The recently enacted Land Holding Companies Share Transfer Tax
(Amendment) Law 2015 has brought in line the levels of duty payable
for acquiring the shareholding in a land holding company, versus
the more traditional method of transferring legal title in a real
Since December 2012, save for a small number of exceptions
(including exemptions for first time Caymanian purchasers of
residential real estate, up to a certain property value), the rate
of stamp duty payable on regular real estate transfers has been
fixed at a rate of 7.5% of a property's value.
Prior to the enactment of the new legislation on 26 June 2015,
the original 2007 law stated that a party acquiring real estate by
taking transfer of the shares in a corporation that held the land
may have paid between 4% and 7.5% depending on where the property
was situated and whether the purchaser was Caymanian. The new
legislation means that all purchasers, regardless of whether they
are Caymanian or where the property is located, will pay Land
Holding Companies Tax at a rate of 7.5% that the value of the
property bears to the percentage of shareholding being transferred.
The original legislation does continue to offer an ability for
purchasers of shares to approach the Financial Secretary for an
abatement of the tax payable, though this is subject to certain
stipulations and is ultimately at the Financial Secretary's
When calculating stamp duty on any real estate transaction, it
is worth noting that the Government has the ability to reassess the
amount of duty payable where they feel the price paid for a
property is lower than its market value.
Stamp Duty rates on security registered against real estate are
unaffected by these recent changes, remaining at 1% of monies
advanced where the sum secured is CI $300,000 (US $357,143) or
less, and 1.5% of the monies advanced where the sum secured is in
excess of CI $300,000 (US $357,143).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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