Thursday, 1 June 2017
Department of Finance
66. To ask the Minister for Finance his plans to review the situation whereby persons purchasing a house following a separation are not exempt from stamp duty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26317/17]
I have been advised by Revenue that, following the dissolution of a marriage or a civil partnership, transfers of property between the spouses or civil partners are exempt from stamp duty where they are made on foot of a court order made under the relevant provisions of the Family Law Act 1995, the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 or the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010. This exemption also applies to transfers of property made on foot of a foreign court order if the particular dissolution is recognised as valid in this State. The relevant provisions are contained in section 97 of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act (SDCA) 1999. Section 97A of this Act provides for a stamp duty exemption in the case of a property transfer between cohabitants on foot of an order made under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010.
These exemptions do not apply if any part of the property is being transferred other than on foot of a specified court order or is being transferred to a party other than one of the spouses, civil partners or cohabitants covered by the particular court order.
Section 92B SDCA 1999 previously provided for a stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers that was ended with effect from 8 December 2010. This exemption was available to former spouses in a legally-ended marriage. A spouse who bought another house could avail of the first-time buyer exemption on that house provided that he/she had not retained an interest in the former marital home, which home continued to be occupied by the other spouse following the ending of the marriage. A stamp duty exemption is not currently available to any first-time buyer, whatever his/her marital situation is.