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Unsatisfactory transitional arrangements for new stamp duty rate

House plans

The Finance Bill 2017 increased the rate of stamp duty for transfers of non-residential property from 2% to 6%. The higher rate of stamp duty of 6% is effective from 11th October 2017.

Despite initial uncertainty following the budget announcement, the Finance Bill 2017 included transitional measures which allowed purchasers of commercial property with binding contracts for sale already in place to avail of the lower rate of 2%. Purchasers with binding contracts for sale in place before 11th October 2017 may avail of the transitional arrangements provided that the instrument of transfer:

  • is executed before 1st January 2018; and
  • contains a statement certifying that the instrument was executed solely in pursuance of a binding contract entered into before 11th October 2017.

Unfortunately, legal practitioners are having considerable difficulty availing of the exemption on behalf of clients, due to the fact the Revenue online system does not yet facilitate the transitional arrangements. Practitioners have been advised that it is necessary to pay the increased 6% rate and thereafter claim a refund.

That position is quite unsatisfactory, and may well be remedied in the coming weeks.
 

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