The Department of Inland Revenue (DIR) has full responsibility for all tax matters governing realty transactions now that amendments to the Stamp Act and Value Added Tax (VAT) Act have taken effect. Last month the Government announced that realty transactions would no longer attract stamp tax; instead they attract VAT. The changes are primarily administrative as the rates are same.
“We know home owners and industry professionals were looking for guidelines on implementing the new amendments, so we are happy to announce the streamlined process and that information is now available online. Long term, we are committed to delivering a simple and convenient process for online applications and online payment, so we are asking for patience as we transition,” said Gaynell Rolle, Acting Controller of Inland Revenue. The Public Treasury formerly handled some stamp tax matters, however all tax matters concerning realty transactions now fall under the remit of DIR. The new rules, which took effect on July 1, 2019, impact all mortgages and conveyances undertaken by homeowners and other institutions.
“This is just the beginning because our ultimate goal is to have the entire process automated and delivered online. In fact, the transition is already underway as we have developers working on the digital system. We plan to run a pilot test later this year, but eventually, we will have a fully automated, easy to use online system for realty transactions similar to the portals we now have for business license and VAT filings,” said Ms Rolle.