Sunday, May 8, 2011

Do I Have To Pay Taxes When I Sell My MA Home?

“The only things certain in life are death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin

Massachusetts Deed Stamps / Transfer Tax

Much to every Massachusetts home sellers’ chagrin, there is a state tax on selling your home. Sometimes called deed stamps, transfer tax or excise tax, it’s a tax nevertheless, and sellers must pay it at closing. For every Massachusetts county except Barnstable and the Islands, the tax is $4.56 per thousand of the purchase price on the deed. For example, for a $500,000 purchase, the seller must pay $2,280 in taxes. That’s not chump change! In Barnstable County, the tax is $5.70 per thousand. Dukes (Martha’s Vineyard) and Nantucket counties charge an additional 2% land bank fee.

On the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the transfer/deed tax will appear on line 1203.

The tax does not apply to transactions up to $100.00. That is why most “gift” transfers or between husband and wife recite consideration for $10.00 or the like, so as to avoid the deed/transfer tax.

Sellers, make sure you factor in this transfer tax, as well as the broker commission, when calculating the amount of your sale proceeds.

Courtesy of Richard Vetstein of The Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog

Theresa D'Antuono

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