Stamp Duty on Financial Cards

Section A - ATM Cards, Debit Cards and Combined Cards

Section B - Credit Cards/Charge Cards

Section C - Contact Points

Stamp Duties are levied on financial cards and credit card accounts. The duty is collected from cardholders by the Financial Institution and paid to Revenue. Stamp duty is normally charged to your bank or credit/charge card account once a year. The rules relating to ATM cards, debit cards and combined cards are dealt with in Section A and the rules relating to charge cards and credit cards are outlined in Section B.

Section A: ATM Cards, Debit Cards and Combined Cards

How much is the duty?

  • €2.50 per year per ATM card (also known as cash card)
  • €2.50 per year per debit (Laser) card
  • €5 per combined (ATM & debit) card

When is the stamp duty collected?

Stamp duty is collected in arrears. For example, you can expect that the stamp duty arising in the calendar year 2013 will be charged to your account on 31 December 2013.

Switching Accounts

There is an exemption from a second or subsequent charge to stamp duty when switching accounts within an institution, or from one institution to another within any one year, provided you close your old account.

Back to Top

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I close my account but do not switch to a new account?

If you close your account before 31 December in a year you will not be charged stamp duty because the duty is collected on cards which are valid on 31 December each year.

Is the duty charged on the card or the account?

The charge arises against the card.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

If your card is lost or stolen you are not liable for stamp duty on the replacement card.

Is there a reduction on duty payable because of the age of the cardholder?

There is no reduction in the rate of duty payable on any card due to age.

What if I am the administrator of an estate?

There is no duty payable where the cardholder has died during the accounting period.

What if I live outside the country?

You are not liable to stamp duty if your billing address is outside the State.

What if my Financial Institution is located outside the country?

You are still liable for stamp duty. All cards regardless of the location of the issuer are liable if the cardholder has an address in the State.

Can Revenue issue refunds to cardholders?

Revenue is not in a position to issue refunds of stamp duty as it does not have access to individual accounts. Any cardholder seeking a refund should contact their financial institution.

Any other exemptions?

There are a number of exemptions to stamp duty in relation to ATM cards, debit cards and combined cards:

  • If the card is not used during the year
  • Where the card is issued in respect of a deposit account, the average daily positive balance of which does not exceed €12.70
  • If the card has only been used to request a chequebook, a balance statement, to establish a customer identity or to establish a correct customer account number.
  • Cards issued on basic payment accounts. These are accounts where the account holder did not hold an account for the previous three years or did not initiate any activity on the account for that period, and is in receipt of less than €4,500 per quarter (except for social welfare payments). Such accounts are operated by Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB only.

What if my card is solely used by a bank teller to facilitate cash transfer or withdrawal of funds, does this constitute use and would I be liable for stamp duty?

Yes, this constitutes use and you are liable for stamp duty.

Back to Top

Section B: Credit Cards/Charge Cards

How much is the duty?

  • €30 per year per credit card account
  • €30 per year per charge card

When is the stamp duty collected?

Stamp duty is generally collected on 1 April, in arrears unless the account is closed during the year. The tax year for credit cards runs from 2 April to the following 1 April. This means that the stamp duty charge usually appears on credit/charge card statements in April.

Switching Accounts

The Finance Act 2005 created an exemption from a second or subsequent charge to stamp duty when switching accounts within an institution, or from one institution to another. These exemptions took effect from 2 April 2005 when switching credit cards or charge cards.

Details of Switching Arrangements
If you switch accounts you should pay the stamp duty to the old Bank/Card Issuer on closing the account. It will be requested in your final statement. Your old Bank/Card Issuer will then issue you with a Letter of Closure. This letter will confirm that you have paid the stamp duty for the period in question. You should present this letter to your new Bank/Card Issuer, who will not bill you for stamp duty for that period.

What if I change credit card or charge card accounts a number of times in the same accounting period?

You may switch your account as much as you like and you will still only be charged tax on the original account, provided you obtain a Letter of Closure each time you close the account. The second and subsequent bank/card issuer will issue a Letter of Closure once it has proof that the duty has been paid on the first account.

It should be noted that a Letter of Closure is an important document as the Bank is only in a position to issue one original letter. On receipt of the letter the cardholder should store it in a secure place and pass it to their new bank as quickly as possible to ensure they receive the exemption from double stamp duty.

Back to Top

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I close my account but do not switch to a new account?

You will generally have to pay stamp duty when you close the credit card or charge card account. The Bank/Credit Card Company is liable for stamp duty on any credit card account or charge card account maintained at any time in the preceding year and is entitled to collect the charge from you. You should seek confirmation from your Bank/Credit Card Company that the account is closed to avoid future stamp duty charges being raised against the account.

Is the duty charged on the credit card or the account?

In the case of credit cards the charge is against the account. This means that you could have a number of credit cards operating against the one account and only be liable for €30 stamp duty.

Is the duty charged on the charge card or the account?

In the case of individuals the charge is against the first or principal card issued. No charge arises in relation to additional charge cards issued on the account. In the case of charge cards issued to companies which usually have more than one card on a single company account, every card is subject to duty.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

If your card is lost or stolen you are not liable for stamp duty on the replacement card

What if I received a credit card or charge card but never used it?

If the credit card account is closed never having been used, no stamp duty is payable provided that you close the account in the same period as it was opened.

Is there a reduction on duty payable because of the age of the cardholder?

There is no reduction in the rate of duty payable on any card due to age.

What if I am the administrator of an estate?

In the case of a credit card account or a charge card account, where the cardholder has died and the account is closed, there is no duty payable in respect of the credit card account or charge card account on the following 1 April.

What if I live outside the country?

You are not liable to stamp duty if your billing address is outside the State for the entire accounting period in question

What if my Financial Institution is located outside the country?

You are still liable for stamp duty. All cards regardless of the location of the issuer are liable if the cardholder has an address in the State.

Can Revenue issue refunds to cardholders?

Revenue is not in a position to issue refunds of stamp duty as it does not have access to individual accounts. Any cardholder seeking a refund should contact their financial institution.

Back to Top

Section C: Contact Points

If you have a query regarding the stamp duty charged to your account you should in the first instance contact your Financial Institution. The Bank/Card Issuer collects the stamp duty on behalf of Revenue.

If you require further information on how stamp duty on financial cards is operated, you should contact the following address:

Office of the Revenue Commissioners,
Large Cases Division,
Ballaugh House,
73-79 Mount St. Lower,
Dublin 2.

Email address: lcdfslevies@revenue.ie

Fax Number: (01) 603 4445

Telephone: (01) 613 1803

October 2014

While every effort is made to ensure that the information given in this leaflet is accurate, it is not a legal document. Responsibility cannot be accepted for any liability incurred or loss suffered as a consequence of relying on any matter published herein.

Back to Top


Print this page