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One thing I don't get about the tax code is that foreigners (people who not resident in the United States) appear to pay no taxes on capital gains from the sale of stock, but when they buy or sell real estate, then they pay capital gains on the sale? Is that right?

If they do pay capital gains on a real estate sale, then how is the rate determined? For a citizen the rate depends on their income, so does the same rule apply to a foreigner? In other words, let's say the foreigner sold property and made a profit of $300,000. Would that mean they would have to pay capital gains on the $300,000 as though their annual income were $300,000?

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foreigners (people who not resident in the United States) appear to pay no taxes on capital gains from the sale of stock, but when they buy or sell real estate, then they pay capital gains on the sale? Is that right?

Yes. Income is taxed first by the jurisdiction to which it is sourced. It is the generally acceptable sourcing rule for international taxation treaties that real property is sourced to its location, and intangibles are sourced to the location of the owner.

If they do pay capital gains on a real estate sale, then how is the rate determined?

Similarly to any other income, by marginal rate.

In other words, let's say the foreigner sold property and made a profit of $300,000. Would that mean they would have to pay capital gains on the $300,000 as though their annual income were $300,000?

To the US - yes, if that's their only income sourced to the US.

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