The Duty on Donations of Marketable Securities and Immovable Property Used for Business (Exemption) Order (the "Order"), [1] recently amended by Legal Notice 412 of 2018, [2] introduces a reduced rate of duty for gratuitous transfers of business property. The aim is to partially relieve the burden placed on individuals who intend to transfer immovable property forming part of a family business.

The Order applies, inter alia, to individuals transferring, by gratuitous title, immovable property being a commercial tenement as defined in article 1525 of the Civil Code, that had been used in a family business as defined in the Family Business Act for a period of three (3) years preceding the transfer.

Should a transfer of immovable property meet all the conditions in Regulation 2(1)(b) et seq. of the Order, then the duty on the transfer shall be charged at the rate of EUR 1.50 on every EUR 100, or part thereof of the value of the property transferred. This reduced rate of duty constitutes an important derogation from the general duty chargeable under the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act. [3]

Additional conditions must be fulfilled for the reduced rate of duty to apply, and these include:

(i)The transfer shall be made by public deed, which deed shall state the basis for the reduced rate of duty;

(ii)The disapplication of any further exemption or relief from duty;

(iii)The transfer occurring on or after the 1st April 2017 but prior to 1st January 2020;

(iv)The property transferred to the transferee must not be alienated, inter vivos, within a period of three (3) years immediately following the date of the transfer by gratuitous title;

(v)The relevant forms are filed with the Commissioner for Revenue on or before the 31st December 2019.