The law provides that real estate transfer fees must be paid whenever a transfer of immovable property occurs, with certain exceptions. This is commonly known as the welcome tax and it is collected by the municipality.
Many exceptions exist in the law and knowing them can sometimes save you thousands of dollars.
Property Transfer from a Company
For example, no fees are due when the transfer takes place between an individual and the company they control. So, if you want to buy one or more properties owned by a company, it might be appropriate to buy the shares of the company rather than the land, to avoid the welcome tax.
Divorce and Transfer Tax
In the same way, no transfer fees are due for transfers between spouses. When spouses get divorced and one has to buy the other’s share, the transfer should be done before the divorce judgment, again to avoid the transfer costs.
Consult your lawyer before carrying out your transactions, it pays off!