Understanding Withholdings on Real Estate Sales

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WHEN DID WITHHOLDING START FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS?

The withholding law applies to dispositions of California real estate by both residents and non-residents which close on and after January 1, 2003. Previously, withholding was only required of non-resident sellers.

Why was this withholding law enacted?

As part of attempting to balance the state budget, this withholding provision was added to legislation on the last day of the legislative session in 2002. It was estimated to accelerate collection of $285 million in additional state revenue.

Who is responsible for withholding?

The law requires the buyer (called the transferee) to withhold from what would otherwise be paid to the seller.

For a full list of commonly asked questions, download Ticor Title’s PDF ‘Withholdings on Real Estate Sales’ here.

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