I keep getting these Unison solicitations in the mail. Another question discusses whether or not this is a good deal in general, but one thing I don't see mentioned is taxes. I have searched quite a bit on this, but I have not found any source even talking about this.

If I sell my primary home, I would get a tax exemption from any profits on the proceeds. But the money Unison gives me is not a loan, as you don't have any payments to make and no reporting to credit bureaus. I don't think it's considered actually buying partial ownership in your house either, because the ad says you continue to be the full owner. Instead, it seems like they are giving you money and in return you are signing some contract promising them a share in future appreciation of your home (if any). In a business contract like this I would assume that this would be counted as income or as sales to somebody and taxes would need to be paid.

So would somebody taking them up on this offer have to pay income taxes, sales tax, or any other kind of tax on any money they provide?

I tried to "chat" with somebody at Unison, but it appears that their chatbot exists solely for the purpose of harvesting e-mail addresses, and I'm not going to talk to an actual person at Unison because I suspect they will just direct me to talk to my imaginary accountant or something.

  • Income is always taxable, no matter what construct is used to get it.
    – Aganju
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 19:57
  • 1
    @Aganju Not true... life insurance proceeds, for example
    – user12515
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 0:08
  • Unison's web site now indicates that you likely do NOT pay taxes on the money they give you, but that you should consult a tax advisor. They do not, however, talk about capital gains taxes you may owe on the portion of appreciation you have to pay back to them.
    – Carlos N
    Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 17:28


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