Property Transfer Tax Return Filing System Help

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

FOR TRANSFERS OCURRING AFTER 11/18/2013


Welcome to the online help tutorial for filing your Vermont Transfer Tax return electronically (ePTTR). For additional training on the system, please see the ePTTR Training Area on our website. If you have any questions, please email pttrexaminer@state.vt.us.


ACCESS FEE:

There is a fee of $5.00 for the use and maintenance of this service. The fee is due whether a tax is paid or not. The fee is paid to the Department of Taxes along with the tax.

WHEN IS A PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX RETURN REQUIRED TO BE FILED?

The property transfer tax is a tax on the transfer by deed of title to real property in Vermont. A Property Transfer Tax Return must be filed with a town clerk whenever a deed that shows the transfer of title to real property is delivered to a town clerk for recording. A town clerk cannot record a deed unless it is accompanied by a completed Property Transfer Tax Return. The town will file this return with the Department within 30 days of receipt.

WHO IS LIABLE FOR THE TAX?

The buyer (transferee) is liable for the transfer tax.

WHEN IS THE TAX DUE?

The tax is due at the time of transfer, the date of closing.

WHERE IS THE TAX PAID?

The tax is paid directly to:
Vermont Department of Taxes, Property Transfer Tax,
133 State Street, Montpelier VT 05633

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE DEEDS FOR PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX PURPOSES?

The following documents are considered to be deeds and must be accompanied by a completed Property Transfer Tax Return (PT-172) when they are recorded: any warranty deed; quitclaim deed; an instrument in which the grantee holds equitable title and has the right to possession, such as a bond for deed, title bond, contract to convey, executory contract for sale, installment sale, or lease for a deed; quitclaim deed, sheriff’s deed or other deed; bill of sale; order of a board, commission or court; or other instrument evidencing a transfer of title to real property or a grant of a life estate, perpetual easement and all leases. No return is required to be filed when the following documents are delivered to a town clerk: mortgage deed; assignment of mortgage; subrogation of mortgage; full release or discharge of mortgage; attachment; lien; license to sell; agreement to sell; option to buy; deed of a cemetery plot; or utility line easement purchased by a public utility or municipality for $500 or less, disclaimers pursuant to 14 V.S.A. Chapter 83.

Is it mandatory to use the ePTTR submission service to file a Vermont Property Transfer Tax return?

It is not mandatory to use the electronic submission service. You may use the booklet copy of the return at any time.

I have used the ePTTR service and would like to know where I send the transfer tax payment.

All transfer tax payments are sent to the Vermont Department of Taxes with form PT-173 payment voucher.

Since the return is now electronically filed, can I also pay electronically?

Yes, when completing the online return in the Rates and Payment section, you can choose the ACH debit payment or paper check method. A PT-173 will print out with the PT-172 as your receipt of the transaction. You can opt to set the payment date up to two days after closing.

Can I still pay the transfer tax with a paper check?

Yes, when completing the online return in the Rates and Payment section select ‘I will mail a paper check’. A form PT-173 payment voucher will print out at the same time as the PT-172. This always accompanies the check you send to the department. A PT-173 is also is included a booklet return, use Buyer 1’s information to complete the form. A PT-173 must accompany all payments made with a paper check to the Tax department.

What is the $5.00 access fee and is it part of the transfer tax?

The access fee is for the programming and maintenance of the electronic Property Transfer Tax Return service. This fee is paid along with the tax due as part of the property transfer tax payment.

I have used the ePTTR service with an exempt transfer, is there a tax due?

No tax is due.

How do I pay the $5.00 access fee?

You pay the $5.00 access fee either using ACH debit or with a paper check with form PT-173 payment voucher and send these together to the Vermont Department of Taxes.

If the transfer tax is due at time of transfer, when is the transfer tax return due?

The transfer tax return is due on the date of recording, which is the day the deed and the PTTR are present for recording to the town.

What if I sent the transfer tax payment to the town by mistake?

Towns are instructed to return the payment to the person(s) who filed the return. The person who filed should immediately mail the payment with the PT-173 to the tax department to avoid a potential penalty and interest charge for late payment. A PT-173 can be found on our website or in the Property Transfer Tax Return Booklet.

Can I electronically file the LG-1, LG-2 and Real Estate Withholding forms?

At this time they are not available electronically. The forms are available on our website.

How do I save a local copy of the return to my computer, so either I or someone else can make future changes that will result in a completed return?

See tutorial on document save feature


HELPS TUTORIAL:

The system is set up to move thru the sections in order yet you may jump from one section to another by simply clicking on that section you wish to edit or complete. If you jump around sections or after review go back to a section, make sure once you have completed you ‘update’ the screen at the bottom right side before selecting another section or ‘next’. When you are finished with a section, a check mark will appear in the box showing it is complete. If you need further assistance you may email your questions to: pttrexaminer@state.vt.us

REQUIRED FIELDS: Anything marked with a red asterisks must be completed.

  • SELLERS:

  • For each seller identify which taxpayer type by selecting the appropriate box.
    - Entity means a Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Trust or Corporation which will have either a federal employer identification number (FEIN) or a social security number
    - Individual means a person(s) identified with a social security number
    - Non resident alien means a non citizen of the United States.
    Complete the data for that particular taxpayer type. Spell out names and addresses; DO NOT use "same", "as above" or any similar wording. Please complete an address for each transferor that is to be used after the sale. You may enter as many seller's and taxpayer types as you wish by clicking the "Add" button. When you are finished adding new sellers click "Next" to continue. If you need to update or delete a seller, choose the edit or delete button from the 'Entered Sellers' queue listed at the top of the screen.
    * If the non resident alien has a US identification number, choose individual


  • BUYERS:

  • For each Buyer identify which taxpayer type by selecting the appropriate box.
    - Entity means a Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Trust or Corporation which will have either a federal employer identification number (FEIN) or a social security number
    - Individual means a person(s) identified with a social security number
    - Non resident alien means a non citizen of the United States.
    Complete the data for that particular taxpayer type. Spell out names and addresses; DO NOT use "same, "as above" or any similar wording. Please complete an address for each transferor that is to be used after the sale. You may enter as many buyers and taxpayer types as you wish by clicking the "Add" button. When you are finished adding new buyers click the "Next"; button to continue. If you need to update or delete a buyer, choose the edit or delete button from the 'Entered Buyers' queue listed at the top of the screen.

    * If the non resident alien has a US identification number, choose individual.

  • PROPERTY INFORMATION:

  • If you answer yes or other to these questions, you will be prompted for additional information on the Follow Up Questions screen when you are finished with this screen. If there are no clarifying questions, then the screen will not appear.

    Property Location
    SPAN (School Property Account Number): From the drop down menu, choose the town and school code for where the property is located and then enter the remaining 5 digits identifying the property being transferred. The span number is generally located on the upper right of the local tax bill issued by the town.
    Number & Street or Road Name: Enter the physical property location of the property being transferred; such as 195 Main Street or Route 5 North. Do not enter PO Box or mailing address that is different from the property location.
    City or Town: This is automatically filled from the span number.
    Multiple City or Towns: If the property resides in more than one town, then click "Yes". The primary town address and information should be used for this screen. The primary town is the town where the homestead is claimed or in the case of vacant land, where the greatest amount of acreage is. There will be additional information requested about the additional towns on the Follow Up Questions screen.

    Property Transfer and Closing
    Date of Closing: List the date of the transfer by either entering the mm/dd/yyyy or click on the calendar and choose the date. Please remember that the ‘date of closing’ is the due date of the tax and the payment is sent directly to the Department with a form PT-173. See PT-173 instructions.
    Interest in Property: From the drop down menu, choose the interest conveyed. If the interest is an undivided___ interest, enter the percentage of interest on the Follow Up Questions screen.
    Land Size (Acres or fractions thereof): Enter the acreage being transferred in the primary town. The primary town is the town where the homestead is claimed or in the case of vacant land, where the greatest amount of acreage is. There will be additional information requested about the additional towns on the Follow Up Questions screen.
    Special Factors: If sale was between family members (blood or marriage), please enter the number from the list of exemptions.
    Have development rights been conveyed?: If developmental rights have been previously sold or conveyed or are being sold now, please check the box. However, if development rights and land are being sold in combination as one transaction, leave the box blank.
    Financing for this transfer: Please choose from the drop down menu the type of financing used: Conventional/Bank, Owner financing, or other financing (such as cash or trade).

    Property Type & Usage
    Type of Building Construction: Indicate the type of building construction for the primary building located on the property at the time of transfer. If selecting condominium, do not enter anything in Land Size above, doing so will make the choice disappear. If this happens, remove entry in Land Size. If the dwelling is newly or will be newly constructed, also select ‘New Residential Construction’. Check all that apply. On the Follow Up Questions screen enter the number of units transferred if it is a multi-family dwelling or condominium.
    Seller’s Use of Property BEFORE Transfer: Please choose from the drop down menu the primary use of the property prior to the sale regardless whether the occupant is the owner or lessee.
    Was this property rented BEFORE Transfer?: This refers to the status before the transfer.
    Buyer’s Use of Property AFTER Transfer: Please choose from the drop down menu the primary use of the property after the sale.
    Is this property to be rented AFTER transfer?: This refers to the status after the transfer.
    Was this property purchased by a tenant? Please indicate whether the property was purchased by a tenant.
    Does the buyer hold title to any adjoining property?: Please indicate whether the buyer of the property holds title to adjoining property.
    Is this property subject to a land use change tax lien?:

    1. If the land is now or was previously enrolled in the use value appraisal program for agricultural, forest or conservation land, it may be subject to a lien to secure payment of a land use change tax. 32 V.S.A. §3757(a)
    2. If enrolled property is transferred to another owner, the Buyer is entitled to continue enrollment of eligible property provided the buyer elects continuation of use value appraisal at the time of transfer, and **submits an Application, a Change of Ownership form and the applicable fees within 30 days after the PTTR has been received by the municipality for recording to the VT Department of Taxes, Director of Property Valuation and Review. 32 V.S.A. §5756(e)
    3. Seller must file a Discontinuance Notice if buyer elects not to continue and/or a Transfer of Ownership form to the Department of Taxes within 30 days of the transfer.

     - These forms are located on the Vermont Department of Taxes, PVR website: www.state.vt.us/tax/pvrcurrentuse.shtml
    Is this transfer exempt from Property Transfer Tax?: Please indicate whether the property is exempt from tax. If “yes” you will be asked further questions on the Follow Up Questions screen.

    Property Prices & Taxes
    Total Price Paid: Enter the total amount of consideration paid.
    Price Paid for Personal Property: Enter the total consideration paid or to be paid for personal property. The purchase and sale contract will have the type and value of the personal property being conveyed. Example: furnishings separately valued from the real estate with a value of $10,000.00.
    Price Paid for Real Property or if no consideration, enter Fair Market Value: Enter the total consideration paid minus price paid for personal property or amount to be paid for real property. You may use an appraisal or the towns listed value.
    State Type of Personal Property: Enter the type of personal property. Examples are furnishings and appliances separately valued in the purchase and sale contract.
    Is price paid for Real Property less than fair market value?: Please indicate if the real property was transferred for less than fair market value. Examples are gifts and bargain sales.
    Value of Purchaser’s Principle Residence included in Price Paid for Real Property for special tax rate: Enter either up to $100,000.00 in value to be taxed at 0.005 or up to $110,000.00 to be taxed at 0.000, (principal residence as defined in 32 V.S.A. §10002a).

    1. A dwelling may qualify as a principal residence even though the resident maintains an office or retail store in the dwelling. A principal residence also includes a multi-family dwelling of four units or less if the buyer will occupy at least one unit as a principal residence. If a dwelling contains five or more units, enter the prorated value of only that portion of the dwelling that will actually be occupied by the buyer as a principal residence. The buyer may also include as a principal residence land on which the buyer will construct and occupy a principal residence within two years.
    2. If the purchaser obtains a mortgage funded in part with a homeland grant through the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund or with the VHFA or U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has committed to make or purchase, enter up to $110,000. The first $110,000 in value is not taxed and the value in excess of $100,000 is taxed at (0.0125). Make sure to check “yes” in previous section “Is transfer exempt from Property Transfer tax” and use exemption “99” in the Follow Up Questions screen.
    3. Transfer of housing cooperative property, the sole purpose of which is to provide principal residences for all its members or shareholders, is taxed at (0.005) on the first $100,000 in value and (0.0125) of the value in excess of $100,000. If it ceases to be a housing cooperative within six years of the transfer, transferee must pay back any reduction in tax.

    Fair market value of property enrolled in Current Use program with a transfer date of 07/01/2011 and future, the special rate is repealed. For transfer dates of 06/30/2011 and earlier: Enter the value of any portion of the transferred property that is enrolled in the Current Use Program. Excluded land/buildings are not be included in the current use program value and should not be included in this value. Note: The land and dwelling may qualify for the lower rate for a purchaser’s principal residence.
    Fair market value of qualified working farm: Enter the value of any land (excluding buildings) that is not enrolled in the current use program, but qualifies as a working farm. A working farm is land that is actively farmed by a person who earns at least one-half of his or her annual gross income from the business of farming.
    Date Seller Acquired Property: Enter the date the seller acquired the property. Use the calendar provided to choose a date. If there are multiple dates, please use the latest date.
    Is a Vermont Land Gains Tax Return being filed? Indicate whether a Land Gains Tax Return is being filed. If “no” please explain to the corresponding question on the Follow Up Question screen. In general, anyone who sells Vermont land that was held by the seller for less than six years is required to file a Vermont Land Gains Tax Return, form LG-2, within 30 days after the sale, even if no tax is due. The definition of land may include or refer to the sale of Timber and/or Timber Rights. The buyer of property that is held for less than six years is required to file a Vermont Land Gains Withholding Tax Return, form LG-1. If the transfer meets one of the exemption criteria (see drop down list or click the link to view the description) a Land Gains Tax Return is not required. If the transfer is not described in the list of exemptions, a Land Gains Tax Return or Land Gains Withholding Tax Return must be filed. See LG-1 and LG-2 for instructions.
    Note: In order to claim purchaser’s principles residence exemption, builder’s exemption, agriculture exemption and/or affordable housing exemption, the buyer must file a Vermont Land Gains Withholding Tax Return and the seller must file a Vermont Land Gains Tax Return.

    Comments
    This section allows you add notes regarding the property transfer, however, this information is not forwarded to the Department.

  • Follow Up Questions:

  • The property is in Multiple Towns/Cities, please indicate which Towns/Cities along with the Land Size (Acres or fractions thereof): Enter Town/City and land size of each additional town/city.
    The Interest in Property is Undivided __ Percent Interest. Please enter percentage: Enter the percentage of ownership in the property.
    The Special Factors on the Transfer are Other, please describe: Indicate the relationship between seller and buyer, such as, brother, sister, aunt etc…
    The Financing on the Transfer is Other, please describe: Indicate type of financing, such as, installment sale, between friends, etc…
    The Type of Building Construction is Multi-Family: Enter the number of units being transferred.
    The Type of Building Construction is Condominium: Enter the number of units being transferred.
    The Type of Building Construction is Other: Describe: Indicate type of building such as, warehouse, storage, etc…
    The Seller’s use of the property before transfer was Commercial, please describe: Indicate use of property before the purchase, such as, shopping center, store, gas station, etc…
    The Buyer’s use of property after transfer is Industrial, please describe: Enter the use of the property after purchase, such as, Textile, computer chips, etc…
    The property is subject to a land use change tax lien. Does the new owner elect to continue enrollment?: Indicate whether the buyer will continue the property in current use.

    1. If enrolled property is transferred to another owner, the Buyer is entitled to continue enrollment of eligible property provided the buyer elects continuation of use value appraisal at the time of transfer, and **submits an Application, a Change of Ownership form and the applicable fees within 30 days after the PTTR has been received by the municipality for recording to the VT Department of Taxes, Director of Property Valuation and Review. 32 V.S.A. §5756(e)
    2. Seller must file a Discontinuance Notice and/or a Transfer of Ownership form even if buyer elects not to continue to the Department of Taxes within 30 days of the transfer.

    - These forms are located on the Vermont Department of Taxes, PVR website: www.state.vt.us/tax/pvrcurrentuse.shtml
    The property is exempt from Property Transfer Tax. Cite the exemption number: Indicate the appropriate exemption from the list provided.
    The price paid for Real Property is less than fair market value, please explain: Please indicate the reason(s) for the price paid being less than fair market value, such as, gift, foreclosure, estate, etc…
    A Vermont Land Gains Tax Return is not being filed. Cite up to three exemption numbers: Choose from the drop down menu or the list provided the exemption for land gains.

  • Local and State Permits and Act 250 Notice:

  • Local and State permit and certificate requirements and Act 250 certificate information is no longer required on the property transfer tax return. Further information about local and state permits may be found at:
    Local Permits: Contact your town clerk or local zoning administrator.
    State Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Permits: http://drinkingwater.vt.gov/poregionaloffices.htm
    Telephone the appropriate regional office.
    Act 250 Land Use Permit: Contact the Act 250 coordinator in the District where the property is located. For contact information: http://www.nrb.state.vt.us/lup/commission_members.htm

  • Withholding Certification:

  • Withholding Certification: Choose either the first selection or one of the last four: Vermont income tax is due on the gain from the sale of Vermont real estate, whether the seller is a resident, part-year resident or nonresident. For nonresident sellers, the buyer is required to withhold 2.5% of the consideration paid for the transfer and send it to the Commissioner of Taxes with Form RW-171 within 30 days after the transfer. A nonresident individual is one who is domiciled outside the state at the time of closing. A partnership, a limited liability company or a Subchapter S Corporation is deemed to be a nonresident of Vermont if the controlling interest is held by nonresidents. A corporation (other than a Subchapter S Corporation) that was incorporated outside Vermont is a nonresident unless it has its principal place of business in Vermont and does no business in the state of incorporation.

    Exemptions from Real Estate Withholding may apply. Read the instructions for Form RW-171. If this transfer qualifies for an exemption, check the appropriate box on the Withholding Certification section of the Property Transfer Tax Return. A Vermont Income Tax Return must be filed within the time prescribed for filing the federal income tax return. Any tax liability in excess of withholding must be paid by the seller with the return. Any excess withholding will be refunded to the seller by the Vermont Department of Taxes. In the case of an installment sale the seller may elect for Vermont purposes, to report the entire gain in the year of sale by paying a tax of 6% of the entire gain. If this election is not made, the withholding will be retained by the Department and applied as a credit against the seller’s tax liability in each year that the installments are received.

  • Preparer Information:

  • Preparer Information:
    This is an optional field
    Preparer Name: Enter the name of the person who prepared the Property Transfer Tax Return.
    Preparer Address: Enter the preparer’s address.
    Preparer City: Enter the preparer’s city.
    Preparer State/Providence: Enter the preparer’s State/Province.
    Preparer Zip Code: Enter the preparer’s zip code.
    Preparer Telephone: Enter the preparer’s phone number.
    Preparer Email Address: Enter the preparer’s email address. A notice will be sent to the E-mail address listed when the town has completed their section of the property transfer return

    Buyer’s Representative:
    This is an optional field
    Buyer’s Representative: Enter the representative’s of the buyer.
    Buyer’s Representative Telephone: Enter the representative’s phone number.
    Buyer’s Representative Email Address: Enter the representative’s email address. A notice will be sent to the E-mail address listed when the town has completed their section of the property transfer return.

  • Rates and Payments:

  • Rate Schedule: View all information listed in the Tax on Special Rate Property, Tax on General Rate Property, and Total Taxes and Payments Due. Make corrections as needed on prior screen(s); update screen(s) before returning to view Rate Schedule.
    Payment Method: Please select a form of payment.
    Paper Check: A payment coupon voucher (PT-173) will be printed along with the PT-172 and must accompany the payment that is mailed to the Vermont Department of Taxes.
    ACH Debit (eCheck) Information:
    Select a Payment Date: Please select the date you want the Vermont Department of Taxes to debit you bank account. You may schedule ePayment up to two days after the closing date.
    Bank Account Type: Select one of the three account types in the drop down menu.
    Name on Bank Account: Indicate the name listed on the bank account.
    Routing Number: Indicate the routing number of the bank account.
    Account Number: Indicate the account number of the bank account.
    A payment voucher (PT-173) will be print along with the PT-172 that will act as your debit receipt.

  • Verify:

  • Verify: Review all information for accuracy. If there are corrections, select the appropriate section, make the correction and click on ‘Update’. Return to the verify screen to check that the information updated correctly.
    Save or Print Draft: This option is a pdf version of a word document that can be printed to mail for another party for verification and/or used to submit to the PTTR unit for Withholdings or Land Gains Certification. This is not an official copy and will not be accepted for recording.
    Save or Print Final: Use this option to print a copy of the return for your records. You can access this file at a future date to print copies as needed.
    Submit: Select Submit at the left of the page to submit information to the ePTTR service once all information is complete and verified. This will allow you to print a copy for closing and filing, add a time and date stamp of the status and will forward an electronic version of the PTTR to the clerks’ service.
    NOTE: If you are not ready to submit remember to save a local copy. You may upload this encrypted copy to the service to resume working on the transfer and/or email to someone for their editing/review.

    1. Save a copy to your local PC (instructions provided below), to keep for your records. The information is not stored on the website and is only accessible again by uploading a copy from your desktop to the service. You can only update or correct from a locally saved copy. You may make corrections after closing up until a town clerk completes their section. If you need to make any changes, you MUST resubmit, there is no charge for resubmitting. Print out a corrected copy of the PT 172, which will have the receipt number with a new extension added. This becomes the official PT 172 to submit to the towns with the corresponding deed. Remember payments are sent directly to the department.
    2. Print the PT 172 receipt. This document will be reviewed by transferors and transferees for signatures. If changes are made at closing you will have to upload the file that has been saved to your PC, into the service to make any changes and re- print the document. Once closing is finished, the payment and form PT-173 are sent to the department and the signed PT-172 receipt, deed and any town filing fees are sent directly to the town.

  • Saving a local copy of the ePTTR Return

    1. Plan to save the document to a safe, meaningful location on your pc or computer network.
    2. Give the document a meaningful name.
    3. Once the encrypted copy has been created and saved it can be included as an attachment in an email.

    Reviewing an encrypted copy you receive in an email.

    1. Save the encrypted email attachment to a safe location on your pc or computer network.
    2. Go to the Submission Service website.
    3. Choose ‘Continue a Previous Filing’ from the main menu. The following window will be displayed:
    4. Click the ‘Browse’ button and select the document from where it has been saved on your pc or computer network.
    5. Click ‘Upload File’ and continue making updates to the document.

    Notes

    • All local copies will have a file name extension of ‘.eptr’ so that they can be easily identified as property transfer returns.
    • Encrypted files are not legible if they are opened using any software other than the web service. They cannot be viewed or edited using Word, Notepad, Wordpad, etc. If you inadvertently open the encrypted copy of the return in another software tool it is important that you close the document without saving any changes. If changes are saved the encryption could be corrupted and the return will have to be re-entered in its entirety.
    • Local copies can be saved as frequently as is needed to keep changes and work through issues associated with the transfer. Good file keeping practices should be considered based on your office needs.
    • Is it necessary to keep revisions of the document? Or do you want to keep saving the same return using the same name so that the most recently saved version of the document is the only one available on your system?
    • It is recommended that you save file copies of submitted returns. These files are the only way to make corrections to an existing submitted return or cancel a submitted return if for any reason the transfer of property doesn’t occur.