Update on e-Stamping - Practical Filing Issues Since Introduction on 1 January 2010

Author:Mr Emmet Scully
Profession:LK Shields


The e-stamping system went live on 1 January 2010. In a previous article, in the November 2009 edition of Irish Tax Review, I examined the risk management aspects of the operation of the e-stamping system. In this article I propose to look at a number of areas where practitioners have experienced practical difficulties in the operation of the e-stamping system.


When the e-stamping system was introduced it replaced entirely the system of physical stamping of documents. Under the new system a stamp duty return may be filed online via Revenue Online Service (ROS) or by means of a paper return. According to Revenue's statistics, approximately 85% of returns are being filed via ROS. There continues to be high level of errors in paper returns.

It is understood that the use of the online system for filing stamp duty returns by tax agents and practitioners has been lower than the Revenue Commissioners had hoped for. The reasons for this may be linked to the need for the filer to have a ROS business digicert rather than a TAIN (Tax Adviser Identification Number) digicert and the need to put in place a stand alone Revenue Debit Instruction (RDI) for stamp duty purposes. It is understood that some practitioners are filing the stamp duty return online via ROS but remitting the funds by electronic funds transfer or cheque rather than setting up a separate RDI.

Tax Reference Numbers

In order to submit a stamp duty return, it is essential to have a valid tax reference number and corresponding tax type for each of the parties to the relevant document. Any practitioner who is responsible for filing a stamp duty return should verify the tax reference number by requesting sight of correspondence from the Revenue Commissioners or the Department of Social Protection (DSP; formerly the Department of Social and Family Affairs) showing the tax reference number for the relevant party or parties. This information should be obtained before the relevant document is executed. The general conditions of sale in property contracts have been amended to provide that the vendor must provide his or her tax reference number and appropriate vouching evidence for same as a condition of closing. It would be prudent to follow a similar approach in other types of stampable transaction.

Application and Registration of PPS Numbers

Applications for Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers must be made to the DSP. Irish residents who have not been previously allocated a PPS number must complete the application form REG1 and...

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