458-61A-107  <<  458-61A-108 >>   458-61A-109

Contractor.

(1) In general. If land is deeded to a contractor with an agreement to reconvey the property after construction of an improvement, the real estate excise tax does not apply to either the first conveyance or to the reconveyance if:
(a) The land is deeded for the sole purpose of enabling the contractor to obtain financing for the construction of the improvement on the property conveyed; and
(b) The agreement to reconvey is contained in a written statement made prior to the original conveyance.
(2) Tax treatment. When both of the requirements of subsection (1) of this section have been met, the deed to the contractor, although absolute on its face, will be treated as creating a security interest only. However, the sales price of the improvement is subject to retail sales tax under chapter 82.08 RCW and business and occupation tax under chapter 82.04 RCW.
(3) Documentation. Real estate excise tax affidavits are required for both the original conveyance and the reconveyance. The affidavit must contain wording to the effect that the purpose of the transfers is for construction and security purposes only. The affidavit for reconveyance must refer to the date and number of the original affidavit.
(4) Examples. The following examples identify a number of facts and then state a conclusion. These examples are provided as a general guide. The status of each situation must be determined after a review of all of the facts and circumstances.
(a) Jill owns an unimproved lot. She contracts with Sapphire Construction to build a residence on her lot. The contract provides that the lot will be deeded to Sapphire to obtain financing. The contract also states the property will be deeded back to Jill when the residence is completed. No real estate excise tax is due on the transfer of the vacant lot from Jill to Sapphire. Six months later, the residence is completed. Sapphire Construction transfers the property (land plus improvement) to Jill. No real estate excise tax is due on this transfer. The sales price of the improvement is subject to retail sales tax under chapter 82.08 RCW and business and occupation tax under chapter 82.04 RCW.
(b) Eleanor owns a house on 20 acres. She contracts with Ruby Development to sell 19 of her acres, but keeps ownership of her house and one acre that it sits on. The price is $20,000 per acre. Since the property is not subdivided, she must convey all of her property to Ruby Development, under the condition that the house and the one acre will be deeded back to her when the property is subdivided. Eleanor transfers the 20-acre parcel to Ruby Development. Real estate excise tax is due on the $380,000 contract price (19 acres x $20,000 per acre). After one year, Ruby Development has the property subdivided into 20 one-acre parcels. Ruby Development transfers to Eleanor the house and one acre per the original contract. No real estate excise tax is due on the transfer from Ruby Development to Eleanor.
(c) Next to Eleanor, Bob owns 25 acres. He contracts with Ruby Development to sell his 25 acres for $400,000, with the agreement that two lots will be transferred back to him after the development is completed. Real estate excise tax is due on the $400,000 contract price. The reconveyance of two lots back to Bob is not subject to real estate excise tax.
(5) If a contractor, acting under the terms of a contract, purchases land on behalf of a customer for the purposes of constructing an improvement, the later conveyance of the property to the customer is not subject to the real estate excise tax provided the requirements of WAC 458-61A-214 (Nominee) are met. The sales price of the improvement is subject to retail sales tax under chapter 82.08 RCW and business and occupation tax under chapter 82.04 RCW.
(6) When the owner of a lot contracts to have an improvement built upon the lot and retains title to the land, or when a lessee contracts to have an improvement built upon the lot and retains the leasehold interest, the real estate excise tax does not apply to the purchase of the improvement. The sales price of the improvement is subject to retail sales tax under chapter 82.08 RCW and business and occupation tax under chapter 82.04 RCW.
(7) When a speculative builder owns a lot and builds an improvement upon it, the subsequent sale of land and improvement is subject to the real estate excise tax. When a speculative builder sells a parcel of property with a partially constructed improvement with the understanding that the builder will complete the improvement, the real estate excise tax applies to the percentage of the project complete at the time of transfer. The retail sales tax applies to that portion of the selling price representing the construction to be completed after transfer.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), and 82.45.150. WSR 05-23-093, ยง 458-61A-108, filed 11/16/05, effective 12/17/05.]
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