real or personal property. What do I need to know?
All transfers of property require
a Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit be completed and filed
with the Treasurer's Office, along with payment of excise tax, prior
to being recorded in the County Auditor's Office. Personal
property or mobile homes, may require advance property taxes be
paid at this time as well. We will not accept incomplete affidavit forms, nor can we provide legal advice as to how to complete them.
Beginning March 1, 2011:
You may use the single copy .pdf version, not the Excel version, of the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit (REETA), and all other REET forms, including Mobile Home, and Supplemental Statements. Please be careful that you don't reduce the print and/or form size when printing these documents from the DOR website. We will only accept one original legal size (8.5 x 14) signed document, if not submitting the 4-part legal size carbonized form. Once reviewed and receipted, we will make the necessary photo copies. Please provide 4 copies of all attachments, on standard letter size paper (8.5 x 11). Including, but not limited to, legal description, and any attachments required by the WAC rules.
to Title Companies, Escrow Agents and Attorneys:
with the 2007 tax statements, the Whatcom County Treasurer stopped maintaining mortgage company information in our taxpayer
database. All tax correspondence will be mailed to the parcel owner,
or their designee, but not to a mortgage company or tax service.
Because of this change, if a mortgage company address appears on
a new Excise Tax Affidavit in Section 3 (Tax Correspondence) it
will be returned for a better address, or the representative presenting
the document will be asked to change it. Section 3 will usually
be blank with only the "Same as Buyer/Grantee" box checked.
We will continue to provide and accept payment information from
mortgage companies electronically. If you have any questions regarding
this change please contact us.
What do I need to know?
There is a Real Estate Gift Supplemental form that must be signed
by both parties, and must accompany a completed Real Estate
Excise Tax Affidavit. These documents are filed in the Treasurer's
Office and are subject to a minimum filing fee if there are
no taxes due.
How long do I have to process my property transfer and
pay excise tax?
Thirty (30) days from the date of sale to avoid interest and
penalty on the excise taxes due.
I am buying and / or moving a used mobile home. What do I need
If the mobile home is GOING TO BE MOVED as a condition of sale,
obtain a tax certificate (moving permit) from the Assessor's Office.
There is no charge for the tax certificate. Take the tax certificate
to the Treasurer's Office to be certified that any property taxes
due on the mobile home have been paid, and receive an orange decal
which must be displayed on the mobile home while it is being moved.
It is a violation of Washington state law to move a mobile home
without a validated tax certificate and orange decal. When all
property taxes have been paid, the Treasurer's Office will issue
a tax verification form (half sheet). The tax verification form,
and the current mobile home title, can be taken to the Licensing
Department in the Auditor's Office to pay sales tax and transfer
the title into the new owner's name.
If the mobile home
is NOT GOING TO BE MOVED, go to the Treasurer's Office to
complete a Mobile Home Excise Tax Affidavit and pay any excise
tax that may be due. This Affidavit must be signed by
the buyer and the seller, and is required along with the current
title, to transfer title in the Licensing Department of the
Auditor's Office. Please be careful that you don't reduce the print and/or form size when printing these documents from the DOR website.
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