Stamp duty on property
Stamp duty is charged on the instruments used in the transfer of property – that is, on the conveyance documents that transfer ownership of the property. In general, the only factor affecting the amount of stamp duty is the value of the property.
Stamp duty applies to residential property such as houses, apartments or sites with agreement to build. It is also payable on non-residential property, that is, land or housing sites without residential buildings - see Rates below.
Budget 2015: changes were announced to consanguinity relief - see below.
A simplified stamp duty system was introduced on 8 December 2010 - see Rates below. Before that date there was a complex system of exemptions and reliefs for stamp duty on residential property. These earlier rules are summarised in Further information below.
“Residential property” includes houses and apartments. It also includes sites with agreement to build.
If you buy a site in connection with (or as part of) an arrangement to build a house or apartment on it, then stamp duty will be charged at the residential property rate on the total of the site cost and the building cost
- If you buy a site with no connected arrangement to build a house or apartment on it, then stamp duty will be charged on the site cost at the non-residential property rate
Read more on the Revenue website here.
Read here how large gardens, car parking spaces and marina berths are treated for stamp duty purposes.
Transfers between spouses, civil partners and cohabitants
In general, the following transactions are exempt from stamp duty:
- All transfers/leases of property between spouses and civil partners (unless the transfer is a subsale – a sale carried out within the process of a larger sale)
- Property transferred between former spouses/civil partners under a court order, following a divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership
- Property transferred by a cohabitant to his or her cohabitant, on or after 1 January 2011, under a Property Adjustment Order
Read more in our document on family and shared homes.
While the above transactions are in general exempt from stamp duty, the exemption does not apply if any other person is a party to the instrument.
In the case of non-residential property, stamp duty is payable at half the normal rate applicable if there is a transfer of property (other than shares) to certain relatives - for example, a parent, grandparent, step-parent, child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew. This consanguinity relief is not available on leases or on transactions involving cousins and/or in-laws.
Consanguinity relief is due to expire on 31 December 2014. However, it was announced in Budget 2015 that it would be extended for a period of 3 years in certain circumstances, where the transferor is 65 years or under and the transferee is an active farmer.
For residential property, consanguinity relief was abolished since 8 December 2010.
Clawback of stamp duty relief
A stamp duty clawback arises where rent, other than under the Rent a Room scheme, is obtained within the 2-year period (or up to the date of a sale during this period) from the date of the purchase deed. The amount of the clawback is the difference between (a) the stamp duty payable at the higher rates which would have applied at the date of the purchase deed and (b) the lower duty (if any) paid as a result of getting the benefit of reduced stamp duty rates.
Under the Rent a Room scheme, there is no stamp duty clawback where rent is received by the person in occupation of the house or apartment on or after 6 April 2001 for letting of furnished accommodation in part of the house.
Farm consolidation relief
This relief was for farmers who sold some agricultural land and bought more in order to consolidate their holdings and improve the viability of their farms. It is no longer applicable.
|Up to €1,000,000||1%|
For people buying their homes under local authority tenant purchase and similar schemes, a maximum amount of €100 is charged in stamp duty.
There is no stamp duty payable on certain transfers between spouses, civil partners and cohabitants – see above.
If you paid VAT on your house, you only have to pay stamp duty on the base price of the house – before the VAT was added. So, for example, if you paid €227,000 (including VAT) for your new house, this is made up of the base price of €200,000 plus 13.5% VAT (€27,000) and you only pay stamp duty on the base price of €200,000 Read more in our document on Value Added Tax.
Since 7 December 2011 there is a single rate of 2% on all non-residential property and the first €10,000 is no longer exempt from stamp duty.
How to apply
Your solicitor will calculate how much stamp duty is due and request this from you before the sale is closed. The amount is paid to the Revenue Commissioners, who place a stamp on the property deeds. Without this stamp, the deeds cannot be registered.
Where to apply
Residential property: before 8 December 2010
Before 8 December 2010, the amount of stamp duty payable varied according to the value of the property and your status (such as first-time buyer or investor). Stamp duty was divided up into different categories and rates and the amount you had to pay depended on your particular circumstances.
First-time buyer exemption
Up to 8 December 2010, first-time buyers who were owner-occupiers of new and second-hand residential property did not pay stamp duty. As a divorced or separated person, you could be considered a first-time buyer if you met certain conditions.
Non-owner-occupiers and investors
People who rent out new or second-hand houses or apartments are considered investors. Under the rules in force up to 8 December 2010, the same rates of stamp duty applied to investors as to non-first-time owner-occupiers.
Other exemptions and reliefs
- Owner-occupiers of new houses/apartments were exempt from stamp duty, provided that the area of the house or apartment did not exceed 125 square metres and a Floor Area Compliance Certificate had been issued
- If the area of the house or apartment was greater than 125 square metres, some stamp duty was payable if the Chargeable Consideration was above the relevant exemption threshold
- You did not have to pay stamp duty when buying a property for less than €127,500
- Stamp duty did not apply where a parent transferred a site to a child, subject to certain conditions