Print Page  Close Window

SEC Filings

10-K
RLJ LODGING TRUST filed this Form 10-K on 03/01/2019
Entire Document
 << Previous Page | Next Page >>

addition, for a management company to qualify as an eligible independent contractor, (i) the management company must not own, directly or through its shareholders, more than 35% of our outstanding shares, and no person or group of persons can own more than 35% of our outstanding shares and the shares (or ownership interest) of the management company and (ii) such company or a related person must be actively engaged in the trade or business of operating "qualified lodging facilities" (as defined below) for one or more persons not related to the REIT or its TRSs at each time that such company enters into a management contract with a TRS or its TRS lessee. Finally, each hotel with respect to which our TRS lessees pay rent must be a "qualified lodging facility." A "qualified lodging facility" is a hotel, motel, or other establishment in which more than one-half of the dwelling units are used on a transient basis, including customary amenities and facilities, provided that no wagering activities are conducted at or in connection with such facility by any person who is engaged in the business of accepting wagers and who is legally authorized to engage in such business at or in connection with such facility. As of the date hereof, we believe the management companies operate qualified lodging facilities for certain persons who are not related to us or our TRS. As of the date hereof, we believe that all of the hotels leased to our TRS lessees will be qualified lodging facilities. Although we intend to monitor future acquisitions and improvements of hotels, the REIT provisions of the Code provide only limited guidance for making determinations under the requirements for qualified lodging facilities, and there can be no assurance that these requirements will be satisfied in all cases.

Our ownership of TRSs is limited, and our transactions with our TRSs will cause us to be subject to a 100% penalty tax on certain income or deductions if those transactions are not conducted on arm's-length terms.

A REIT may own up to 100% of the equity interests of one or more TRSs. A TRS may hold assets and earn income that would not be qualifying assets or income if held or earned directly by a REIT. Both the subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation of which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the stock will automatically be treated as a TRS. Overall, no more than 20% (25% for taxable years that began before January 1, 2018) of the value of a REIT's assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRS. In addition, the rules applicable to TRSs limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT in order to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation.

Our TRSs will pay U.S. federal, state and local income taxes on their net taxable income, and their after-tax net income will be available for distribution to us but is not required to be distributed. We believe that the aggregate value of the stock and securities of our TRSs has been less than 20% (25% for our taxable years that began before January 1, 2018) of the value of our total assets (including the stock and securities of our TRSs). Furthermore, we have monitored and will continue to monitor the value of our respective investments in our TRSs for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the ownership limitations applicable to TRSs. We believe that our rents and other transactions with our TRSs have each been entered into on an arm's-length basis and reflect normal business practices, but there can be no assurance that the IRS will agree with our belief.

Complying with REIT requirements may force us to forgo and/or liquidate otherwise attractive investment opportunities.

To qualify as a REIT, we must ensure that we meet the gross income tests annually and that at the end of each calendar quarter, at least 75% of the value of our assets consists of cash, cash items, government securities and qualified real estate assets. The remainder of our investment in securities (other than government securities and qualified real estate assets) generally cannot include more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer or more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer. In addition, in general, no more than 5% of the value of our assets (other than government securities and qualified real estate assets) can consist of the securities of any one issuer, no more than 20% of the value of our total assets can be represented by securities of one or more TRSs, and no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs that are "nonqualified" (i.e., not secured by real property or interests in real property). If we fail to comply with these requirements at the end of any calendar quarter, we must correct the failure within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter or qualify for certain statutory relief provisions to avoid losing our REIT qualification and suffering adverse tax consequences. As a result, we may be required to liquidate from our portfolio, or contribute to a TRS, otherwise attractive investments in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT. These actions could have the effect of reducing our income and amounts available for distribution to our shareholders. In addition, we may be required to make distributions to shareholders at disadvantageous times or when we do not have funds readily available for distribution, and may be unable to pursue investments that would otherwise be advantageous to us. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our ability to make, and, in certain cases, maintain ownership of, certain attractive investments.

Our TRSs may be limited in using certain tax benefits.

If a corporation undergoes an "ownership change" within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder, such corporation's ability to use net operating losses ("NOLs"), generated prior to the time of that

26

 << Previous Page | Next Page >>