Real Estate Transfer Fee Common Questions

Bankruptcy

  1. Is a bankruptcy ordered real estate conveyance exempt from a transfer fee?
  2. Will a sale that is part of a confirmed plan of reorganization under 11 U.S.C. § 1146(a) that has been approved by the court, be exempt from a transfer fee?

Boyfriend/Girlfriend

  1. A girlfriend and boyfriend purchased a house together. The mortgage is in the boyfriend's name and is more than the value of the real estate. Title is in both names. Girlfriend is signing over her ½ interest to the boyfriend. Are a return and a transfer fee due?

Bankruptcy

  1. Is a bankruptcy ordered real estate conveyance exempt from a transfer fee?

    No. Under state administrative rule (sec. Tax 15.03(10), Wis. Adm. Code), a conveyance order by the bankruptcy court is subject to transfer fee.

  2. Will a sale that is part of a confirmed plan of reorganization under 11 U.S.C. § 1146(a) that has been approved by the court, be exempt from a transfer fee?
    • Yes. According to 11 U.S.C. § 1146(a), Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, "the issuance, transfer, or exchange of a security, or the making or delivery of an instrument of transfer under a plan confirmed under section 1129 of this title, may not be taxed under any law imposing a stamp tax or similar tax."
    • For the sale to be exempt from a transfer fee, it must occur AFTER the Bankruptcy Court confirms the plan. To complete the transfer return, use state law (sec. 77.25(14), Wis. Stats.), for the exemption from fee. For "Type of Transfer," check "Other" and provide the explanation "Sale pursuant to an approved plan under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code which is not subject to tax as stated in 11 U.S.C. § 1146(a)."

Boyfriend/Girlfriend

  1. A girlfriend and boyfriend purchased a house together. The mortgage is in the boyfriend's name and is more than the value of the real estate. Title is in both names.  Girlfriend is signing over her ½ interest to the boyfriend. Are a return and a transfer fee due?

    A deed and an eRETR must be completed to convey title to real estate. There is no exemption for this conveyance. A transfer fee is due on ½ of the total value of the real estate conveyed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Equalization Bureau
P.O. Box 8971 MS 6-97
Madison, WI 53708-8971
Phone: (608) 264-6885 or (608) 266-1594
Fax: (608) 264-6897
E-Mail Additional Questions to eretr@revenue.wi.gov

March 19, 2014