the REIT has actual knowledge that such stock is held by non-U.S. persons. In addition, effective beginning December 18, 2015, certain look-through and presumption rules apply for this purpose to any stock of a


  REIT that is held by a RIC or another REIT. Although we believe that we are a domestically-controlled REIT, we may not remain a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity in the future; and

 

(c)

Either (i) our common stock is not “regularly traded,” as defined by applicable Treasury regulations, on an established securities market; or (ii) our common stock is “regularly traded” on an established securities market and the selling non-U.S. stockholder has actually or constructively held over 10% of our outstanding common stock (5% if we no longer qualify as a REIT) any time during the shorter of the five-year period ending on the date of the sale or the period such selling non-U.S. stockholder held our common stock.

In addition, even if our common stock is treated as a USRPI, non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as “qualified foreign pension funds” or that are non-U.S. publicly traded investment vehicles meeting certain requirements are exempt from tax under FIRPTA on the sale of our common stock.

Specific wash sales rules applicable to sales of stock in a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity could result in gain recognition, taxable under FIRPTA, upon the sale of our common stock even if we are a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity. These rules would apply if a non-U.S. stockholder (a) disposes of our common stock within a 30-day period preceding the ex-dividend date of a distribution, any portion of which, but for the disposition, would have been taxable to such non-U.S. stockholder as gain from the sale or exchange of a USRPI, and (b) acquires, or enters into a contract or option to acquire, other shares of our common stock during the 61-day period that begins 30 days prior to such ex-dividend date.

If gain on the sale of our common stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA, the non-U.S. stockholder would be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. stockholder with respect to such gain, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of non-resident alien individuals, and the purchaser of the stock could be required to withhold 15% of the purchase price and remit such amount to the IRS.

Gain from the sale of our common stock that would not otherwise be subject to FIRPTA will nonetheless be taxable in the U.S. to a non-U.S. stockholder in two cases: (a) if the non-U.S. stockholder’s investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder, the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. stockholder with respect to such gain and, in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation, may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on such gain after the application of the income tax, or (b) if the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the U.S., the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gain.

Taxation of Distributions and Dispositions of the Company’s Common Stock when the Company is a C Corporation

For taxable years that the Company is treated as a C corporation, the rules described above under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders – Ordinary Dividends” and “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders – Non-Dividend Distributions” shall apply in the same manner. However, the rules relating to capital gains dividends will not apply; rather, distributions out of our earnings and profits will be treated as ordinary dividends regardless of whether such distributions are attributable to ordinary operating income or capital gains. In addition, our distributions will generally not be treated as excess inclusion income during such taxable years.

For taxable years that the Company is treated as a C corporation, the rules described under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders – Dispositions of our Common Stock” will apply in the same manner, except that (i) the exception to USRPI status for “domestically controlled qualified investment entities” will no longer apply, (ii) the exception to USRPI status for holders of the Company’s common stock will apply only to holders who have held, directly or indirectly applying certain attribution rules during the relevant testing period, less than 5% of the Company’s common stock, rather than 10%, and (iii) the wash sale rules described above will no longer apply. As a result, under certain circumstances common stock of the Company held by a non-U.S. stockholder that is not treated as a USRPI while the Company qualifies as a REIT could become treated as a USRPI once the Company no longer qualifies as a REIT. Non-U.S. stockholders are encouraged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the tax consequences of owning the Company’s common stock.


Backup Withholding and Information Reporting

We will report to our U.S. stockholders and the IRS the amount of dividends paid during each calendar year and the amount of any tax withheld. Under the backup withholding rules, a U.S. stockholder may be subject to backup withholding with respect to dividends paid unless the holder comes within an exempt category and, when required, demonstrates this fact or provides a taxpayer identification number or social security number, certifies as to no loss of exemption from backup withholding and otherwise complies with applicable requirements of the backup withholding rules. A U.S. stockholder that does not provide his or her correct taxpayer identification number or social security number may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distribution to any U.S. stockholder who fails to certify their non-foreign status.

We must report annually to the IRS and to each non-U.S. stockholder the amount of dividends paid to such holder and the tax withheld with respect to such dividends, regardless of whether withholding was required. Copies of the information returns reporting such dividends and withholding may also be made available to the tax authorities in the country in which the non-U.S. stockholder resides under the provisions of an applicable income tax treaty. A non-U.S. stockholder may be subject to backup withholding unless applicable certification requirements are met.

Payment of the proceeds of a sale of our common stock within the U.S. is subject to both backup withholding and information reporting unless the beneficial owner certifies under penalties of perjury that it is a non-U.S. stockholder (and the payor does not have actual knowledge or reason to know that the beneficial owner is a U.S. person) or the holder otherwise establishes an exemption. Payment of the proceeds of a sale of our common stock conducted through certain U.S. related financial intermediaries is subject to information reporting (but not backup withholding) unless the financial intermediary has documentary evidence in its records that the beneficial owner is a non-U.S. stockholder and specified conditions are met or an exemption is otherwise established.

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be allowed as a refund or a credit against such holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability provided the required information is timely furnished to the IRS.

Foreign Accounts

Withholding taxes may be imposed on certain types of payments made to “foreign financial institutions” and certain other non-U.S. entities under certain circumstances. More specifically, the failure to comply with additional certification, information reporting and other specified requirements could result in withholding tax being imposed on payments of dividends to U.S. stockholders (as defined above) who own shares of our common stock through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries and to certain non-U.S. stockholders. The withholding tax may be imposed on dividends on our common stock paid to a foreign financial institution or to a foreign entity other than a financial institution, unless (i) the foreign financial institution undertakes certain diligence and reporting obligations or (ii) the foreign entity that is not a financial institution either certifies it does not have any substantial United States owners or furnishes identifying information regarding each substantial United States owner. If the payee is a foreign financial institution (that is not otherwise exempt), it must enter into an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department requiring, among other things, that it undertake to identify accounts held by certain United States persons or United States-owned foreign entities, annually report certain information about such accounts, and withhold 30% on payments to account holders whose actions prevent it from complying with these reporting and other requirements. Alternatively, if the foreign financial institution is a resident in a jurisdiction that has entered into an intergovernmental agreement to implement FATCA, it must comply with the revised diligence and reporting obligations of such intergovernmental agreement. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding these withholding rules.

State, Local and Foreign Taxes

We and our stockholders may be subject to state, local or foreign taxation in various jurisdictions, including those in which it or they transact business, own property or reside. The state, local or foreign tax treatment of our


company and our stockholders may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. Any foreign taxes incurred by us would not pass through to stockholders as a credit against their U.S. federal income tax liability. Prospective stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the application and effect of state, local and foreign income and other tax laws on an investment in our company’s common stock.

Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs

The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department and may be changed at any time, possibly with retroactive effect. Recently, the Biden administration has indicated an intention to enact tax legislation that could impact the taxation of an investment in our common stock. No assurance can be given as to whether, when, or in what form, U.S. federal income tax laws applicable to us and our stockholders may be enacted. Changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws and interpretations of U.S. federal income tax laws could adversely affect an investment in shares of our common stock.

Prospective investors are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the potential effects of legislative, regulatory, or administrative developments on an investment in our common shares.


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