The evolution of the UK REIT regime

Jo Cox revisits the basic UK REIT rules and reflects on what the proposed changes to the regime will mean

After launching in 1960 in the US, more than 45 countries now have their own real estate investment trust (REIT) regime, or an equivalent. Across the globe, the level of adoption varies significantly but REITs seem to be more popular where local rules have evolved in keeping with the ever-changing economic environment. In the UK, there are now more than 90 REITs.

In 2019 and 2020, the UK saw some of the most significant changes to the taxation of UK commercial property in decades, with the widening of scope of non-resident capital gains tax to include commercial property, and the migration of corporate non-resident landlords to the more stringent corporation tax regime, including the corporate interest restriction and anti-hybrid rules.