Frequently Asked Questions


Stamp Duty Return


Tax Reference Number

Tax Type

Category of Instrument

Stamp Certificate

Revenue Certificates/Finance Certificates

Interest and penalties


What is e-Stamping?

e-Stamping is the Revenue's latest on-line pay-and-file service in ROS. If you are registered as a business cert holder to use ROS, you can use e-Stamping to file stamp duty returns electronically, to make on-line payments to Revenue and to receive a stamping certificate. You will be able to file a stamp duty return, pay the stamp duty and receive the stamp in the same on-line transaction. If you are registered for ROS, you can access e-Stamping anywhere, anytime to file a stamp duty return and payment.

Should I present an instrument to Revenue for stamping?

No. You should complete a stamp duty return for each stampable instrument and deliver it to Revenue together with the appropriate payment of stamp duty (and interest and penalties if they apply). You will present the instrument to Revenue only in respect of cases involving adjudication, expression of doubt, where a refund is claimed, or on foot of a Revenue requirement but you must first complete and file a stamp duty return in any of these cases. When a return is filed as an adjudication case, you will receive a letter setting out the what information should be furnished to Revenue to allow a formal assessment to duty to be completed. The documents can be sent on receipt of this letter or they can be sent to Revenue at the same time as the stamp duty return. In all cases, the correspondence must quote the relevant DOC ID to ensure that it is associated with the correct return.

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Stamp Duty Return

What is a Stamp Duty Return ?

The stamp duty return is a form that, when completed properly, provides all the information required by Revenue to assess the stamp duty liability and to stamp an instrument. The return is a statutory requirement and may be completed and filed with Revenue in electronic or paper format. An instrument cannot be stamped in the absence of a properly completed return. The information contained in the stamp certificate is based on the information provided by the return.

How do I file a return on-line?

You file the e-Stamping return by logging onto your ROS account and selecting stamp duty from the tax heads listed. ROS will bring up the return screens for e-Stamping. You complete the return by selecting from drop-down menus that list options relating to the type of instrument, type of property and reliefs that apply. The selections you make from these screens should reflect the facts and circumstances as set out in the instrument that you wish to stamp. The e-Stamping system will navigate you automatically to the correct screens for completion and it will calculate the stamp duty automatically based on the entries you have made, and interest and penalties if they apply.

How do I register for ROS?

See Register for ROS (bottom of the screen on the revenue website home page) to begin the process. ROS is a secure pay & file service and, the security requirement means that it can take some weeks to complete the registration process.

I'm an accountant. Can I file a Stamp Duty Return?

Yes, you can file a stamp duty return. However you must use your firm's ROS business digicert rather than a TAIN (Tax Adviser Information Number) digicert to file an e-Stamping return. If you need to obtain a ROS business certificate please go to the e-Stamping ROS Registration Guide (See "Q: How do I register for ROS" above) for information on the process and/or phone the ROS Help desk at lo-call 1890 20 11 06.

Can I complete an e-Stamping return off-line ?

Yes. You can use an off-line version of e-Stamping to download a "work-in-progress" return to your own computer (or office network). The off-line option will assist you in completing the return, in having it reviewed and in meeting internal accounting processes, etc. Once satisfied, you can go on-line in ROS to upload and file the completed return and payment to Revenue.

Can I search the e-Stamping system for returns I have already filed?

Yes. If you have filed an e-Stamping return on-line, you can use e-Stamping's "search" facility to search for details of every on-line stamp duty return you have filed on the system. You cannot search for records in cases where you were not the active filerof the return on-line (see also "Q: How can I verify the status of a stamp certificate?") or where the return was made on paper. You can also view all returns you have filed electronically in your ROS inbox.

After I file a return, is there a record of all the fields I've completed?

Yes. A copy of all the information that you have filed appears in your ROS in-box after the return is filed.

How do I know that the on-line return has been transmitted to Revenue ?

When you click the "sign and submit" button on screen, confirmation that the return has been filed will appear in your inbox. If you do not click this button, the return will be deleted, together with the Document ID.

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How do I pay stamp duty on-line?

When you sign up for ROS, you can set up a direct debit with ROS (known as a ROS Debit Instruction (RDI)) where you can nominate a bank account from which ROS will debit only those on-line payments you have authorised on a case by case basis. In most cases, the bank account nominated will be the firm's "Client Account". Your bank statement will reflect individual ROS debits to assist you in keeping track of payments. You cannot use existing RDIs, that you may have for VAT, PAYE, etc. You will need to set up a separate RDI for Stamp Duty.

How do I set up an RDI?

Log into your ROS account. In the "My Services" page, on the right hand side, click the link "Complete/Amend/Download a ROS Debit Instruction". Click the button "Set up a ROS Debit Instruction", enter Account Name, the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC), and click Next, enter these details again, and click "Next". Tick the check box to Apply RDI details to Stamp Duty, and click "Next". Enter your digicert password, and click "Sign & Submit". You should receive confirmation within days from Revenue that your RDI has been set up.

Can we file a return without payment?

Yes. Payment can be made after filing the return. Howver interest and penalties will accrue if payment is delayed beyond the specified time limits. You will not receive the stamp certificate until the full amount due is paid, including any interest and penalties that may apply.

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Can I file on-line and pay by cheque or EFT?

Yes. You can file on-line and pay separately through the post by cheque or EFT but must quote the Document ID to which the payment refers.

I don't have a computer and/or I'm not registered for ROS. How do I file a return and pay stamp duty ?

If you do not use e-Stamping to file a return electronically, you must complete a paper return for every stampable instrument and deliver that to Revenue, together with a payment for the duty amount. There are different versions of the return tailored to meet different circumstances, including:

  • SDR1 (for single property on a single conveyance, transfer & long term Lease (greater than 100 years)
  • SDR1A (for exchanges and transfer of two (or more) properties in a single conveyance)
  • SDR2 (for conveyances and transfers of stocks and marketable securities)
  • SDR3 (for other stampable instruments including short term (less than or equal to 100 years) leases, mortgages,
  • conveyances not liable, share warrants, Forms 52, policies of insurance and fixed duty instruments)
  • SDCF (form for clawback cases).

Tax Reference Number

What is a Tax Reference Number?

For information on tax reference numbers, including answers to the questions asked most frequently by filers, please see: Tax Reference Numbers and Tax Reference Types Explained.

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Tax Type

What is a Tax Type?

For information on tax types, including answers to the questions asked most frequently by filers, please see: Tax Reference Numbers and Tax Reference Types Explained.

Category of Instrument

What is meant by "Category of Instrument" ?

For information on this, please see: Category of Instruments.

Stamp Certificate

What is a Stamp Certificate?

The stamp certificate is the new form of stamp that has replaced the foil/hologram stamp form since 30th December 2009. Unlike the foil/hologram stamp, which was heat-sealed onto the instrument by Revenue, the stamp certificate is a separate single-page document which is affixed to the instrument by the practitioner to denote that it has been stamped. When issued electronically, it must be printed down from the practitioner's ROS inbox. Where the practitioner has filed a paper return, the stamp certificate will be printed off by Revenue and posted to the practitioner. Each stamp certificate bears a unique identification for security and validation purposes.

How can I verify the status of a Stamp Certificate?

You can use the ROS e-Stamping "3rd Party Search" facility (at the ROS "Infoservices" webpage) to check the status of any stamp certificate by keying in the stamp certificate security number, the Document ID number, the date of stamping and the date of the instrument. The system will display the actual certificate issued by Revenue. If you are not a ROS user, you can contact Revenue in writing to request verification of a stamp certificate.

How can I replace a lost stamp certificate?

If the stamp certificate is missing, you can use e-Stamping's "Search and Retrieve" facility to bring up and print off a copy of the original stamp certificate for which you are the "Active Filer" i.e. you filed the return on-line. If you are not registered to use ROS, or you are not the on-line filer of the original return, you will have to contact Revenue in writing to replace the stamp certificate. If you cannot supply the data needed to identify the certificate, Revenue will search the system on your behalf provided you have satisfied us that you have a legitimate purpose in requesting the search.

What do I do if I can't see the stamp certificate in my inbox ?

This may be a system requirements problem on your PC (possibly your version of Adobe Reader). Please contact the ROS Technical Helpline for advice on how to fix this at lo-call 1890 20 11 06.

Auction sales: How can we advise a client on the veracity of a stamp certificate presented to us at an auction?

It's very likely that the status of the stamp would be confirmed before the auction. You can either use the 3rd Party Search facility, or contact Revenue directly. (See also "Q: How can I verify the status of a stamp certificate?" above).

What if the Deed and the stamp certificate are lost and no records remain ?

Contact Revenue setting out the facts and circumstances of the case.

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Will Revenue check instruments and returns after stamping?

Yes. Revenue monitors all returns filed, whether electronic or paper and a certain proportion of returns are selected for post-stamping audits. Revenue will contact the accountable person (the purchaser) in the first instance advising them that their return has been selected and requesting them to provide us with the records to support the information filed in the return, such as the instrument and evidence required to support reliefs etc.

How long must records be retained for Revenue audit purposes?

Records must be retained for 6 years.

How do I check that stamp duty is properly paid in a previous property transfer involving unregistered land, where the stamp certificate has become lost or detached from the deed?

The Property Registration Authority is extending compulsory registration to all counties (except Dublin and Cork) from 1 January 2010 and to Dublin and Cork by 1 January 2011. The instances in which this problem could occur will apply only to stamp certificates that are lost in respect of properties involving unregistered land in Dublin and Cork that are transferred for a second time in the period from 30th December 2009 to 31st December 2010. This issue arises only for unregistered properties being transferred in Dublin and Cork and only in this 12-month timeframe. For example, you are acting for Client C in October 2010 who is buying from Mr. B who bought from Mr. A in January 2010. You will check the original transfer from Mr. A to Mr. B to ensure that the stamp duty was properly paid on the original transfer. If the property involves unregistered land (a Registry of Deeds case) then you can continue with the check you currently do today by comparing the facts recited in the original deed to the stamp duty shown on the stamp certificate. If the stamp certificate is missing, you can use e-Stamping's search facility to verify the original stamp certificate (see also "Q: How can I replace a lost stamp certificate?" above).

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Revenue Certificates/Finance Certificates

Are Revenue Certificates required in Deeds?

There is no requirement to insert revenue certificates in deeds executed on or after 7th July 2012. However, these are still required for deeds with an earlier date of execution

Although Revenue will no longer examine deeds before stamping in most cases, the requirement for inserting Revenue certificates into deeds continues to apply. Revenue has created an internet-based navigation tool that assists practitioners in selecting and inserting the appropriate revenue certificates into an instrument. The tool can be accessed on Revenue's website or on the e-Stamping electronic return screens via the help text. To access the navigation tool on the Revenue website, please go to /index.html

Interest and Penalties

When do interest and penalties apply?

Interest and penalties will apply if a return is not filed and duty paid within 44 days of executing the instrument, or if a return is not filed within 30 days of executing an instrument for adjudication and/or where duty is not paid within 14 days of notification of assessment to duty. Interest and penalties will apply until the full amount is paid on any unpaid tax balance.

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