to our stockholders.
We are not treated as holding the assets of our TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporation or as receiving any income that the subsidiary earns. Rather, the stock issued by a taxable subsidiary to us is an asset in our hands, and we treat the dividends paid to us from such taxable subsidiary, if any, as income. This treatment can affect our income and asset test calculations, as described below. Because we do not include the assets and income of our TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporations in determining our compliance with the REIT requirements, we may use such entities to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude us from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. For example, we may use our TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporations to conduct activities that give rise to certain categories of income or to conduct activities that, if conducted by us directly, could be treated in our hands as non-real estate related or prohibited transactions.
The TRS rules limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation. Further, the rules impose a 100% excise tax on transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT that are not conducted on an arm's-length basis. We intend that all of our transactions with our TRSs will be conducted on an arm's-length basis.
Qualified REIT Subsidiaries
A qualified REIT subsidiary (or "QRS") is any corporation in which we own 100% of such corporation's outstanding stock and for which no election has been made to classify it as a taxable REIT subsidiary. As such, their assets, liabilities and income would generally be treated as our assets, liabilities and income for purposes of each of the below REIT qualification tests. We currently do not have a QRS.
In order to continue to qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income requirements on an annual basis.
At least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year, excluding gross income from sales of inventory or dealer property in “prohibited transactions” and certain hedging transactions, generally must be derived from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property, including interest income derived from mortgage loans secured by real property (including, generally, agency mortgage-backed securities and certain other types of mortgage-backed securities), “rents from real property,” dividends received from other REITs, and gains from the sale of real estate assets, as well as specified income from temporary investments.
At least 95% of our gross income in each taxable year, excluding gross income from prohibited transactions and certain hedging transactions, must be derived from some combination of income that qualifies under the 75% gross income test described above, as well as other dividends, interest, and gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, which need not have any relation to real property.
Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test described above to the extent that the obligation upon which such interest is paid is secured by a mortgage on real property. If we receive interest income with respect to a mortgage loan that is secured by both real property and other property, and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property on the date that we acquired or originated the mortgage loan, the interest income will be apportioned between the real property and the other collateral, and our income from the arrangement will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test only to the extent that the interest is allocable to the real property. Even if a loan is not secured by real property, or is under secured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test.
We treat our investments in agency mortgage-backed securities either as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (“REMIC”) for federal income tax purposes and, therefore, treat all interest income from our agency mortgage-backed securities as qualifying income for the 95% gross income test. In the case of agency mortgage-backed securities treated as interests in grantor trusts, we treat these as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. Such mortgage loans generally qualify as real estate assets to the extent that they are secured by real property. The interest on such mortgage loans are qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property, as discussed above. In the case of agency mortgage-backed securities treated as interests in a REMIC, income derived from REMIC interests is generally treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income tests. If less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest qualifies for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include imbedded interest rate swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holder of the