Stamp duty on financial cards

Introduction

A tax (or stamp duty) is charged by the Government on cards issued by financial institutions in Ireland each year. If you use one of the following cards issued by a financial institution, you must pay a tax each year.

These cards include:

  • ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) cards and debit cards
  • Credit cards and charge cards

ATM cards and debit cards

Since 1 January 2016, a government stamp duty of 12 cent applies to ATM withdrawals (this is in addition to any charge from your bank). This is capped at €2.50 for ATM cards and €5 for combined (ATM and debit) cards. This stamp duty is collected in arrears. This means that charges you incur in 2017 are charged to your account on 31 December 2017.

Credit cards and charge cards

A credit card is a plastic card issued by a financial institution that allows you to obtain goods, services or cash up to a stipulated credit limit. You then pay the credit card company for the amount of the total transactions you charge on the card. Interest is charged on any outstanding balance each month.

A charge card can be used like a credit card except no interest is charged since balances are paid by you at the end of each month.

The stamp duty is payable annually as follows:

  • Credit cards: €30
  • Charge cards: €30

The charge is for each account. You can have additional cards issued on an account without paying extra duty.

Companies that have a number of cards on one account must pay the duty on each card.

Stamp duty is generally collected on 1 April for the preceding year. The tax year for the stamp duty begins on April 2.

If the credit card account is closed and has never been used, no stamp duty is payable provided that you close the account in the same period as it was opened. If you don't close the account in the period it was opened you will be charged stamp duty on it even if it has never been used. If you have used your card and you close your account during the year, you will be charged stamp duty on closure.

If you are changing to a different credit card account you don’t have to pay the duty again for that year. When you are closing the account your card issuer will give you a letter of closure stating that you have paid your stamp duty for the year. If you give this letter to your new card issuer, you will not be charged stamp duty by them for that year. You can change account as often as you like during the year without paying extra duty, as long as you transfer a letter of closure between the card issuers each time.

You are not liable to stamp duty if your billing address is outside the State for the entire accounting period in question.

In the case of a credit card account or a charge card account, where the cardholder has died and the account is closed, there is no duty payable in respect of the credit card account or charge card account on the following 1 April.

Where to apply

If you have a query about a stamp duty charge on your account you should raise it with your financial institution. For more information on how the stamp duty on financial cards is applied contact Revenue's Large Cases Division.

Revenue Commissioners

Large Cases Division
Ballaugh House
73-79 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel:(01) 6131803
Homepage: http://www.revenue.ie
Email: lcdfslevies@revenue.ie

Page edited: 15 August 2017