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Documentary Transfer Tax

Posted by Lauren Rios | Jan 21, 2022

Rev. & Tax. Code § 11911 authorizes California cities and counties to impose a documentary transfer tax on transfers of real property for consideration. Rev. & Tax. Code § 11921 et seq. provides for statutory exemptions from this tax. One of the exemptions applies to “any transfer between an individual or individuals and a legal entity or between legal entities that results solely in a change in the method of holding title to the realty and in which proportional ownership interests in the realty, whether represented by stock, membership interest, partnership interest, cotenancy interest, or otherwise, directly or indirectly, remain the same immediately after the transfer.” Another commonly applicable exemption is the exemption for transfers by gift during life or at death. Many counties provide a list of specific transactions that are exempt from this tax, specifying the specific language that should be put on the documents being submitted for recording. For example, where there is no consideration for the transfer, as in the transfer from the settlor into a revocable living trust, sample language might be “Transfer of grantor's interest into a revocable living trust, not pursuant to a sale. No consideration. Rev. & Tax Code § 11930.” Click here for San Mateo County's list of common exemptions.

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Lauren Rios

Attorney Lauren Rios established her law practice on the philosophy that everyday people deserve access to the exemplary services of a big firm, but with the personal touch of a smaller firm. This belief is reflected in her delivery provided to her clients throughout California.

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