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San Francisco Transfer Tax

Transfer tax is a transaction fee imposed on the transfer of land or real property from one person (or entity) to another.

The transfer tax rate is variable, depending on the purchase price OR the fair market value, as shown in the chart below.

If entire value or consideration is ...

Tax rate for entire value or consideration is ...

More than $100 but less than or equal to $250,000

$2.50 for each $500 or portion thereof

More than $250,000 but less than $1,000,000

$3.40 for each $500 or portion thereof

$1,000,000 or more but less than $5,000,000

$3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof

$5,000,000 or more but less than $10,000,000

$11.25 for each $500 or portion thereof

$10,000,000 or more but less than $25,000,000

$13.75 for each $500 or portion thereof

$25,000,000 or more

$15.00 for each $500 or portion thereof

Additionally, leaseholds with a term of 35 years or more are subject to transfer tax.  The authority to collect transfer taxes and list of documentary transfer tax exemptions are codified in Article 12C of the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code.

Exemptions will only be made if the recording party falls under one of the documentary transfer tax exemptions. If a transfer tax exemption is claimed,  written documentation proving the exemption must be submitted at the time of recording, otherwise transfer taxes are due.  Written documentation includes, but is not limited to, copies of trust and formation documents of legal entity (i.e. LLC operating agreement, Corporate By Laws/Minutes/Register, partnership agreement.)

A Transfer Tax Affidavit must accompany all documents submitted for recordation in which transfer tax is due, or an exemption is claimed.

Do These Common Types of Transfers Cause a Transfer Tax?

1.       Between a married couple? No

2.       Between domestic partners? No

3.       Gifts? No

4.       Inheritance? No

5.       Add or remove co-signor or co-owner for refinancing purposes? Yes

6.       Between parent(s) and child(ren)? Yes

7.       Individual(s) to/from his/her own trust? No

8.       Individual(s) to his/her own Limited Liability Company or Limited Partnership or   Corporation? No

From the San Francisco Assessors Website:

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