What is Deed Tax and Who Pays It?

In Minnesota there is a tax on the transfer of property, commonly called the deed tax. Typically the tax is paid by the seller of property, although a purchase agreement can be negotiated to have the buyer pay the tax. The tax is due at the time a deed is recorded and is collected by the county where the deed is recorded.

The rate is 0.33% of the sales price, but there is a minimum tax amount of $1.65 ($1.70 in Hennepin and Ramsey counties). The tax on a $150,000 sale is calculated as $150,000 x .0033 = $495. The amount must be written on the top of the deed, so it is also a handy way to calculate the past sale price of a property—at least since 1987 when the current rate was established. There are some limited exemptions from deed tax such as divorce settlements or transactions involving the federal government.

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