The Finance Act 2012 has brought about a number of changes to the current stamp duty filing requirements. These changes will affect any stamp duty return which is executed on or after the 7th of July 2012.
The main changes which you should be aware of are as follows:
1. Removal of Adjudication Procedure
The process of adjudication for the purpose of assessing stamp duty has been removed and any stamp duty which would have been payable in these circumstances must now be self-assessed. If the transaction took place prior to the 7th of July 2012, adjudication can still take place if it is thought to be required and should still be sent to the Revenue Commissioners.
2. Late filing fees
Failure to file the stamp duty return on time will result in a late filing fee which will range from 5% to 10% being imposed. The Revenue will not impose these fees for stamp duty returns which are filed within 44 days from their execution. However after this period a late fee of between 5% and 10% will be charged. The amount of the late fee will depend on how late the stamp duty is being filed and will be determined by the Revenue Commissioners.
3. New “Expression of Doubt” criteria
Up until the 7th July 2012, where the person filing the stamp duty return was somewhat uncertain of the stamp duty payable, they could file the form with an “Expression of Doubt”. The criteria in relation to the use of the “Expression of Doubt” have been tightened to distinguish between cases which require the facility and cases which don’t. The Revenue has the discretion to reject stamp duty returns which contain expressions of doubt where they deem it not to be genuine in that instance. They will reject the return until an amended stamp duty return is filed with the appropriate duty. An “Expression of Doubt” cannot be used on a stamp duty return which is being filed late.
4. Correct Recording
It is worth noting that although the adjudication process is being removed, this does not remove the requirement to ensure that the correct documentation is prepared and that any transaction that would normally have required an adjudication is correctly recorded and kept on file. Such documentation could be requested at a later stage, for example in the case of a Revenue Audit.
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