AFR Advocates

 

Guernsey: 9 October 2013 - Amendments to Document Duty proposed in 2014 Budget

 
The States of Guernsey Budget Report 2014 was published this morning, and will be debated by the States on 29 October 2013.

Amongst the proposals in the Budget are amendments to the thresholds determining the level of Document Duty payable in respect of transactions of realty containing a dwelling, the current thresholds not having been amended since 2002.  

Currently, Document Duty is payable at a rate of 2% of the value of the transaction is payable where the value of the transaction is £150,000 or less, 2.5% if the transaction exceeds £150,000 but not £250,000, and 3% if the value of the transaction exceeds £250,000.  The Budget proposes that these Document Duty levels are permanently amended so that Document Duty at 2% of the value of the transaction is payable where the value of the transaction is £250,000 or less, 2.5% where the value of the transaction exceeds £250,000 but not £400,000, and 3% where the value of the transaction exceeds £400,000 and for all other categories of conveyance.

Further, in order to stimulate and encourage the property market, it is proposed that a temporary reduction to two of the lower thresholds is introduced on 29 October 2013, to take effect until 31 October 2014. If approved, the temporary reductions would mean that if the value of the transaction is £250,000 or less, Document Duty of 1% will be payable, and if the value of the transaction exceeds £250,000 but not £400,000, Document Duty of 2% is payable.

The Report also proposes that, if the proposals are adopted by the States, a repayment will be made in respect on all relevant documents registered between the date of publication of the Budget Report (9 October 2013) and the Debate on 29 October 2013.  It is not quite clear at this stage how that repayment process would operate.

Further, the 2014 Budget Report advises that the decision of the States in 2012 to introduce a Share Transfer Duty regime in Guernsey, at the same rate of Document Duty that will apply as above, has been categorised as Priority 1 by the Policy Council, and a detailed Policy together with the Draft Law will be submitted to the States in early 2014.