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Written by:
Herman Ruijter


Appurtenances to residential property

Transactions involving Dutch-based immovable property are liable for stamp duty land tax (= property transfer tax), at a rate which until year-end 2020 amounted to 2% of the value of the transaction in question where it concerned a residential property with appurtenances, against 6% of the value of the transaction where the property in question lacked residential status.

The Tax and Customs Administration imposed an additional stamp duty land tax charge on the buyers of a farmhouse with outbuildings. The new owners had paid 2% in stamp duty land tax when they acquired the property. Quoting the original business nature of the outbuildings, the Tax and Customs Administration argued that the outbuildings and part of the land should have been charged with 6% rather than 2%.

The District Court took the view that the applicable stamp duty rate followed from the situation at the time of title transfer. The designated use of the farmhouse having been changed to residential in the run-up to the sale, this had rendered the outbuildings ineligible for business use. The Court went on to argue that the fact that the outbuildings formed a coherent and logical whole situated within one and the same yard and in close proximity to the dwelling could not but define said outbuildings as appurtenances to said dwelling, irrespective of their respective dimensions. The portion of the land in respect of which the tax office had charged additional stamp duty land tax was grassland in use with the owner of a local farm business rather than with the farmhouse owners themselves, which prompted the Court to rule out the grassland as an appurtenance and confirm it as being eligible for stamp duty exemption as cultivated land in agricultural use. As the owners of the farmhouse had raised no (subsequent) objection to the stamp duty land tax return which had been filed on their behalf at the time they collected title to their new property, the District Court had to stop short of awarding them a tax refund where it concerned the value of the grassland which had been included in the 2% stamp duty land tax charge they had paid. All of which resulted in the Court, in reference to a Supreme Court ruling from 2002, instructing the Inspector of Taxes to grant the farmhouse owners a reduction of the stamp duty land tax they had paid.

Dutch version: Aanhorigheden bij woning

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