Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 08 February, 2006

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

  225. Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for Finance if a person (details supplied) in County Louth who has to move to a bungalow for medical reasons will have the stamp duty waived; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4526/06]

[686]   Mr. Cowen: Stamp duty is a tax on certain documents, generally legal documents used in transferring property or in creating rights for the parties concerned. While one may be sympathetic in regard to individual cases, the stamp duty code does not provide exemptions based on an individual’s particular individual circumstances and introducing such a provision would represent a significant departure from normal stamp duty rules. Also, if an exemption were introduced for the type of situation outlined by the Deputy, other special cases would demand similar treatment, which would lead to a narrowing of the stamp duty base.

I point out that there is no stamp duty on the purchase of new residential property for owner-occupiers where the dwelling is not greater than 125 sq. m. and complies with certain conditions in respect of building standards. If the property is over 125 sq. m., stamp duty is charged on the site value or one quarter of the total value of the property, whichever is the greater. The Deputy will appreciate that stamp duty is a significant contributor to the Exchequer and stamp duty receipts allow for a broader tax base than would otherwise be possible. These receipts form an important element of State revenues, which permits Government spending on services such as health and education.