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Ireland Cuts Stamp Duty For First Time Home Buyers

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

21 June 2007


Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, on Wednesday published the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2007, which provides a stamp duty exemption for a first-time purchaser of a house or apartment that is to be used as a principal place of residence.

Cowen said yesterday that he intends to have the Bill enacted before the Dáil rises for the summer recess.

“This Bill implements the commitment, contained in the Programme for Government, to abolish stamp duty for all first-time purchasers," he explained. It will apply to instruments executed on or after 31 March 2007, and where stamp duty has been paid in respect of such an instrument before the Bill becomes law, a provision has been included to allow for a repayment of that duty.

Under existing law, where a first-time purchaser acquires, as his or her only or principal place of residence, a second-hand house/apartment for a price exceeding EUR317,500, a stamp duty liability arises at: 3% up to EUR381,000; 6% up to EUR635,000; and 9% over EUR635,000.

Where a first-time purchaser acquires, as his or her only or principal residence, a new house or apartment with a floor area that does not exceed 125 sq meters, there is no stamp duty liability.

The Bill, when it is enacted, will in effect reduce all these first-time purchaser rates to nil so that every first-time purchaser, who acquires as his or her only or principal place of residence a new or second-hand house or apartment, will not be liable to stamp duty.

As previously stated, the provisions of the Bill will apply retrospectively to instruments executed on or after 31 March 2007. Thus, where a person who has paid any stamp duty becomes entitled to an exemption from that duty when the Bill is enacted, he or she will be entitled to claim a repayment of that duty from the Revenue Commissioners. The Revenue Commissioners will, in due course, publish details of how a claim for such a repayment is to be made when the Bill becomes law.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series giving background tax and residence information on many of the key offshore jurisdictions is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report4.asp

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