The body representing solicitors has called for urgent action from Government to avoid commercial property and land sales falling through.

The Law Society has said that the budget hike in non-residential stamp duty is having serious consequences as transitional arrangements are not working.

The Budget provided for an increase in non-residential stamp duty from 2% to 6%.  It applies to commercial property and land transactions although tax relief is available where farm land is passed within families.

The new rate applies to transactions where a binding contract was not entered into before 11 October, 2017 and where it is certified by the Revenue Commissioners before 1 January.

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The Law Society said that Revenue is now advising purchasers to pay the 6% rate and claim a refund later.

It said buyers have not budgeted for, and are not able to pay the 6% stamp duty being demanded by Revenue and this is delaying deals.

The society also said banks lending to purchasers are, in some cases, demanding the full 6% be set aside.

The Law Society has written to the Minister for Finance expressing dismay and frustration at the difficulties facing solicitors and their clients and has requested him to intervene as a matter of urgency.