On 10 October 2017, it was announced in Budget 2018, that the rate of stamp duty on commercial properties was to triple from 2% to 6%. While the increase may have been expected, the fact the increase was introduced from midnight on the day of the Budget caused a flurry of activity in conveyancing departments across the country. Commercial transactions can be in negotiations for a considerable period of time between the parties.  This increase in stamp duty to 6% with immediate effect meant a huge increase in funds required to complete the transaction for major commercial transactions despite the commercial deal being agreed at this stage.

On 27 October 2017, Revenue released eBrief No. 94/2017 setting out transitional relief measures for commercial transactions eligible for the 2% stamp duty rate. An instrument executed before 1 January 2018 where a binding contract was in place before 11 October 2017 between the parties will mean the rate of 2% can be applied.

As the Finance Bill 2017 has not yet been enacted, a purchaser of a commercial property where a binding contract was in place before 11 October 2017 has two options:

  1. Pay stamp duty at the rate of 6% and once the Finance Bill is enacted, apply for a refund of the difference between 2% and 6%.  The refund will only be issued if all relevant supporting documentation can be produced to the Revenue.
  2. Pay stamp duty at the rate of 2% but a Stamp Certificate will not issue.  This will then have an impact on registering you as the legal owner of the property.  However, the Property Registration Authority has put provisional arrangements in place which your solicitor who is submitting your application must comply with.

Gillian Butler is a conveyancing and commercial solicitor at Keating Connolly Sellors and regularly advises both private and commercial clients.  If you are a landlord or tenant and wish to learn more about how you may be effected by the new regulations, contact Gillian at gbutler@sellors.ie or 061 414 355 or  061 432 316.

The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We advise people to always seek specific expert advice for their individual circumstances.

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