Developers getting away without paying stamp duty
Posted on April 09, 2008 at 12:58 PM
A tax scam which was first raised by Labour Party Spokesperson on Finance Deputy Joan Burton which in 2006 cost the Irish exchequer €250m was raised today during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil this morning.
This is the scam whereby developers purchasing developing land can get away without paying stamp duty. (You can find out more details about this in the accompanying video.)
Addressing the Taoiseach, Deputy Gilmore said: "Can you explain to homebuyers who have to pay stamp duty for their home, some of whom have paid stamp duty for homes they have purchased that are worth a lot less than the money paid for them.
"Or can you explain to people who are still paying stamp duty, who are trading up; why it is that people buying a family home are paying stamp duty and have had to pay stamp duty whereas big developers buying land for development purposes can get away without paying stamp duty and why that provision of the 2007 Finance Act has not yet been commenced."
Eamon added that if Mr. Cowen is going to make his mark as Taoiseach, then he will have to show more courage than he did when he recently surrendered to lobbying from developers and decided not to implement a key change to the Finance Act.
He said: "The amendment to the 2007 Finance Act had been introduced at the request of the Revenue Commissioners and was designed to close off a loophole in the law in regard to stamp duty that was costing the Exchequer up to €250 per year. When Mr. Cowen has to chose between the advice of the Revenue Commissions and the pleadings of a firm of stockbrokers, he followed the Fianna Fail instincts and went with the stockbrokers.
Mr. Cowen will face very serious challenges in the economic area with a rapid deterioration in the public finances, and unprecedented rise last month in the numbers on the live register, and several other negative indicators. His own mishandling of the economy, especially in regard to the construction sector and his dithering over stamp duty have greatly worsened the problems he now faces."
The full Dáil transcript of today's exchange will be available on the Oireachtas website sometime later today at this link.
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