A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, and in most cases, operates income- producing real estate. REITs own many types of commercial real estate, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping centres, hotels and even timberlands. Some REITs also engage in financing real estate. The REIT structure was designed to provide a real estate investment structure similar to the structure mutual funds provide for investment in stocks. REITs can be publicly or privately held. Public REITs may be listed on public stock exchanges. REITs can be classified as equity, mortgage, or a hybrid.
REIT’s in India As of January 2010, India was formulating legislation for REITs in the Indian real estate market. Once introduced, these Indian REITs (country specific/generic version I-REITs) will help individual investors enjoy the benefits of owning an interest in the securitised real estate market. The greatest benefit will be that of fast and easy liquidation of investments in the real estate market unlike the traditional way of disposing of real estate. The government and Securities and Exchange Board of India through various notifications is in the process of making it easier to invest in real estate in India directly and indirectly through foreign direct investment, through listed real estate companies and mutual funds. In the budget of 2014, finance minister Arun Jaitley has introduced a law for setting up of REITs.
REIT’s in US Under U.S. Federal income tax law, a REIT is "any corporation, trust or association that acts as an investment agent specializing in real estate and real estate mortgages" under Internal section 856. The rules for federal income taxation of REITs are found primarily in Part II (sections 856 through 859) of Subchapter M of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code. Because a REIT is entitled to deduct dividends paid to its owners (commonly referred to as shareholders), a REIT may avoid incurring all or part of its liabilities for U.S. federal income tax. To qualify as a REIT, an organization makes an "election" to do so by filing a Form 1120-REIT with the Internal Revenue Service, and by meeting certain other requirements. The purpose of this designation is to reduce or eliminate corporate tax, thus avoiding double taxation of owner income. In return, REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income into the hands of investors. A REIT is a company that owns, and in most cases, operates income-producing real estate. REITs own many types of commercial real estate, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping centers, hotels and even timberlands. Some REITs also engage in financing real estate. The REIT structure was designed to provide a real estate investment structure similar to the structure mutual funds provide for investment in stocks.
Because of their access to corporate-level debt and equity that typical real estate owners cannot access, REITs have a favourable capital structure. They are able to use this capital to finance tenant improvement costs and leasing commissions that less capitalized owners cannot afford.