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The Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC

What is the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC? How much is the Mortgage Recording Tax and how is it calculated? Who pays the Mortgage Recording Tax and is it negotiable? How can you reduce your tax liability with a purchase CEMA loan? Where do you file MT-15 (Mortgage Recording Tax Return)?

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What Is the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC?

The mortgage recording tax in NYC is a transaction tax levied by New York State and New York City on all new mortgages funded. The mortgage recording tax in NYC is a percentage of the new mortgage debt amount, and applies to new mortgages for acquisitions as well as refinancings.

The mortgage recording tax in NYC only applies to mortgage debt on real property, meaning condos, townhouses, multi-family properties etc. The mortgage recording tax is not applicable for loans backed by co-op apartment shares since coops are not considered to be real property. Furthermore, the Mortgage Recording Tax only applies if the purchaser will be utilizing financing. No tax is due for all cash purchases made without a mortgage.

The mortgage recording tax in NYC is a transaction tax levied by New York State and New York City on all new mortgages funded. The mortgage recording tax in NYC is a percentage of the new mortgage debt amount, and applies to new mortgages for acquisitions as well as refinancings.

The mortgage recording tax in NYC only applies to mortgage debt on real property, meaning condos, townhouses, multi-family properties etc.

The mortgage recording tax is not applicable for loans backed by co-op apartment shares since coops are not considered to be real property. Furthermore, the Mortgage Recording Tax only applies if the purchaser will be utilizing financing. No tax is due for all cash purchases made without a mortgage.

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How Much Is the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC?

The Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC varies depending on the size and classification of the mortgage, and is composed of both a New York City tax as well as New York State’s Basic Tax, Special Additional Tax and Additional Tax. The rates are as follows:

All mortgages with initial loan balances less than $500,000

  • 2.05% of the initial mortgage principal (includes a 1% New York City tax)

Mortgages of one to three family houses and individual residential condo units with initial loan balances of $500,000 or more

  • 2.175% of the initial mortgage principal (includes a 1.125% New York City tax)

All other mortgages with initial loan balances of $500,000 or more

  • 2.8% of the initial mortgage principal (includes a 1.75% New York City tax)

Note: For residential transactions, the mortgage lender will typically pay 0.25% of the total Mortgage Recording Tax. For commercial transactions and “hard money” loans, the lender will typically not pay for any of the Mortgage Recording Tax.

The Mortgage Recording Tax is not unique to NYC; however, the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC is dramatically higher than the tax rates in other counties in New York. For example, the total Mortgage Recording Tax in Westchester County, NY is only 1.3%. The Mortgage Recording Tax in other New York counties are typically 1% or 1.25%, though you will see a few counties such as Ulster and Madison charge as low as 0.75%. Check out the tax tables yourself on Form MT-15, otherwise known as the Mortgage Recording Tax Return.

Note: If you’re buying a condo or a co-op, you’re in luck because you’ll get a generous $30 (thirty dollars) off of your Mortgage Recording Tax bill from the rates above.

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Who Pays the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC?

The Mortgage Recording Tax is typically paid by the buyer in a New York City real estate transaction. It is important to remember that this tax is only applicable for purchases of real property such as condos vs co ops. If you are buying a coop in NYC, then you’re in luck. Buyers of co op apartments are not required to pay any Mortgage Recording Tax whatsoever as their acquisition loan is not technically a mortgage. A mortgage must be secured by real property, whereas a co-op apartment loan is secured by a stock certificate and proprietary lease.

Unlike other closing costs in NYC such as transfer taxes in a sponsor unit sale or the Mansion Tax which may be negotiable, it is very uncommon to see the Mortgage Recording Tax being paid by anyone but the buyer.

The Mortgage Recording Tax is typically paid by the buyer in a New York City real estate transaction. It is important to remember that this tax is only applicable for purchases of real property such as condos vs co ops. If you are buying a coop in NYC, then you’re in luck. Buyers of co op apartments are not required to pay any Mortgage Recording Tax whatsoever as their acquisition loan is not technically a mortgage. A mortgage must be secured by real property, whereas a co-op apartment loan is secured by a stock certificate and proprietary lease.

Unlike other closing costs in NYC such as transfer taxes in a sponsor unit sale or the Mansion Tax which may be negotiable, it is very uncommon to see the Mortgage Recording Tax being paid by anyone but the buyer.

That’s because the amount of the tax will depend entirely on the buyer’s finances and decision on how much to borrow. If the buyer purchased the apartment all cash, there wouldn’t be any Mortgage Recording Tax to speak of. As a result, it doesn’t really make sense to ask the seller to cover the Mortgage Recording Tax since the amount of the tax is entirely dependent on the financing decisions of the buyer.

Pro Tip: A sponsor can apply for a rebate of the Mortgage Recording Tax they originally paid to purchase the lot. For example, say a buyer of a new construction unit pays $10,000 in Mortgage Recording Tax. The sponsor can fill out a two page affidavit so that $8,000 of that for example will be credited to them at closing. The other $2,000 in this example would still go to the government via the title company. There’s no difference for the buyer, but it’s good to keep this in mind as a negotiating point if your lawyer finds out that the sponsor is getting this windfall.

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Reducing the Mortgage Recording Tax with a CEMA Loan

A great way to minimize the impact of the Mortgage Recording Tax is to negotiate a purchase CEMA loan with the seller.

For a purchase CEMA loan to happen, the seller needs to have a reasonable amount of mortgage principal remaining on their home. If so, the seller’s bank can assign the seller’s remaining loan balance to the buyer’s bank. As a result, the buyer would only need to pay the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC on any new loan amount on top of the seller’s mortgage.

Of course, for this to happen the seller needs to provide consent. This price of this consent may be heavy, as a savvy seller may ask you to split the cost savings with them. However, you can make sure the seller knows that they will also be saving via reduced New York State transfer taxes which are normally 0.4% of the sale price.

What is the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC? How much is the Mortgage Recording Tax and how is it calculated? Who pays the Mortgage Recording Tax and is it negotiable? How can you reduce your tax liability with a purchase CEMA loan? Where do you file MT-15 (Mortgage Recording Tax Return)?

A great way to minimize the impact of the Mortgage Recording Tax is to negotiate a purchase CEMA loan with the seller. For a purchase CEMA loan to happen, the seller needs to have a reasonable amount of mortgage principal remaining on their home. If so, the seller’s bank can assign the seller’s remaining loan balance to the buyer’s bank. As a result, the buyer would only need to pay the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC on any new loan amount on top of the seller’s mortgage.

What is the Mortgage Recording Tax in NYC? How much is the Mortgage Recording Tax and how is it calculated? Who pays the Mortgage Recording Tax and is it negotiable? How can you reduce your tax liability with a purchase CEMA loan? Where do you file MT-15 (Mortgage Recording Tax Return)?

Of course, for this to happen the seller needs to provide consent. This price of this consent may be heavy, as a savvy seller may ask you to split the cost savings with them. However, you can make sure the seller knows that they will also be saving via reduced New York State transfer taxes which are normally 0.4% of the sale price.

If a purchase CEMA is conducted, the seller will only pay the NYS transfer tax on the sale price less the amount of the mortgage transferred. Please note that the NYC transfer tax is not effected whether you do a purchase CEMA or not.

Purchase CEMA loans can also be utilized for a refinancing of an existing home. In fact, lenders will be more willing to do a purchase CEMA if they will be holding onto the mortgage. Essentially, they are usually more than happy to do a purchase CEMA and assign the new loan to themselves.

Purchase CEMA transactions are highly complex and require the negotiating skills and experience of a real estate attorney familiar with such transactions, as well as a buyer’s broker who has done these types of deals before.

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How Is the Mortgage Recording Tax Filed?

The New York City Register’s Office collects this tax for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The Richmond County Clerk collects this tax for Staten Island.

All property documents for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are recorded online using ACRIS, which is NYC’s online database of public property records. Documents for Staten Island must be recorded in person at the Richmond County Clerk’s Office.

The legal authority for collecting the NYC Mortgage Recording Tax comes from Title 11, Chapter 26, Administrative Code and Tax Law Section 253-a.

MT-15, otherwise known as the Mortgage Recording Tax Return, is a New York State Department of Finance form that needs to be properly filled out and filed in order for your mortgage to be recorded.

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Disclosure: Hauseit and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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