Real Estate Transfer Fee Common Questions - D

​Date of Conveyance

  1. What is the difference between "Date Recorded" and "Date of Conveyance"?

  2. Is it important the "Date of Conveyance" on the eRETR and the date of the deed match?

Deed of Trust

  1. Does a "Deed of Trust" need a transfer return when it is supposed to be similar to a real estate mortgage?

Deeds-Filing

  1. How should a real estate transfer return be completed when the deed lists the person's (or entity's) current name and alternate name or names?

  2. Can a paper PE-500 be used to record any deed?

Deeds-Multiple

  1. Does the Wisconsin Department of Revenue accept "one transaction - one return" where the Register of Deeds receives multiple deeds conveying different interests in the same property to the same grantee and there is only one receipt filed?

Developers

  1. Developer (landowner) and builder (improvement owner) are selling to the same party. How many deeds can be used for this conveyance?

  2. What is the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's position on value subject to transfer fee on a conveyance of a vacant lot with a contract to construct a building?

Domestic Partners

  1. What information is available for the Domestic Partner Fee Exemption - state law (sec. 77.25(8n), Wis. Stats.)?

  2. Does an employer's extension of benefits to domestic partners qualify a conveyance between domestic partners for an exemption from transfer fee under state law (sec. 77.25(8n), Wis. Stats.)?

  3. If a domestic partnership agreement is recorded in the county of primary residence, is a separate domestic partner recording required when placing the names of both domestic partners on the deed of a property located in a different county?

Domestication

  1. Is a deed filed to give notice of a domestication under state law (sec. 178.1151, Wis. Stats.) exempt from transfer fee?


Date of Conveyance

  1. What is the difference between "Date Recorded" and "Date of Conveyance"?

    • Date recorded - date the Register of Deeds records the instrument of conveyance

    • Date of Conveyance - date the instrument is signed and delivered per state law (sec. 706.02(1), Wis. Stats.)

    • Note: The date recorded and date of conveyance may be the same date if both actions occur on the same day

  2. Is it important the "Date of Conveyance" on the eRETR and the date of the deed match?

  3. Yes. It is very important the dates match or be within a few business days. The "Date of Conveyance" is the date the deed is "delivered to the buyer" which is interpreted as the "date of closing" even though the deed may have been signed on a different date. If the date of closing is changed to a different month or into the next year from what was originally entered, the eRETR "Date of Conveyance" must be changed.

    Example 1: Tax exempt property is sold from a church to an individual. The deed is signed December 15, 2014, and closing is January 6, 2015. The date of conveyance was entered as December 15, 2014. The tax exempt property was put on tax roll for 2015. The new owner sued and won the case for another year of exemption as "date of closing" was after January 1.

    Example 2: A claim for the Lottery & Gaming Credit for a primary residence is similar to Example 1.  Since the deed is signed on December 15, 2014, and closing is scheduled for January 6, 2015, the property does not qualify as a Primary Residence as of January 1, 2015. Therefore, the Lottery & Gaming Credit would not apply until January 2016.

Deed of Trust

  1. Does a "Deed of Trust" need a transfer return when it is supposed to be similar to a real estate mortgage?

  2. Yes. A "Deed of Trust" replaces or serves as a mortgage where legal title to real property is placed with a Trustee, and is considered a conveyance. If there is a default, the trustee would convey the property to the lender or successful bidder. This is different from a mortgage since a mortgage is not a conveyance of real property. For a default of a mortgage, a deed conveying the real property interest would have to be given by the borrower or sheriff to the lender or successful bidder. The exemption under state law (sec. 77.25(10), Wis. Stats.), applies to "Deeds of Trust" when used in place of a mortgage.

Deeds - Filing

  1. How should a real estate transfer return be completed when the deed lists the person's (or entity's) current name and alternate name or names?

    The eRETR asks for the grantor's or grantee's name. As with a Wisconsin income tax form, we ask for a "legal name." Anything after "a/k/a" or "f/k/a" is not the grantor's or grantee's legal name and is not required on the transfer return.

  2. Can a paper Form PE-500 be used to record any deed?

    No. State law (sec. 77.22(2), Wis. Stats.), requires that all real estate transfer returns are filed electronically.

Deeds - Multiple

  1. Does the Wisconsin Department of Revenue accept "one transaction - one return" where the Register of Deeds receives multiple deeds conveying different interests in the same property to the same grantee and there is only one receipt filed?

    No. Each instrument conveying an interest in real estate requires its own eRETR receipt. A portion of the total real estate value conveyed must be allocated to each return.

    Example: Three (3) siblings sell their individual interests in parcel A to X. Each sibling files a separate deed. Each sibling must file a transfer return for his/her respective interest transferred to X showing one third of the real estate value and the fee calculated on that value.

    The eRETR makes it easier to complete multiple returns with similar information by making a "template".

    • Complete an eRETR for the first deed. Before or after clicking the green "Submit" button, save the file on your computer under a name that identifies it with the deed. Do not change the ".dor" extension.

    • Submit, print and attach the receipt to that deed

    • Return to the "Filer'" page and select "restore saved information" to access the saved eRETR and make changes for the second deed

    • Repeat these steps for the remaining returns

Developers

  1. Developer (landowner) and builder (improvement owner) are selling to the same party. How many deeds can be used for this conveyance?

    Either one or two deeds can be used. If only one deed is used then both the developer and the builder are listed as grantors on the deed and the Real Estate Transfer Return. If two deeds are used (one for the developer and one for the landowner) then each has his/her own respective transfer return. The developer's return indicates the property type as "land only" on the Physical Description page of the transfer return. The builder's return indicates the property type as "Other" and provides the explanation of "improvements only".

  2. What is the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's position on value subject to transfer fee on a conveyance of a vacant lot with a contract to construct a building?

    The value subject to transfer fee is only the value of the real property at the time of conveyance. The improvement value is included with the lot value only on that percentage of improvement completed at the time of conveyance.

    Examples:

    • If there is only a vacant lot with a construction contract - lot only

    • Improvement is 50 percent completed - lot plus 50 percent of the value of the improvement

    • Improvement is 100 percent completed - lot plus total value of the improvement

    Note: This position is in accordance with R & R Development Group, LLC v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, (CCH) ¶400-407 (WTAC Feb. 11, 1999).

Domestic Partners

  1. What information is available for the Domestic Partner Fee Exemption - state law (sec. 77.25(8n), Wis. Stats.)?

    The 2009 budget bill, 2009 Wisconsin Act 28, created an exemption from transfer fee for conveyances "between an individual and his or her domestic partner under chapter 770." The domestic partner exemption, under state law (sec. 77.25(8n), Wis. Stats.), was effective as of July 1, 2009. This exemption does not apply to a conveyance prior to that date. The eRETR's Fee Computation page includes the domestic partner exemption under sec. 77.25(8n), Wis. Stats. To qualify for the domestic partner exemption, the grantor and grantee must get a declaration of domestic partnership as defined in Chapter 770 and record it with the Register of Deeds where they maintain their primary residence prior to the conveyance. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services with questions on the domestic partner declaration: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/vitalrecords/applications.htm

  2. Does an employer's extension of benefits to domestic partners qualify a conveyance between domestic partners for an exemption from transfer fee under sec. 77.25(8n), Wis. Stats.?

  3. No. For a conveyance to qualify for an exemption under state law (sec. 77.25(8n), Wis. Stats.), the individuals must comply with sec. 770.07, Wis. Stats. Specifically, a domestic partnership agreement must be recorded with the Register of Deeds in the county of primary residence prior to the date of conveyance.

  4. If a domestic partnership agreement is recorded in the county of primary residence, is a separate domestic partner recording required when placing the names of both domestic partners on the deed of a property located in a different county?

  5. No. State law (sec. 770.07, Wis. Stats.), requires that the declaration of domestic partnership is made to the clerk of the county where at least one of the individuals has resided for at least 30 days immediately before applying. Sec. 770.10, Wis. Stats., also requires recording the declaration with the Register of Deeds of the county where they maintain their primary residence. Once the declaration of domestic partnership is properly recorded, it can be applied in any county in the state.

Domestication

  1. Is a deed filed to give notice of a domestication under state law (sec. 178.1151, Wis. Stats.) exempt from transfer fee?

    Yes. A deed filed to give notice of a domestication under state law (sec. 178.1151, Wis. Stats.) is exempt from transfer fee per state law (sec. 77.25(6t), Wis. Stats.).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

MS 6-97
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Local Government Services Bureau
PO Box 8971
Madison, WI 53708-8971
Phone: (608) 264-6885 or (608) 266-1594
Fax: (608) 264-6897
Email additional questions to DORERealEstateTransfer@wisconsin.gov

​May 4, 2016