Real Estate Transfer Fee Common Questions H-J

Interest Exchange

  1. Is a deed filed to give notice of an interest exchange under state law (sec. 178.1131, Wis. Stats.) exempt from transfer fee?

Joint Tenancy

  1. I'm preparing a transfer tax return to accompany a deed where the owner of a single-family residence is a single male. He requested that I prepare a deed from him (as sole owner) to himself and his cohabitant (as joint tenants). The couple does not plan to marry. I have the following questions:

  2. In filing a quit claim deed from a surviving spouse disclaiming joint tenancy in the real estate of the decedent under sec. 854.13(2) (b), Wis. Stats., the effect is as though the surviving joint tenant had predeceased the decedent. Is a transfer return required? Also, would a return be required when the children of the decedent disclaimed any interest in the estate and they had no prior interest or title in the real estate?


Interest Exchange

  1. Is a deed filed to give notice of an interest exchange under state law (sec. 178.1131, Wis. Stats.) exempt from transfer fee?

    Yes. A deed filed to give notice of an interest exchange under state law (sec. 178.1131, Wis. Stats.) is exempt from transfer fee per state law (sec. 77.25(6q), Wis. Stats.).

Joint Tenancy

  1. I'm preparing a transfer tax return to accompany a deed where the owner of a single-family residence is a single male. He requested that I prepare a deed from him (as sole owner) to himself and his cohabitant (as joint tenants). The couple does not plan to marry. I have the following questions:

    • When figuring the transfer ​fee, should I figure it on half the value of the real estate or should I figure it on the entire value?

      Transfer fee is due on one-half of the fair market value since one-half of the value is being conveyed.

    • Grantor/Grantee relationship: Is it none? Or is it "Other" with the explanation of "cohabitants"?

      Since either one applies, you may check either one or both. If you select "Other," you must provide an explanation.

    • Type of Transfer: Should I select "Other" and explain it as a "Conveyance" with no explanation?

      You can check "Other" and explain it as "cohabitants."

    • Ownership interest transferred: Should I select "Full" or "Other"? Should I explain it as "Grantor is conveying a half interest to Grantee?"

      Select "Other" and explain it as "Grantor is conveying a half interest to Grantee."

    • Does Grantor retain any of the following rights: Should I select "None" (since he is giving up his rights as an individual owner and conveying them to himself and his cohabitant as joint tenants)? Or should it be "Other" and explained with "Grantor retains a half interest"?

      Select "Other" and explain it as "Grantor retains a half interest."

  2. In filing a quit claim deed from a surviving spouse disclaiming joint tenancy in the real estate of the decedent under state law (sec. 854.13(2) (b), Wis. Stats.), the effect is as though the surviving joint tenant predeceased the decedent. (a) Is a transfer return required? (b) Also, is a return required when the decedent's children disclaim any interest in the estate and have no prior interest or title in the real estate?

    (a) Yes. A transfer return is required. However, the spousal deed is exempt from fee per state law (sec. 77.25(11), Wis. Stats.), as being "By will, descent or survivorship." It is assumed that spouses may also have an interest in the property under marital property law.

    (b) For the children, since they had no prior interest or title in the property, this would be exempt from return and fee, according to sec.77.21 (1), Wis. Stats.

    Note: You should state on the document something to the effect, "This is a disclaimer only and not a conveyance as defined by sec. 77.21(1), Wis. Stats, and therefore is exempt from fee imposed under sec. 77.22(1), Wis. Stats." If they had an interest in the property, then the use of the exemption per sec. 77.25(11), Wis. Stats., would apply. We instructed the Register of Deeds that they should not accept exempt recordings verbally and the person recording the document should place the exemption on the document when no return is furnished.

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