The current rate of stamp duty payable on non-residential property was increased from 2% to 6% from midnight on 10 October 2017. This new 6% rate will not only apply to transfers of commercial property and land but will also apply to contracts for the sale of other types of assets such as debtors, goodwill, and benefit of contracts. Transitional arrangements for executed contracts are to apply and the full details are to be provided for in the upcoming Finance Bill.
A stamp duty refund scheme is to be set up in respect of commercial land purchased for residential development in an effort to address the housing supply challenge. The refund is to be subject to certain conditions, to include a requirement that developers will have to commence the relevant development within 30 months of the land purchase. The full details in relation to this refund scheme are to be provided for in the upcoming Finance Bill.
The Budget extended the 1% rate of stamp duty relief on the transfer of farmland between family members meeting certain age criteria. Under pressure from farming groups, it was announced subsequent to the Budget that the age limit for farmers to be eligible for the 1% rate of stamp duty on the transfer of farmland between family members is to be lifted or removed entirely. Under the current rules, farmers up to the age of 67 years old can transfer their land to family members at a rate of 1%. Following the stamp duty increase to 6% in the Budget, farmers taking a transfer of land from a family member over 67 years of age would have been liable at this new rate. The full details are to be disclosed in the upcoming Finance Bill.
Vacant Site Levy
The Vacant Site Levy which is due to commence in 2019 will increase from 3% to 7% in second and subsequent years.
This will mean that any owner of a vacant site on the register who does not develop their land in 2018 will pay the 3% levy in 2019 and then become liable to the increased rate of 7% from 1 January 2019.
Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) / Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
Amendments are to be made to CAT Agricultural Relief and CGT Retirement Relief to provide that the leasing of agricultural land for the production of solar energy will not affect the entitlement to these reliefs where the area of the land which is leased for that purpose does not exceed 50% of the total area of the land concerned.
The full details in relation to the amendments to these reliefs are to be provided for in the upcoming Finance Bill.
Mortgage Interest Relief
An extension of mortgage interest relief was announced for existing recipients for a further three years on a tapered basis. The relief will not be fully abolished until 2021.
Please note that the above information is a brief overview on the matter. Professional advice must be obtained for individual circumstances. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, no liability is accepted by the author for any inaccuracies.