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Revenue has published a new Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) Strategy for 2018 to 2020.

We welcome the publication of the CAT strategy which aims to improve the management of CAT by improving service to support compliance and minimise interaction with compliant tax-payers. The improved services will help to increase customer awareness of Gift Tax and Inheritance Tax obligations.

All tax-payers should be aware of possible CAT liabilities and what they can do to reduce those costs when carrying out Estate planning.

Should you require any further information please contact Michelle Mangan, Manager of Tax Services.

Finance Act 2017 introduced a change to the current 7-year capital gains tax exemption (“CGT”) which allows for investors to sell their property after 4 years instead of the previous minimum 7-year holding period.

The recent amendment means that rather than holding the property for a minimum of 7 years, taxpayers can sell the property between the 4th and 7th anniversary of the acquisition date and qualify for full exemption from CGT. This change only applies to disposals on or after 1 January 2018.

No relief is available if the property is sold during the initial four-year acquisition period.

If the property is held for longer than seven years, relief will only apply to the portion of the gain relating to the first 7 years ownership and the balance is taxable in the normal way.

The relief continues to apply to both residential and commercial property situated in Ireland or a member of the European Economic Area and to property held by individuals and corporates.

Taxpayers must continue to meet the other conditions of the relief to qualify for the CGT exemption.

Example:

Purchase a commercial property on 1 January 2014:

  • Cost €200,000
  • Stamp Duty €4,000

Sell the commercial property on 1 March 2019:

  • Sales Proceeds €350,000

Capital Gains Tax:

  • Capital Gain = €146,000 (€350,000 – €200,000 – €4,000)

Relief:

  • Full CGT relief will apply as the property was disposed of between the 4thand 7th anniversary of the acquisition date. As such, no CGT is payable on the gain of €146,000

For more information on the above tax relief, please contact Michelle Mangan, Manager of Tax Services.

 

Up to recently, landlords were not entitled to a tax deduction for pre-letting expenses such as mortgage interest, insurance and repairs incurred before the date a property was first let out.

To encourage owners of vacant residential properties to offer those properties for rent, Finance Act 2017 has introduced a new tax deduction for pre-letting expenses of a revenue nature incurred on a property that has been vacant for a period of 12 months or more.

The pre-letting expenses are now given as a deduction against rental income from that property in the first year it is let out.

Conditions

The property in question must have been vacant for a period of at least 12 months prior to its first letting during the period 25 December 2017 and 31 December 2021.

The expenditure must have been incurred in the 12 months before the property was let out and a cap of €5,000 per vacant property applies.

Claw Back

Where the landlord

  • ceases to let the property as residential premises or
  • sells the property

within 4 years of the first letting, this tax deduction will be clawed back in the year the property ceases to be let by the landlord.

If you have any questions about pre-letting expenses or other rented residential property queries, please contact Eddie Murphy, Partner and Head of Tax Services.