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Florida Documentary Stamp Tax

Documentary stamp tax is an excise tax imposed on certain documents executed, delivered, or recorded in Florida. The most common examples are:

  • documents that transfer an interest in Florida real property, such as deeds; and
  • written obligations to pay money, such as promissory notes and mortgages.

Tax is paid to the Clerk of Court when the document is recorded. When a taxable document is not recorded, the tax must be paid directly to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Reference: Chapter 201, Florida Statutes

Deeds and Other Documents that Transfer an Interest in Florida Real Property

Deeds and other documents that transfer an interest in Florida real property are subject to documentary stamp tax. Regardless of where the deed or other document is signed and delivered, documentary stamp tax is due. The amount of tax due is computed based on the consideration for the transfer. All parties to the document are liable for the tax regardless of which party agrees to pay the tax. If a party is exempt, the tax must be paid by a non-exempt party.

Reference: Section 201.02(1)(a), Florida Statutes

Tax Rate

In all Florida counties except Miami-Dade, the tax rate imposed on documents subject to tax is 70 cents on each $100 or portion thereof of the total consideration.

Reference: Section 201.02(1)(a), Florida Statutes (F.S.)

The tax rate for Miami-Dade County is 60 cents on each $100 or portion thereof, of the total consideration. Miami-Dade County also has a surtax of 45 cents on each $100 or portion thereof, of the total consideration. The surtax is not due on a document that transfers only a single-family dwelling.

Reference: Section 201.031, F.S.

Consideration

The consideration for a transfer is defined in Florida law. Consideration includes, but is not limited to:

  • money paid or to be paid;
  • the discharge of an obligation;
  • the exchange of property (real or personal); and
  • the mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance on the property, whether assumed or not.

If the property being transferred has a mortgage on it, the balance of the mortgage at the time of transfer is consideration for the transfer. Also, if property is transferred in lieu of foreclosure, the discharged indebtedness is consideration for the transfer.

Reference: Section 201.02(1)(a), Florida Statutes

Questions that May Help Determine Consideration

  • Was money paid for the property interest transferred?
  • Is money to be paid for the property interest transferred?
  • Was there an exchange of real or personal property for the property interest transferred?
  • Was the property encumbered by a mortgage or other lien at the time of the transfer?
  • Will the grantor or someone designated by the grantor receive anything of value for the property interest transferred?
  • Will the grantee, or someone acting on behalf of the grantee, give anything of value for the property interest transferred?
  • Was the property interest transferred in lieu of a debt payment or did the grantee forgive a debt because of the property interest received?

Examples of Documents Subject to Tax

  • Deeds (e.g., warranty, special warranty, quit claim, trustee's deed, life estate deed)
  • A document that transfers property between spouses
  • Agreement/Contract for Deed
  • A document that transfers a mobile home as real property
  • An assignment of a leasehold interest in real property
  • Certificate of Title
  • A document that transfers a cemetery lot or interment rights
  • A deed in lieu of foreclosure
  • A document that transfers an easement
  • A document that transfers timber, oil, gas, or mineral rights

See Rule 12B-4.013, Florida Administrative Code, for additional documents subject to tax.

Examples of Documents Generally Not Subject to Tax

  • A document that transfers real property from an agent to the principal, when the agent purchased the property for the principal with the principal's funds.
  • Divorce deeds - No tax is due on a deed between spouses or former spouses pursuant to a dissolution of marriage when the real property is transferred following the divorce and the property was their marital home or an interest therein at the time of divorce. Taxes previously paid on a deed will be refunded when the deed was given one year before the dissolution of marriage. When the property is not the marital home, tax is due based on the consideration, which would include any mortgages on the property.

    Reference: Section 201.02(7), Florida Statutes

  • A document that transfers property under a threat of eminent domain or condemnation.
  • A personal representative's deed given pursuant to a duly probated will.

Note: There is no specific exemption for documents that transfer Florida real property for estate planning purposes.

See Rule 12B-4.014, Florida Administrative Code, for additional documents exempt from tax.

Examples of Tax Calculations

  1. Linda purchases property located in Escambia County from Susan. Linda gives Susan $30,000 as a down payment and Susan takes back a note and mortgage from Linda in the amount of $150,000. Since there is no other consideration for the transfer, the tax is calculated on $180,000 (the $30,000 paid and the $150,000 to be paid).

    Tax calculation: 1,800 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $180,000) x $.70 = $1,260.00 tax due.

  2. In lieu of foreclosure, John transfers his home, a single family residence located in Miami-Dade County, to the bank that holds the mortgage on the property. The balance of the mortgage plus accrued interest at the time of the transfer is $225,132.75. The consideration for the transfer is $225,132.75 (the amount of the debt forgiven).

    Tax calculation: 2,252 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $225,200) x $.60 = $1,351.20 tax due (no surtax is due since the property is a single-family dwelling). This is true even if the fair market value of the property is less.

  3. Bob exchanges his unimproved real property located in Sarasota County with Carrie for a recreational vehicle. The fair market value of Bob’s property is $40,675. The consideration for the transfer is $40,675. Since property was exchanged for consideration other than money, it is presumed that the consideration for the transfer is the fair market value of the property.

    Tax calculation: 407 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $40,675) x $.70 = $284.90 tax due.

  4. Husband and wife transfer their jointly-owned, Duval County property to a trust organized under Chapter 689, F.S. The wife is the sole current beneficiary under the trust. The property is encumbered by a mortgage of $100,000 and there is no other consideration for the transfer. The consideration for the transfer is $50,000 (the amount of the mortgage multiplied by the percentage of the interest transferred).

    Tax calculation: 500 (number of taxable units representing the interest transferred for consideration) x $.70 = $350.00 tax due.

  5. John transfers an interest of his unencumbered real property in Monroe County with a fair market value of $400,000 to his new spouse. There is no mortgage on the property at the time of transfer, and there is no other consideration. If the deed reflects nominal consideration, such as "love and affection and $1" or "$10 or other good and valuable consideration," then $.70 tax is due.

  6. Jane transfers an interest in her unencumbered real property in Broward County with a fair market value of $1,000,000 to her children. There is no mortgage on the property at the time of transfer, and there is no other consideration. If the deed reflects nominal consideration, such as "love and affection and $1" or "$10 or other good and valuable consideration," then $.70 tax is due.

  7. ABC LLC purchased property in Duval County for $2,500,000. Since there is no other consideration for the transfer, the tax is calculated on $2,500,000.

    Tax calculation: 25,000 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $2,500,000) x $.70 = $17,500.00 tax due.

  8. CCC Corporation, which owns Alachua County property with a fair market value of $5,000,000, transfers the property to its subsidiary AAA Corporation. At the time of transfer the property is encumbered by a mortgage in the amount of $3,000,000 and the property secures a line of credit with an outstanding balance of $700,000. Since there is no other consideration for the transfer, the tax is calculated on $3,700,000 (the $3,000,000 mortgage plus the line of credit balance of $700,000).

    Tax calculation: 37,000 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $3,700,000) x $.70 = $25,900.00 tax due.

  9. XYZ Corporation transfers unencumbered Orange County property, with a fair market value of $625,500, to its parent company ABC Corporation. ABC Corporation owns 100% of XYZ Corporation. There is no mortgage and no other consideration for the transfer. If the deed reflects nominal consideration, such as "love and affection and $1" or "$10 or other good and valuable consideration," then $.70 tax is due.

  10. John purchases a vacant lot in Miami-Dade County for $500,000. In addition to the $.60 per 100 documentary stamp tax, Miami-Dade County also imposes a $.45 per 100 discretionary surtax. Since there is no other consideration for the transfer, the tax is calculated on $500,000.

    Tax calculation: 5,000 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $500,000) x $.60 = $3,000.00 documentary stamp tax due, and 5,000 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $500,000) x $.45 = $2,250.00 discretionary surtax due. The total tax due is $5,250.00. There is no exemption from the surtax since the deed did not transfer a single-family residence.

  11. Sherry purchases a reserved boat slip in her Bay County condo association's marina, and she pays $5,000 for the slip. Since there is no other consideration for the transfer, the tax is calculated on $5,000.

    Tax calculation: 50 (number of taxable units representing each $100 or portion thereof of the consideration of $5,000) x $.70 = $35.00 tax due.

Notes and Mortgages (e.g., Trust Deeds, Security Agreements)

Promissory notes and other written obligations to pay money signed or delivered in Florida are subject to documentary stamp tax. Tax is due on the full amount of the obligation evidenced by the taxable document at the rate of 35 cents per $100 or portion thereof. However, the tax due on a note or other written obligation to pay money is capped at $2,450.

Mortgages, liens, security agreements, and other evidences of indebtedness are subject to tax and payable when filed and recorded in Florida. The tax is based on the full amount of the indebtedness secured by the mortgage or lien regardless of whether the indebtedness is contingent or absolute. The rate of tax is 35 cents per $100 or portion thereof of the amount secured thereby. There is no cap on the amount of tax due.

All parties to the document are liable for the tax regardless of who agrees to pay the tax. If one party is exempt, the tax must be paid by a non-exempt party.

Reference: Section 201.08, Florida Statutes

Examples of Written Obligations Subject to Tax

  • Demand Notes
  • Term Notes
  • Retail Installment Sale Contracts
  • Certain Renewal Notes
  • Title Loans

Examples of Evidences of Obligations Subject to Tax when Recorded

  • Mortgages
  • Assumptions of Mortgages
  • Mortgages Securing Guaranties
  • Mortgages Securing a Bail Bond
  • Mortgages Securing a Letter of Credit
  • Mortgage Securing Lines of Credit
  • Agreements or Contracts for Deed
  • Collateral Assignments of a Lease

Note: The filing of the State of Florida Uniform Commercial Code Financing Statement (Form UCC-1) in its original form is not taxable. However, a notation must be placed on the UCC-1 indicating whether or not tax was properly paid on any obligation that caused the need for the UCC-1.

Registration and Account Changes

For unrecorded documents, businesses or individuals that average five (5) or more taxable transactions per month must register to report and pay documentary stamp tax. You can register using the online registration system or submit a paper Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1 PDF Icon).

You must notify the Florida Department of Revenue, if you:

  • change your business name;
  • change your mailing address;
  • change your location address within the same county; or
  • close or sell your business.

The quickest way to notify the Department is to update your account online.

You must submit a new registration using the online registration system or complete a paper Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1 PDF Icon), if you:

  • change your legal entity; or
  • change the ownership of your business.

File and Pay Tax

Mortgages and other liens are taxable at the time of recordation. Deeds are taxable whether recorded or not. If a deed is not recorded by the 20th day following the month of delivery, the tax must be remitted to the Department as an unrecorded document. If the deed is recorded by the 20th day of the month following the deed's delivery, the tax is remitted at the time of recordation.

For Recorded Documents

Documentary stamp tax is generally paid to the county at the time of recordation.

For Unrecorded Documents

Registered taxpayers report and pay documentary stamp tax to the Department using a Documentary Stamp Tax Return for Registered Taxpayers' Unrecorded Documents
(Form DR-225 PDF Icon). Registered taxpayers can file and pay documentary stamp tax electronically using our free and secure File and Pay website. (Taxpayers who average five (5) or more taxable transactions per month must register.)

Nonregistered taxpayers report and pay documentary stamp tax using a Documentary Stamp Tax Return for Nonregistered Taxpayers' Unrecorded Documents (Form DR-228 PDF Icon). Nonregistered taxpayers can file and pay documentary stamp tax electronically using our free and secure File and Pay website.

For both registered and nonregistered taxpayers, returns and payments are due on the 20th day of the month following each reporting period. If the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state or federal holiday, returns are timely if filed electronically, postmarked, or hand-delivered to the Department on the first business day following the 20th. Registered taxpayers must file a return for each reporting period, even if no tax is due.

When you electronically pay only or you electronically file and pay at the same time, you must initiate your electronic payment and receive a confirmation number not later than 5:00 p.m., ET, on the business day prior to the 20th to avoid penalty and interest. For a list of payment due dates, visit our forms page and select the current year Florida e-Services Calendar of Due Dates (Form DR-659) under the e-Services section.

Taxpayers who paid $20,000 or more in documentary stamp tax during the most recent state fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) are required to file and pay electronically during the next calendar year.

If you file your return or pay tax late, a penalty of 10% of any unpaid tax for each 30 days or fraction thereof, not to exceed a total penalty of 50% of unpaid tax, is charged. The minimum penalty is $10, even if no tax is due. A floating rate of interest applies to underpayments and late payments of tax. Interest rates can be found on our Tax and Interest Rates page.