What is a “preliminary change of ownership report”?
When real property is transferred in California, it is potentially subject to reassessment upon a change in ownership. (Reassessment often means an increase in property taxes.) For this reason, when you record a deed transferring property, you also need to complete a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (“PCOR”) to alert the county assessor of the transfer. Certain types of transfers are excluded from reassessment altogether. If this is the case for you, the PCOR is the form that allows you to claim the exclusion and avoid reassessment.
What types of information is included on the PCOR?
The PCOR asks for the following information:
- Information about the property (Address, APN, etc.)
- Name(s) of seller/transferor
- Name(s) and contact information for buyer/transferee
- Whether an exclusion is appropriate and which exclusion is being claimed
- Information about the type of transfer (sale, gift, inheritance, etc.)
- Purchase price and sale terms (if applicable)
- Other miscellaneous information
If your attorney is preparing the deed, they will prepare the PCOR for you as well.
Where is the PCOR filed?
You mail it to the county recorder’s office with the executed deed, and the recorder will have it filed with the county assessor.
Where do I get a PCOR?
The PCOR is available on the website for the county Recorder/Assessor in which the property is located.
What happens if I don’t file the PCOR?
If you fail to file the PCOR, you can be subject to paying a penalty (with interest). Additionally, failure to claim a reassessment exclusion may result in the reassessment of the property and an increase in property taxes.
How do I find out if I qualify for an exclusion?
The PCOR itself lists several common exclusions. You can also check the assessors’ handbook, the Revenue and Tax Code, or talk to an attorney. Some common exclusions are when you transfer a property to your living trust, transfers between spouses, and transfers between parents and children.
If I am eligible for an exclusion, are there any other documents to file?
It depends on the exclusion, but maybe. For instance, if you are claiming the parent/child exclusion, you need to fill out the “Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer Between Parent and Child,” which is sent directly to the county assessor (along with other required documents, such as a copy of the relevant trust, if applicable).
If you are unsure about which documents to file, or whether you qualify for an exclusion from reassessment, contact an attorney experienced in real estate transfers.
Helix Law Firm can help with property transfers
If you need to transfer a property, we can help. We can advise you on which type of deed to use, draft the deed, execute it with a notary, and complete all other necessary paperwork, including the PCOR and the Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer Between Parent and Child.
If you’re interested in learning more, please call us at (619) 567-4447 to schedule a free consultation.