What You Need to Know About Stamp Duties When Searching Homes for Sale in Trinidad and Tobago – 2021 Update

What You Need to Know About Stamp Duties When Searching Homes for Sale in Trinidad and Tobago!

Whether you are buying or selling a piece of residential property, you must familiarize yourself with all materials that require stamp duties so you are able to factor these costs into your overall budget and avoid unpleasant surprises after the process has begun.
Here we highlight 4 things you need to know about stamp duties in Trinidad and Tobago.

1.How Much Do Stamp Duties Cost?

Stamp Duty fees are calculated as a percentage of the value of the property being bought or sold. Some properties are exempted from these fees, while others are subjected to specific rates as outlined by the Inland Revenue Division of the Ministry of Finance:

HOUSE AND LAND RATES:

The following rates of stamp duty SHALL BE payable on the sale or other disposal of residential properties (with dwelling house) whose values exceed $2M TTD :

· For every dollar of the first $400,000 – 3%

· For every dollar of the next $500,000 – 5%

· For every dollar thereafter – 7.5%

LAND ONLY RATES:

The sale or disposal of residential land valued at $450,000 or less shall be EXEMPT from Stamp Duty.

· For every dollar of the first $200,000 in excess of $450,000 – 2%

· For every dollar of the next $200,000 in excess of $650,000 – 5%

· For every dollar thereafter in excess of $850,000 – 7%

2. Are There Special Exemptions for First Time Homeowners?

The Stamp Duty Act, Chap 76:01 – Stamp Duty for Residential Properties. The stamp duty exemption applicable to first time homeowners on the conveyance or transfer on sale as well as on the mortgage of property that includes a dwelling house that is used for residential purposes has been increased to $2 million. Effective January 01, 2021.

Please do note that The exemption in respect of First Time Homeowners is restricted to the purchase of a house or house and land (together). If you are purchasing land only for your first home then you will be entitled to an exemption up to a maximum of $450,000 for the purchase of residential land, once the land meets certain criteria and the relevant exemption application is made.

3. What about non-first time homeowners?

For non-First Time Homeowners the exemption is up to a maximum of $850,000.

4. How Are Stamp Duties Paid?

Stamp duties are a mandatory fee applied to certain legal documents, several of which are required for real estate transactions in Trinidad and Tobago. These documents include Deeds of Mortgage, Deeds of Conveyance of Gift, Release of Mortgage Loan, and Deeds of Lease
Typically, your real estate attorney facilitates this process. Your attorney will ensure all relevant documents are prepared and presented appropriately, and they conduct the transaction on your behalf. If, however, you are handling this process yourself, we strongly advise that you have a staff member at the Stamp Duty Office assess your documents before finalizing payment. Once all is well, your stamp duties can be paid via certified cheque, cash or a debit card attached to a TT bank account. Payments are made at the Stamp Duty Section of the Office of Inland Revenue, which is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm every weekday, except public holidays.

The Stamp Duty Section
Inland Revenue Division
Ground Floor
Trinidad House
Edward Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 623-1211-4

South Regional Office
Inland Revenue Division
Cipero Street
San Fernando
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 657-5775/6057

Tobago Regional Office
Inland Revenue Division
Sangster’s Hill
Scarborough
Tobago, West Indies
Tel. (868) 639-2410/2538

Now that you are informed on Stamp Duties, head over to our Trinidad Homes For Sale Catalogue To Start Your Property Search!

NB: This blog is not legal advice. You should consult a local legal adviser if you have any problems or concerns regarding your land and property taxes in Trinidad and Tobago.
Knowledge is power and at Propsnoop we take pride in furnishing our clients with all the information they need to plan appropriately, budget smartly, and act swiftly. That being said, whether you have decided to maneuver the process of buying or selling on your own, or with the assistance of a registered real estate agent, we hope this article answers any questions you might have about stamp duty fees.

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