In the most recent budget the rate of Stamp Duty on non-residential property transactions increased from 2% to 6% with effect from midnight on 10th October 2017. It was expected that the budget would increase the rate of stamp duty for non- residential property although the extent of the increase which was announced was not expected.

A Stamp Duty refund scheme relating to the transfer/purchase of land was introduced in the budget. This is relevant where, for example, a site is purchased or transferred to a person with the intention that the site will be developed for residential purposes or where land is purchased for development purposes. It relates only to land purchased/transferred on or after the 11th October, 2017.

Under this scheme, a person who has had land transferred to them on or after the 11th October 2017 and has paid the non-residential rate of 6% stamp duty may claim a refund of up to two-thirds of the stamp duty paid, in circumstances where the land is being developed for residential purposes. A person may only make the claim after the building work has commenced.

To qualify for the refund a person must commence building work:

  • After the date the local authority acknowledges the Commencement Notice;
  • within 30 months after the date the land was transferred to him/her;
  • on or before 31 December

“One-off” houses

In the case of a one-off house, the refund is restricted to a site measuring up to 0.4046 hectares (1 acre). The refund scheme will not apply to any land around the house which exceeds this area.

There are a number of rules around qualifying for the stamp duty relief where, for example, a development is carried out in phases, determining what constitutes the appropriate area of land that has to be developed to  qualify for the refund etc.

A person who wishes to make a claim must do so electronically. The Revenue Commissioners have advised that their online application system will be operational at the end of July 2018.

It is important to be aware of the refund scheme so that, where possible, you can operate within the rules to claim back money that you can, undoubtedly, spend more effectively on your house!

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