Real Estate Transfer Fee Common Questions - F


Federal Revenue Stamp





Can "Farmland Use Value" be used for Total Value of Real Estate when agricultural property is being conveyed?

  • No. Use value assessment is a method of assessing agricultural land for state law (ch. 70, Wis. Stats.), and is not used for value on the transfer return per definitions under sec. 77.21, Wis. Stats. Value for transfer fee purposes is defined in sec. 77.21(3)(a), Wis. Stats.:

    "Value" means:

    1. In the case of any conveyance not a gift, the amount of the full actual consideration paid therefore or to be paid, including the amount of any lien or liens thereon; and

    2. In case of a gift, or any deed of nominal consideration or any exchange of properties, the estimated price the property would bring in an open market and under the then prevailing market conditions in a sale between a willing seller and a willing buyer, both conversant with the property and at prevailing general price levels.

Federal Revenue Stamp

If a deed has the Federal Revenue Stamps on it, how do you calculate the price paid for the property from these stamps?

  • Prior to 1969, the United States government had a revenue stamp with a rate of $0.55 on each $500.00 (or fractional part thereof), of the sale price or value of the property conveyed. Values of less than $100.00 were exempt from the stamp.

Is the Wisconsin Department of Revenue responsible for paying fees to the Register of Deeds when requesting copies of documents?

  • No. According to state law (sec. 59.43(2) (b), Wis. Stats.), the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is exempt from the fee.


I am selling my house and am giving back a "second mortgage" which may or may not be forgiven. How is the transfer form filled out for "Grantees Financing?"

  • You must check more than one box. Check "Obtained from seller" and any additional box showing where you obtained the primary financing.

  • In addition to a second mortgage, for any type of financial arrangement from the seller

    (ex: credit, gift, donation) you must check "Obtained from seller" in addition to any other box showing where you obtained the balance of the financing.


Four people (two couples) purchased real estate. All four were named grantees on the deed. Couple A provided the purchase price and made an agreement with Couple B to contribute. Couple B cannot pay and will quit claim to Couple A. Is this transaction exempt from fee as a deed in lieu of foreclosure?

  • Yes. Under state law (sec. 706.05, Wis. Stats.), these type of documents (mortgage, agreement)can be recorded. In Wisconsin, a mortgage is considered valid whether it is recorded or not. However, it is in the best interest of the lender to record the mortgage or agreement to protect their lien interest in the real estate.


MS 6-97
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

​May 4, 2016