By Payton Hostens

Whether you are buying or selling, it is important to understand and comply with the requirements of real estate transactions. In Nebraska, one such requirement is the payment of the Documentary Stamp Tax, sometimes referred to as the “transfer tax”.

A documentary stamp tax is imposed on any grantor transferring beneficial interest in or legal title to real property located in the state of Nebraska, subject to a number of exemptions. The tax is based upon the value of the property, and the current rate is $2.25 for each $1,000 value or fraction thereof. For example, the documentary stamp tax for a home valued at $200,000 would be $450.00, which must be paid at the time the deed is filed with the register of deeds.

As noted above, there are a number of exemptions in which real estate may be transferred without being subject to the documentary stamp tax. A few commonly used exemptions include:

  • Deeds between spouses, between ex-spouses for the purpose of conveying any rights to property acquired or held during the marriage, or between parent and child, without actual consideration therefor;
  • Deeds to or from a corporation (whose stock is all owned by members of a family), partnership (whose partners are all members of a family), or limited liability company (whose members are all members of a family), for no consideration other than the issuance of stock of the corporation or interest in the partnership or limited liability company or the return of the stock in partial or complete liquidation of the corporation or dissolution of the interest in the partnership or limited liability company;
  • Deeds of distribution executed by a personal representative conveying to devisees or heirs property passing by testate or intestate succession;
  • Deeds transferring property into a trust if the transfer of the same property would be exempt if the transfer was made directly from the grantor to the beneficiary or beneficiaries under the trust;
  • Deeds transferring property from a trustee to a beneficiary of a trust.

A complete list of the exemptions from the documentary stamp tax may be found at Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-902. It is important to note that any exemption claimed must be clearly stated on the face of the deed or by presenting sufficient documentary proof to the register of deeds (generally through the filing of a Real Estate Transfer Statement in conjunction with the deed).

AKC Law can help you navigate the requirements of real estate transactions, including assisting you with Nebraska’s documentary stamp tax. If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact Payton Hostens at [email protected].