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HCP, Inc. Message Board

  • billberggren billberggren Sep 2, 2003 11:28 PM Flag

    Why don't nursing homes pay income tax?

    I was wondering why hcp, hcn, hr, hrp, and nhi all pay no income tax yet pay out large dividends and their debt does not seem to go up? Also, why is their dividend larger than their earnings?

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    • "Nursing homes" can, and do, pay income tax. The companies you reference are real estate investment trusts (REIT's). Generally, a REIT owns real estate and leases it to someone else who operates it. By law, a REIT does not pay federal corporate income tax so long as it pays out at least 95% of its taxable income as dividends to its shareholders (who then pay tax on the dividends). Note that because REIT's do not pay federal income tax in the first place, REIT shareholders who receive dividends cannot take advantage of the recent changes in federal taxation on dividends. Also, because taxable income can include non-cash items like depreciation, it is possible for a REIT to pay out a dividend which is larger than their reported earnings. Check out the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts ( for more information.

    • Whoops. According to NAREIT, REIT's only have to pay out at least 90% of their taxable income, not 95%. Sorry. (

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