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Commissioner's Certificate

All certificate requests must be submitted online through myVTax. To begin, select the Property Owners tab on the myVTax home screen.

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Overview

A Commissioner’s Certificate reduces or exempts the transferor (seller) of property from withholding on certain real estate transaction taxes. Commissioner’s Certificates are available to the seller in a property transfer transaction to reduce or exempt the seller from withholding in the following situations:

Withholding on gains from a real estate sale

State income tax is due on a gain from a real estate sale in Vermont. If the seller is a nonresident of Vermont, the buyer is required to withhold 2.5% of the payment for the property being transferred and remit it to the Vermont Department of Taxes. If the seller obtains a Commissioner’s Certificate, withholding may be reduced or eliminated. The seller must meet certain requirements to be eligible for a certificate.

Withholding of land gains tax 

The buyer is required to withhold 10% of the value of the property being transferred and remit it to the Vermont Department of Taxes. If the seller provides the buyer with a completed Form LGT-178, Vermont Land Gains Tax Return, and obtains a Commissioner’s Certificate, withholding may be reduced or eliminated. The seller must meet certain requirements to be eligible for a certificate.

Reasons to request a Commissioner’s Certificate

  • Loss experienced on the sale.
  • Withholding on gain would be lower than 2.5% of the sales price.
  • Federal §121 exclusion will be claimed (primary residence exemption).
  • Transaction is part of a §1031 exchange agreement.
  • Some or all sellers are VT residents or domestic entities.
  • Selling entity is tax-exempt.
  • Another reason where the gain is not recognized federally.