Bulletin: MD2011001

Date:
January 25, 2011
To:
All Maryland Issuing Offices
RE:
Maryland Nonresident Withholding Tax

Dear Associates:

Please accept this bulletin as an update regarding the decrease in percentage charge of non-resident withholding tax for individuals on the sale or transfer of real property in Maryland.

The Maryland Comptroller's office imposes upon a nonresident seller an income withholding tax at the time of settlement. Before a deed or other instrument of transfer from a non-resident individual or entity is recorded with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the various land records departments across the State, title companies are required to collect withholding tax from the seller and submit such payment to the local Clerk of the Circuit Court or the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) (unless in receipt of a valid certificate of exemption). Effective immediately, the rate for Maryland Nonresident Withholding Tax has dropped from 7.5% to 6.75% for individuals selling property in Maryland. The tax for non-resident entities remains at 8.25%. Additionally, because the Comptroller has discovered an increasing number of sales by nonresident sellers involving properties that are claimed as principal residences but are not listed as owner-occupied by SDAT, the comptroller may soon ask the Clerks to investigate whether there is cause to collect the tax. If SDAT does not list the property as owner-occupied, the seller may request an exemption from the Comptroller's Office, but would not be entitled to use the affidavit attaching to the deed of transfer or otherwise certify the property as a principal residence. At settlement, the seller must complete Form MW506NRS, Return of Income Tax Withholding for Nonresident Sale of Real Property. The settlement agent must then present Copies A and B of Form MW506NRS to the clerk or SDAT, along with payment:

http://forms.marylandtaxes.com/11_forms/MW506NRS.pdf

Finally, evidently a number of title companies are still using the older form withholding exemption certification affidavits. Please utilize the new 2011 form (and as subsequently modified for future years):

http://forms.marylandtaxes.com/11_forms/Affidavit_of_Residence.pdf

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact your local underwriting personnel or Stewart Legal Services.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None