Sellers no longer required to provide SSN to Buyers under FIRPTA

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA BRE#01366594

FIRPTA is the acronym for the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act.

As of August 1, 2008 home sellers are no longer required to provide to home buyers the Seller's Affidavit of Nonforeign Status, which includes the seller's social security numbers.

As a real estate agent I have NEVER provided a seller's social security number to a buyer. My practice has always been to blacken out the social security number before the FIRPTA was released to a buyer as part of the seller disclosures.

Only the protected copy of the FIRPTA was made available to the buyer. If a buyer's agent asked me for it, and most did not, I simply instructed them to verify with the escrow officer that the information they need (social security number) is in fact on file. The few agents that did ask had no issues with verifying with the escrow officer that the seller's social security number was on file.

I have explained to Sellers at the listing appointment that although it is/was required that I would never expose their social security number to a buyer or cause their social security number to be publicly exposed by posting it online.

Thankfully, the federal withholding law is now in alignment with California's Franchise Tax Board policy which permits an escrow officer to remove the seller's tax ID number from the buyer's copy of the California withholding tax statement, but not other copies.

Prior FIRPTA Requirements

This is great news - don't you agree?

Santa Clara County Market Trends

Copyright © Kathleen Daniels

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Pam Pugmire
Silvercreek Realty Group - Meridian, ID
Meridian Idaho Real Estate

I agree.  This information needs to be protected as much as possible! 

Aug 03, 2008 11:17 PM #1
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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale - San Jose Probate Agent

Mary, I disagree with you whole-heartedly. Just because it was a law does not mean I am willing to put my clients social security number in the hands of God-only-knows … who. And I NEVER did … and NEVER would.

We have a choice. We can be a box checker and follow the law … or we can use our heads and protect our clients. I choose to use my head. Long before the QS … I told buyers’ agents to get verification from the escrow officer that they had the seller’s social security numbers on file … that I would not release it.

I certainly would not want to hire an agent who was willing to make my social security number public. To this day I still have agents send me a FIRPTA with their client’s social security number on it. I show my clients and say … aren’t you glad you hired someone with sense enough not to do this? The answer is always the same … YES!

Indeed things have changed since August 2008. Sometimes common sense is the better law to follow … IMO.

Nov 27, 2010 01:33 PM #3
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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale - San Jose Probate Agent

Mary, I appreciate your attempt to educate me. Rest assured in all cases I have ensured my clients are protected and covered, I am protected and covered, and the brokerage is protected and covered.

The risk you refer to is only imagined because you do not have all the facts pertinent to my files and/or what I do to ensure my clients are protected. This is a short-coming I find with most real estate agents … making assumptions without having all or any facts to support it. With all due respect you have NO CLUE as to what I do or any FACTS to support your claim that I put anyone at risk.

The FACTS have not all be disclosed in my post or in my dialoge with you here because my business is my business. It is my intellectual property not available for public consumption. My posts are intended for general information purposes only. They are not intended to disclose confidential and/or proprietary information regarding how I conduct my business to the public.

I will say, to ease any ill-conceived concerns and/or misconceptions you seemingly have about how I transact my real estate business that I do work closely with a couple of local real estate attorneys with whom I have a long established relationship dating back to when I worked as a litigating paralegal in Santa Clara County. I also frequently consult with my own CPA on matters, when necessary.

Bottom Line: You simply do not have all the facts. I have never been at any risk of “ill consequences” to how I manage my files because I take extraordinary steps and measures to ensure that I do not. My client's best interest always comes first. I bring a breadth and depth of education, experience and training to my real estate business.

My legal background simply allows me to see what an average agent is virtually clueless about. Knowing what I know, and you apparently do not know, I leverage the knowledge of real estate attorneys in a way that actually protects everyone more than the standard CAR form templates will ever accomplish on their own.

It baffles my mind that you have taken a position on a post that is over two years old and claim to somehow know more about my business than my attorneys and I do. I caution you Mary to refrain from making unsupported allegations about anyone’s business that you know virtually nothing about. Remember what happens when we A-S-S-U-M-E?

We can all serve each other well by minding our own business and not making assumptions about others.

Nov 27, 2010 05:48 PM #6
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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale - San Jose Probate Agent

Guy, See my response to Mary’s post.

In addition, please read the AR guidelines. Posting a link in a comment is a violation of the guidelines. You comment has been reported as a concern and will be deleted because it violates the AR guidelines. Thanks nonetheless for stopping by … its been so long since I have heard from you.

Nov 27, 2010 05:54 PM #7
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Kathleen Daniels

San Jose Homes for Sale - San Jose Probate Agent
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