3.8% Sales Tax on Real Estate sales?


I got the email, too, so it is nice to have it perfectly clarified - Let me know if you have concerns.  I will do my best to get you an answer

Courtney 206-850-8841


An agent in our office received this in her e-mail.  She asked her husband (the real estate attorney) if it were true.

Neither of them had heard anything about this.  You would think that if this were true, one of the two of them, would know something about it.


I immediately hit the internet
searching for the answer. 
It must be true, after all, it says
"verified" right in the e-mail itself.

Well, as you can imagine it's only fractionally true.  If you happen to run across this e-mail, or a client of yours calls panicky after reading this e-mail, you'll know the facts:

According to FactCheck.com only a tiny percentage of home sellers will pay the tax. Only those with incomes over $200,000 a year (or $250,000 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to it.

And even for those who have such high incomes, the tax still won’t apply to the first $250,000 on profits from the sale of a personal residence — or to the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple selling their home.

I think this stands repeating:  ONLY those with incomes of $200,000 or more will be subject to it (or $250,000 for married couples filing jointly).  And the tax will only be on the portion of your PROFIT that is above $250,000, (or $500,000 for married couples).

So... instead of an additional $15,200 tax on the sale of your $400,000 home.  It's possible you'd have ZERO additional tax if you don't make $200,000 a year.  And if you do make more than that... and you make no profit... you'd still have a ZERO additional tax burden.  Let's say you were lucky, you manage to make $300,000 a year in income, and you sold your home for a $100,000 profit.  You'd only be paying $3,800. in additional tax.  $11,400 less than the inflammatory e-mail suggests.

And snopes.com has a slightly different take, still saying that it's wrong and misleading, and that someone making over $200,000 who sells their $2 million dollar home for a $750,000 profit would only have a $9,500 tax burden.

This is, of course, in additional to any existing state and local taxes you already have.

I don't know exactly what the agenda is, of the sender of this e-mail... (although I could venture a guess, and I imagine it's somewhat political)... but TRUTH, was not on that agenda.

UPDATE:  Turns out my buddy Matt Stigliano wrote a great post about this very subject (and did a better job than I did) in April!!

ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate



Courtney Cooper

Seattle Realtor, Owner/Designated Broker/EcoBroker

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate



(Seattle real estate - search all MLS listings from all companies for FREE), SeattleAfloat.com (or look for them for sale: Seattle Houseboats), GreenLakeLoop.com (Green Lake Blog), QueenAnneBoulevard.com (Queen Anne Blog), MagnoliaView.com (Magnolia Neighborhood Blog)

About Me: 

Seattle real estate has been a huge part of my life for well over a decade since I began my career in real estate,but also before that time when I was in the process of purchasing my own first home.  Buying your first home can be quite overwhelming,but I have managed to help many first time home buyers along the way.

Move up Seattle buyers and other types of specialized purchasing is a great passion of mine!  I love Seattle houseboats and you can find me down on the docks of Lake Union and Portage Bay several times a week.   Other aspects of Seattle real estate that I adore include Queen Anne Real Estate,Wallingford Real EstateBallard Real EstateGreen Lake Real EstateLaurelhurst Real EstateMagnolia Real Estate,andSeattle Waterfront Real Estate.

seattle luxury homesSeattle Luxury Homes......

In addition to being a Seattle residential broker and founder of Cooper Jacobs & Seattle Afloat, I am also the Director of the Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Platinum Properties Luxury Home Division.  This is our exclusive product for high end and distinctive homes catering to high net worth buyers and sellers across the Puget Sound.  For an example of what we have done, just look to our exclusive listing of The Admiral's House in Magnolia.  With our detailed and tech savvy brokers we take care of every detail imaginable and advertise in ways other luxury brokers can't. We have a book of high end clientele and a large International presence to gain maximum exposure while still being discreet. Please let me know if you would like to set up a private Platinum Properties consultation:  platinum@cooperjacobs.com

©Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Platinum Properties

Commercial Real Estate..........

We have brokers at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate that are long time members of CBA (Commercial Brokers Association) and I am the current head of the Cooper Jacobs Commercial Division in an effort to promote our commercial brokers to provide excellent commercial real estate services to the Seattle commercial real estate industry.  With a background in accounting and management, it is my great pleasure to coordinate our Seattle commercial brokers.


About Cooper Jacobs Real Estate's Seattle Branch:

 My office at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate LLC is located centrally near all my favorite Puget Sound neighborhoods just a few blocks up from Lake Union in Seattle’s Wallingford.  Cooper Jacobs Real Estate is a wonderful place filled with talented Seattle real estate brokers and I count myself extremely lucky that I get to spend so much time with these wonderful people.  We specialize in different Seattle neighborhoods and suburbs in both residential and commercial real estate and are all very passionate and excited about each of our favorite Seattle neighborhoods and industries!

©Courtney Cooper ©Cooper Jacobs Real Estate LLC

0 commentsCourtney Cooper • September 21 2010 10:14AM
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