What is the real estate excise tax?
Real estate excise tax is a tax on the sale of real estate. The tax also applies to transfers of controlling interests (50% or more) in entities that own property in the state.
Who is responsible for paying the excise tax?
Excise is the responsibility of the seller. It is due within 30 days of the date of the conveying document and must be paid before the document can be recorded or the mobile home title transferred.
How do I pay the tax?
County treasurers collect the state and local taxes, except for the tax that applies to acquisition of controlling interests which is reported directly to the Department of Revenue. Payment should be made by cash or check payable to the Kitsap County Treasurer. (We do allow for payment by card, but there are fees associated with this and it is not recommended.)
What rate do I pay?
The state tax rate is .0128. City and county rates vary depending on the area. The current rate for Kitsap County is .005, making the total tax collected on each transfer 1.78% + a $5 state technology fee.
What forms need to accompany the deed?
Washington State Law requires that a Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit be completed and signed prior to a deed being recorded to transfer ownership of real property. If you are transferring ownership of a manufactured/mobile home and you have not been to the Department of Licensing to eliminate the title after the mobile was affixed to your land, you will also need a Mobile Home Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit.
Excise affidavits must be filled out completely and signed by the grantor/seller and grantee/buyer, or an agent for each. Supplemental Statements can only be signed by the grantor and grantee, not an agent. Before a mobile home excise affidavit can be processed, property taxes must be paid in full for the year.
What does the State do with their portion of the funds collected?
1.3% of the state tax collected by counties is retained to cover administration costs. Of the net proceeds to the state, 2% goes into the public works assistance account, 4.1% to the education legacy account with remaining amounts going the general fund.
How do I create a deed?
When the Treasurer's Office processes a Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit, we are only checking that the affidavit is complete and matches the legal document that is being recorded. We are not legally qualified to interpret the document or the effect it will have once it is recorded. We can assist with choosing a Washington Administrative Code (WAC) that may apply to the transfer of property; however, it is the involved parties' obligation to prove the validity of the WAC chosen when their transaction is audited by the Department of Revenue.
There are a wide variety of attorneys and/or paralegals that can assist you with the completion of your real estate transfer. Please contact the Washington State Bar Association for a list of attorneys in your area.
Washington State Bar Association
1325 Fourth Ave Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98101