Recorder of Deeds
Real Estate Transfer Tax
There is a State Tax and a Municipal Tax each amounting to 1% of the value of the property or interest being conveyed. This is not necessarily the sales price. The state and local governments do not care who pays it as long as it is paid. The Recorder of Deeds Office will not accept a deed unless the tax is paid at the time of recording. In most sales agreements, the seller and the buyer split the tax. However, the new owner is responsible if there is any question over the amount of the tax paid.
Some transactions are exempt. Conveyances between husband and wife, parent and child, grandparent and grandchild and brothers and sisters. A transfer between ex-spouses (divorce) is exempt from the transfer tax. There are some other exemptions allowed in certain situations. It is best to consult your attorney or contact our office concerning them. Note that non-profit corporations are NOT exempt. In most cases the transactions are taxable.
Statement of Value
This is a specific State form that is used either to set the value of the property being conveyed or to give the reason for exemption. It must be presented in duplicate and is forwarded by us to the Department of Revenue.
Anytime the transfer tax is not paid or anytime the true value of the land is not shown on the deed (such as in a $1.00 consideration), a statement of value is needed. State investigators then check the property and see if the value is as stated or if the reason given for exemption is valid.
Additional Transfer Tax
When the state investigator determines the property being sold is worth more than stated or if the reason for exemption is not valid, additional transfer tax may be assessed. A "Determination" is sent directly to you by the State Department of Revenue. The additional State Tax and interest are paid to them. They issue a receipt to our office to be recorded showing the taxes that were due and paid.
Bucks County Office of Recorder of Deeds
Joseph J. Szafran, Record of Deeds
Bucks County Courthouse
55 East Court St, 2nd Floor
Doylestown, PA 18901