Friday, August 09, 2013

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend; So What's a Tax Stamp?

Everyone knows this weekend is the Massachusetts sales tax holiday! Who doesn’t love a tax
holiday? We hear a lot of news about federal income tax, state income tax, property taxes, capital gains tax, tax loop-holes, proposals for new taxes on everything from gasoline to computer services…taxes are always being talked about.

The tax we never hear about is called a “tax stamp”. A what? It’s the tax the state of Massachusetts collects when you sell a house. When I talk with people who are planning to sell their home about what their selling expenses will be, they are almost always surprised (and not in a good way) to hear they have to pay the state when they sell.

How much is it? $4.56 per thousand and unlike federal gain taxes that are only on the “gain” and there are standard exemptions (check with you accountant), tax stamps are paid on the total sale price whether you have a gain or not.
Example: You sell your house $550,000. The tax would be 550 x $4.56 = $3,058.00. This is the amount that will show up on the as a deduction on the sellers side of HUD settlement statement and paid at closing (before you get the proceeds.)

So that's what a "tax stamp" is! Enjoy the sales tax holiday even if you're planning to sell!

Marilyn Messenger has been selling residential real estate  in the Wayland/Sudbury area for 20 years. Visit or call 508-596-3501 for answers to your home selling and/or buying. questions.
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