We understand that the world of real estate transactions can often be complex and challenging to navigate. One crucial aspect of the process that often requires clarification is the use of Form 593-C. This form plays a significant role in ensuring compliance with California tax laws, and it’s important for both buyers and sellers to be well-informed about its purpose and requirements. In this blog post, we’ll unveil the mysteries of Form 593-C and its relevance in escrow withholding.

What is Form 593-C?

Form 593-C, officially known as the “Real Estate Withholding Certificate,” is a document designed by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to facilitate withholding for California state income taxes. This form is used when real property is being sold or transferred in the state of California. The primary purpose of Form 593-C is to ensure that sellers, who are not California residents, fulfill their state tax obligations.

When Is Form 593-C Required?

Form 593-C is typically required when the seller of real property in California is a non-resident individual, trust, estate, or a single-member limited liability company (LLC) that is disregarded for tax purposes. In such cases, the buyer is required to withhold a portion of the sales proceeds and remit it to the CDTFA, using Form 593-C.

It’s important to note that withholding is only necessary when the sale exceeds $100,000. The withholding amount is generally 3.33% of the total sales price, but it can vary depending on the specifics of the transaction. This amount is an estimate of the seller’s potential California tax liability.

How Does Form 593-C Work?

1. Initiating the Process: When a non-resident seller is involved in a real estate transaction, the escrow company, in collaboration with the buyer and seller, will facilitate the withholding process. The seller completes Form 593-C, specifying details about the transaction and their tax status.

2. Withholding Funds: The buyer is responsible for withholding the appropriate amount from the sales proceeds and remitting it to the CDTFA within 20 days from the close of escrow. This ensures that the state’s tax obligations are met.

3. Seller’s Tax Reporting: The seller must file a California state tax return to report their actual tax liability. The withholding amount is applied against their final tax liability, and any overpayment is refunded.

Form 593-C is an essential component of real estate transactions in California when non-resident sellers are involved. It ensures that sellers fulfill their state tax obligations, and buyers play a crucial role in facilitating this process. Working with an experienced escrow company like Closed Escrow can simplify the process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

If you have any questions or require further clarification regarding Form 593-C or any other aspect of escrow, please do not hesitate to contact our team. We’re here to assist you throughout the escrow process and ensure a smooth and legally compliant transaction.