Reduction in rate of stamp duty payable on donations of marketable securities and business property

For a short time window, donations amongst family members of marketable securities (shares in a company) and business property (commercial premises) used in a family business are now subject to a reduced stamp duty rate of 1.5%.

Prior to the changes, the standard rate for such donations was set at 2% for donations of marketable securities, 5% for donations of marketable securities where the relative company holds immovable property (which accounts for 75% or more of the totality of assets held by the company), and 5% for donations of immovable property.

To benefit from such reduction the donation must satisfy certain conditions, including that it is made to a spouse, descendant or ascendant in the direct line of the donor (and their relative spouses) or in the absence of such descendants, to the brothers or sisters of the donor, and their relative descendants.

Moreover, the donation must be done by a public deed which is signed on or after the 1st of April 2017 but not later than the 1st of April 2018 and the relevant forms must be completed and delivered to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue on or before the 31st of May 2018.

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