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Single home site buyers could tap ‘stamp duty tax refund’

Monday, August 26, 2019

As published in the Irish Examiner, August 22nd 2019. By Eamon Quinn, featuring Head of Tax, Amanda-Jayne Comyn.

Many people who bought sites to build single homes from October 2017 may not be aware they could tap significant refunds on the stamp duty from Revenue, according to a legal expert.

Amanda-Jayne Comyn, a partner at law firm Philip Lee, said if the reclaim is successful that the cash is paid out almost immediately.

She said Revenue had completed reviews of the vast bulk of the 155 applications it received by March, with most applying for refunds for single houses built on the sites.

The amount of refunds which could be substantial were made available after a hike in previous budgets.

“Prior to the non-residential rate increase in Finance Act 2017, a person could acquire a site to build a house and pay stamp duty at 2% of the value of the site; a fraction of the 6% rate now applicable to the same transaction,” said Ms Comyn.

“The pre- and post-Finance Act 2017 stamp duty rate applying to the acquisition of existing residential property is 1% on the first €1m and 2% thereafter,” the lawyer said.

“The refund scheme applies where a site was acquired on or after 11 October 2017 and there is a subsequent construction of residential housing on that site.

“With sites appreciating in value over current times, the sting of the rate increase may have felt more like a slap for some residential property developers particularly in the midst of our current housing market crisis.

“The lesser-known news is that the refund scheme applies equally to individuals who acquired a single site to build a single residence as it does to property developers,” she added.


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