Recordation tax is a tax on two separate privileges: realty transfer tax and mortgage tax. Recordation tax is collected by the county register of deeds and remitted to the Department of Revenue.
Realty transfer tax is imposed on all transfers of real property, with certain exceptions, for having a deed, decree or other instrument that shows proof of transfer record. The grantee or transferee to the county Register of Deeds pay the realty transfer tax.
Mortgage tax is imposed on the recordation of instruments evidencing indebtedness such as mortgages, deeds of trust, conditional sales contracts, and financing statements. Mortgage tax is paid by the debtor to the county Register of Deeds or the Tennessee Secretary of State depending on the property transferred.