In the realm of real estate transactions, taxes play a significant role, and property tax certificates are a crucial component that both buyers and sellers need to be aware of. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of property tax certificates and how they impact different parties involved in the process.
Dispelling the Myth of Federal Sales Tax
Back in 2012, there were widespread misconceptions about real estate transactions being subject to a 3.8% federal sales tax starting January 2013. However, these claims were baseless, and both the Journal of Accountancy and the National Association of Realtors stepped in to clarify that there was no such tax on the transaction itself, similar to sales tax on retail purchases.
Property Taxes for Existing Property Owners
Once you become a homeowner or if you already own a property, you become responsible for paying property taxes, also known as real estate taxes. These taxes are collected annually by your local government based on an assessment of your property’s value. The mode of payment for property taxes varies from state to state; some states may require quarterly payments, while others may require semi-annual or annual payments. Generally, property taxes are payable to the local tax collector. Typically, property taxes are included as part of your monthly mortgage payment.
As you continue to own the property, even after your mortgage is paid off, you’ll still be required to pay property taxes regularly according to your state’s tax schedule. The amount you pay will vary over time as the tax-assessed value of your home changes each year
Capital Gains Tax for Home Sellers
When you decide to sell your home, you may be subject to capital gains tax. This tax applies when the selling price of your home exceeds its “cost basis,” which includes the initial purchase price, associated purchase costs, and the cost of significant improvements made since the purchase.
The capital gains tax is calculated based on the profit (gain) made from the sale, not the net proceeds or sale price. Homeowners may be eligible for certain exclusions to reduce their capital gains tax. For instance, if you’ve owned and used the property as your primary residence for at least two out of the last five years, you can exclude up to $250,000 (or $500,000 if married and filing jointly) from your capital gains.
Real Estate Transfer Tax for Home Buyers
As a homebuyer, you may encounter a real estate transfer tax, which is imposed by some states during property transactions. The amount of this tax varies depending on the state and is due at the time of closing. In most cases, buyers and sellers split the closing costs evenly, which means you won’t necessarily be responsible for the full amount of the transfer tax.
The Importance of Property Tax Certificates
Property tax certificates play a crucial role in real estate transactions by providing a comprehensive report on the property’s tax status. This includes information on assessed value, outstanding taxes, liens, and exemptions. Buyers and sellers rely on these certificates to ensure transparency and make informed decisions during the transaction process.
Conclusion: Trust Orchestrate for Smooth Real Estate Transactions
Navigating property taxes and tax certificates can be a complex process, but with Orchestrate’s expertise in mortgage and title solutions, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be smoother and more transparent.
At Orchestrate, we understand the significance of property tax certificates and provide comprehensive and reliable solutions to help you make informed decisions. Whether you’re a homeowner, a buyer, or a seller, our team of experienced professionals is here to assist you every step of the way.
Choose Orchestrate for seamless real estate transactions and let us handle the complexities of property tax certificates, allowing you to focus on finding your dream home or closing the deal with confidence.