The Finance Bill published on October 19th last, if enacted as initiated, applies the new 6% rate of stamp duty to conveyances on sale or transfer of commercial real estate and certain other property where the instrument is executed on or after 11 October. It also includes a provision that will, when enacted, provide that the former lower rate of 2% may apply to a conveyance on sale or transfers executed on or before 1 January 2018 provided there was a binding contract in place on or before 10 October 2017 and the instrument contains a certificate to that effect (the “transitional measures”).
The Revenue Commissioners have confirmed that, in circumstances where these transitional measures apply, a taxpayer may either:
- file the stamp duty return via the e-stamping system and pay stamp duty at the current rate of 6%. In such circumstances, a stamp certificate will issue. When the Finance Bill is enacted, the taxpayer can file an amended return and seek a refund of the additional stamp duty paid in excess of the 2% rate applicable to instruments where the transitional measures apply;
- file the stamp duty return via the e-stamping system and pay stamp duty at the rate of 2%. In such circumstances, no stamp certificate will issue. The Revenue Commissioners have indicated that when the Finance Bill is enacted, they will provide further guidance as to how the stamp duty certificate can be obtained.