July 2, 1982
You inquire whether the Massachusetts deeds excise will apply to a deed by which a wife, contemplating divorce, will convey to her husband her interest in property held by the two as tenants by the entirety. As consideration for that interest, the husband will give the wife a promissory note in a principal amount equal to one half the couple's equity in the property. Payment of the purchase price will be secured by a mortgage granted by the husband
to the wife.
Transfers of real property between husband and wife are valid to the same extent as if husband and wife were sole. 1 (G.L. c. 209, s. 3). A spouse may terminate a tenancy by the entirety by conveying his or her interest in it directly to the other spouse. Hale v. Hale, 332 Mass. 329 (1955).
Section 1 of General Laws Chapter 64D provides:
"There shall be levied, collected and paid, for and in respect of the deeds, instruments and writings hereinafter mentioned and described, or for or in respect of the vellum, parchment or paper upon which such deeds, instruments or writings, or any of them, are written or printed, the excise taxes herein specified:-Deed, instrument or writing, whereby any lands, tenements or other realty sold shall be granted, assigned, transferred or otherwise conveyed to, or vested in, the purchaser or purchasers. . .".
Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that the deeds excise will apply to the deed by which the wife will convey to her husband her interest in property held by the two as tenants by the entirety, for an amount equal to one half the couple's equity in the property.
Very truly yours
/s/L. Joyce Hampers
L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue
LJH:JXD:mf
LR 82-70
[1] So in original.