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REITs: a comparative approach throughout Europe


Over the past few years, new REIT regimes have been introduced in Europe, in particular in the UK, Germany (G-REITs) and more recently in Italy (the SIIQ: società di investimento immobiliare quotate) to meet the growing demand from investors for tax efficient real estate investment vehicles. Concurrently, existing REIT regimes have been subject to improvements, for example, in the Netherlands in 2007, and in France, where the SIIC regime has been amended annually since its adoption in 2003.

The purpose of this summary is to provide an overview of the key rules governing REITs in six European countries (UK, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France and Germany). The comparative study would not have been comprehensive without considering the tax treatment of REIT shareholders, both resident and non-resident of the country in which the REIT is incorporated. The summary provides a comparison of the REIT regimes taking into consideration both legal and tax aspects. These rules were updated on 1 December 2007 and have been further elaborated on by CMS lawyers practising within the Real Estate and Tax Practice Groups of the CMS Alliance. The present document contains information of a general nature and should not be relied on for investment decisions. Clients should consult their CMS contact to obtain further advice.