Stamp duty on property

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is tax you pay when you transfer property. It is charged on the written documents that transfer ownership of land and buildings. Stamp duty applies to residential property such as houses, apartments or sites with agreement to build. It is also applies to non-residential property, such as, land or housing sites without residential buildings - see Rates below.

In general, the only factor affecting the amount of stamp duty is the value of the property. However, a higher stamp duty rate applies if you buy 10 or more residential houses or duplexes at a time, or in a year. This measure was introduced to discourage investment funds from buying up housing estates. See ‘Rates’ below for information on the increased rate, including exemptions and refunds.

Stamp duty rules and exemptions

“Residential property” includes houses, apartments and any site that is bought with a connected agreement to build residential property on it.

  • 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

There is information (pdf) on revenue.ie on how large gardens, car parking spaces and marina berths are treated for stamp duty purposes. You can also read more on revenue.ie about stamp duty on property in general.

Transfers between spouses, civil partners and cohabitants

In general, the following transactions are exempt from stamp duty:

  • All transfers or 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 or 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.

Relief on farmland transfers within a family

A special consanguinity relief is available when transferring farmland between certain family members. This reduces stamp duty to 1% on family farm transfers that qualify for the relief. To qualify you must be related to the person transferring the land and do one of the following:

  • Farm the land yourself for at least 6 years.
  • Lease the land to someone else for a minimum of 6 years, so they can farm it.

The person farming the land must also do one of the following:

  • Have a relevant agricultural qualification, or get one within four years of the date they got the land.
  • Spend at least 50% of their time farming land (including this land transfer).

Related persons include parents, grandparents, step-parents, children, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. The full list of related persons who qualify for the relief is in Schedule 1 of the Stamp Duty Tax and Duty Manual (pdf).

This relief runs until 31 December 2023. Further detailed requirements about qualifying for this relief are on revenue.ie.

Farm consolidation relief

This relief is for farmers who buy and sell agricultural land in order to consolidate their holdings and improve the viability of their farms. It provides for a stamp duty rate of 1% on these transactions. This relief is due to expire on 31 December 2022. Further information about Farm Consolidation Relief is available on revenue.ie.

Clawback of stamp duty reliefs

There are clawbacks for certain stamp duty reliefs. A clawback is where you have to repay money or benefits you have received because you have not met certain criteria or contractual obligations. For some stamp duty reliefs you have to meet certain qualifying criteria for a number of years or the relief will be ‘clawed back’. This can be 2 or 5 years for stamp duty reliefs. If you fail to meet the criteria for the entire period, you must pay back the stamp duty and any interest. There is more information about stamp duty clawbacks on revenue.ie.

Rates

Residential property

In general the stamp duty rate is based on property value. However, there is an increased stamp duty rate of 10%, if you buy 10 or more residential houses or duplexes at a time, or cumulatively in a year, see tables below.

Residential stamp duty rate including purchases of less than 10 houses or duplexes in a year:

Property value Rate
Up to €1,000,000 1%
Balance 2%

Residential stamp duty rate when buying 10 or more houses or duplexes in a year:

Number of houses/duplexes in a year Rate
10 or more 10% on the total amount

This increased rate applies from 20 May 2021. However, houses and duplexes bought before 20 May 2021 can be counted towards the threshold of 10 units, but the higher rate only applies to the units bought after this. For example, if you bought 6 houses in April 2021 and 5 houses in June 2021, the April purchases mean that you have reached the threshold of 10 houses in a year, but the higher stamp duty rate is only charged on the houses bought in June.

This increased rate does not apply when buying apartments, and does not affect local authorities and approved housing bodies.

You can claim a refund if you pay the increased rate of stamp duty, but then decide to lease the properties to a local authority or approved housing body for social housing. The refund is the difference between the standard rate and the increased rate. To qualify for this refund you must:

  • Lease the properties to the local authority or approved housing body within two years of buying them
  • Lease the properties for at least ten years

Exceptions

If you are buying your home under the local authority tenant purchase scheme, 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 €454,000 (including VAT) for your new house, this is made up of the base price of €400,000 plus 13.5% VAT (€54,000) and you only pay stamp duty on the base price of €400,000. Read more in our document on Value Added Tax.

Non-residential property

A single rate of 7.5% applies to all non-residential property. Before October 2019, this rate was 6%.

The Stamp Duty Residential Development Refund Scheme allows for a refund on a portion of the stamp duty you paid for non-residential land, if you subsequently develop the land for residential use. This scheme is available until 31 December 2021. The time allowed between commencement and completion of a qualifying project is 2 years and 6 months.

Stamp duty (payable by the lessee) charged on the premium component of a lease of non-residential property is also 7.5%. There is no change in the rate of stamp duty on the rent component of a lease.

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

National Stamp Duty Office

New Stamping Building
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
Ireland

Locall: 1890 482582
Page edited: 26 July 2021