Florida Land Title Association (FLTA) is pleased to announce that the Florida Legislature addressed an inequity regarding the imposition of documentary stamps on intra-spousal conveyances. Under current law, Florida Statute 201.02 imposes documentary stamps on most conveyances between spouses, if there is an underlying mortgage. As an example, if a husband owned the property prior to the marriage, then added his spouse, and the mortgage balance was $300,000.00, the Department of Revenue would collect stamps on half the mortgage balance ($150,000). Under F.S. 201.02(7), there is an exemption for the conveyance of the marital home, when the parties are involved in a dissolution of marriage.
For many years, FLTA has worked with the Legislature to change this inequity, where it costs more to add a spouse during marriage, than to remove a spouse during divorce. As part of the Tax Package in HB 7087, F.S. 201.02(7) will be amended to provide a new exemption for documentary stamps for the intra-spousal conveyance of homestead property. This provision only obtains if the conveyance is completed within one year of marriage, and only for the marital home, however, when the law is implemented on July 1, 2018, real estate lawyers and estate planners will be able to assist thousands of Florida families, without adding a burdensome cost.