Written Answers - Tax Code.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 621 No. 84

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  235.  Mr. Wall   Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen   the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kildare seeking to obtain a suitable house for their family has to pay stamp duty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21726/06]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Cowen): Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Stamp duty is a duty on the transfer of title to property. It has been in existence in some form for many years and has not in general hindered persons moving, trading up or trading down.

Stamp duty is a significant contributor to the Exchequer which permits Government spending on public services such as health and education. Stamp duty receipts also allow for a broader tax base than would otherwise be possible.

Stamp duty is chargeable at progressive rates on the purchase of residential properties exceeding €127,000. However in the case of first time owner occupying buyers of second-hand property, stamp duty only arises on property exceeding €317,500. In the case of new houses, all owner-occupiers are exempt from stamp duty where the property does not exceed 125 square metres. Where the property exceeds 125 square [292]metres, stamp duty is only charged on either the value of the site or 25% of the value of the property, whichever is greater.

In addition, Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) is available at source in respect of interest paid on monies borrowed for the purchase, maintenance, repair or improvement of that taxpayer’s main residence, including second-hand houses. Furthermore, owner-occupiers can avail of the exemption from Capital Gains Tax on any gain arising from the sale of their principal private residence.

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