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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Terms and Conditions


Following are the current terms and conditions governing the provision of exemptions from real estate taxes to foreign missions and international organizations on the basis of a property’s authorized use for diplomatic or consular purposes or for the official business of an international organization:

  • The determination of a foreign mission or international organization’s entitlement to an exemption from real estate taxes associated with a property of a type described above, on the basis of the property’s authorized use for diplomatic or consular purposes, or for the official business of an international organization, is committed to the sole discretion of the Department of State. Such determinations are communicated by letter from OFM to the relevant state, county, municipal or territorial revenue authorities.
  • All such letters will be signed by the Director of OFM’s Office of Diplomatic Property, Tax, Services and Benefits (OFM/PTSB), or a successor office.
  • Such letters serve as official notice to the relevant state, county, municipality, or territory that the described property or transaction is or is not entitled to an exemption from real estate taxes on the basis of the property’s authorized use for diplomatic or consular purposes or for the official business of an international organization.
  • States, counties, municipalities, and territories are prohibited from extending to a foreign mission or international organization an exemption from real estate taxes associated with a property on the basis of the property’s authorized use for diplomatic or consular purposes or for the official business of the international organization, except on the basis of written authorization from OFM.
  • Conversely, on the basis of a letter as described above, states, counties, municipalities, and territories are required to extend to a foreign mission or international organization an exemption from real estate taxes to which OFM determines a foreign mission or international organization is entitled. If a state, county, municipality or territory has concerns regarding the extension of such exemption benefits, it should raise the matter directly with OFM.
  • Unless otherwise determined by OFM, the effective date of OFM’s authorization of an exemption from real estate taxes is the date the property deed in question is signed or transferred.
  • States, counties, municipalities, and territories may establish additional procedures to ensure the proper extension of such exemption benefits, provided that:
    • such procedures, including the establishment and use of any forms, serve only to facilitate the state, county, municipality, or territory’s extension of exemption benefits to a foreign mission or international organization and not as a means to determine the foreign mission’s or international organization’s entitlement to the exemption benefit associated with a property on the basis of the property’s authorized use for diplomatic or consular purposes or for the official business of the international organization, which determination is committed to the sole discretion of the Department of State; and
    • the state, county, municipality, or territory obtain written approval from the Director of OFM/PTSB confirming that the proposed procedural requirements do not violate or infringe on any benefits, privileges, or immunities enjoyed by foreign missions or international organizations.


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