Transfer of Land Minimize

Stamp Duty is payable on any document described as:

  • Conveyance of Property
  • Transfer of Land
  • Sale of Land

Or any other document which has the effect of legally passing the freehold or absolute title in land, property or condominium from one person to another.

Stamp Duty Assessment

Transfers of Land are subject to a Stamp Duty Assessment by the Valuation & Estates Office. The purpose of the Assessment is to establish the amount of ad-valorem Stamp Duty payable.  Duty is payable on the Consideration (purchase price) or Market Value, whichever is higher.

If the Valuation & Estates Office assess that the Market Value is in excess of the Consideration then a Stamp Duty Assessment will be issued, outlining the Duty payable.  The Assessment provides a window of opportunity for review, as there will on occasion be information affecting the value of which the Valuation & Estates Office is unaware.  After that period has elapsed, the Stamp Duty will be assessed based on the Market Value established by the Valuation & Estates Office.

In the event that the parties to the document continue to disagree with the Assessment issued, they may apply for the Stamp Duty to be adjudicated.  By application to the Minister of Finance (and payment of prescribed fees), the assessment of Stamp Duty will be adjudicated as a binding decision (with limited right of appeal thereafter, upon payment).


Stamp Duty Rates

The rate of Duty payable is 7.5% across the whole of the Cayman Islands, including Little Cayman and Cayman Brac UNLESS the purchaser is Caymanian AND a first time buyer where concessions in some areas may be available subject to certain qualifying criteria being met (see below);

To qualify as Caymanian, supporting information must be provided. A company purchasing property does not qualify as Caymanian, regardless of ultimate ownership.

Schedule of Stamp Duty rates

 
Schedule of NewDStamp Duty Rates
 
Rate
 
Document Type
 
 Affected Areas
 
7.5%
of consideration of Market Value, whichever is higher
 
 
 Purchase Agreement,
Assignment, or
Transfer of Land (RL1 Form)
 
All areas within the Cayman Islands, including Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

 

Rates for First Time Caymanian Purchasers

Reduced Rates of Stamp Duty may be available to Caymanians purchasing raw land for the construction of a residential dwelling, or an existing residential dwelling, including condominiums, where the purchaser is Caymanian (as defined in the Immigration Law (2007)), and can provide supporting documentation. The purpose of the concession is to provide Caymanians with the opportunity to establish themselves on the property ladder, and is specifically designed to avoid speculative acquisitions. This concession is not automatic, and an application must be made to the Minister of Finance. Application information can be obtained from the Application Form for First Time Caymanian Purchasers (PDF, 277 Kb, 3 pages) or by contacting the Minister of Finance's Office, Government Administration Building, Grand Cayman, or from District Administration, Cayman Brac.

If approved, concessionary rates of Duty will apply. A restriction will be placed on the property preventing further sale for a period of 5 years. In the event that a sale does occur within that time period, the purchaser will be required to pay the rate of Duty prevailing at the date of purchase.

First Time Caymanian Purchasers Caymanian Purchasers

Caymanian' is defined by the Immigration Law (2007) as amended

Subject to confirmation and conditions laid down by The Financial Secretary to prevent exploitation of this concession

Rate

Document Type

Criteria

 

0%

Of consideration or Market Value, whichever is higher

Transfer of Land (RL1 Form)

For bare land purchasers up to CI$100,000 in value (providing an owner occupied house is to be constructed)

 

For Houses, Apartments or other dwelling purchases up to CI$300,000 in value, for owner occupation

 

Applies to all areas except parcels located within the following Blocks:

 

OPY, 5D, 10A, 10E, 11B, 11C, 11D, 12D, 12E, 13B, 13C, 13E, 14BG, 14BH, 14BJ, 14CJ, 17A, 18A, plus;

 

5C and 12C (where the parcel has water frontage, or is derived in the future from a parcel which has water frontage on 1 July 2006, and;

 

13D where the parcel has frontage to Eastern Avenue, and;

 

13EH where the parcel has road frontage to West Bay Road, Eastern Avenue, or North Church Street.

  

 

2%

Of consideration or Market Value, whichever is Higher

Transfer of Land (RL1 Form)

For bare land purchases above CI$100,000 in value but not exceeding CI$150,000 (providing an owner occupied house is to be constructed)

 

For Houses, Apartments or other dwelling purchases above CI$300,000 in value but not exceeding CI$400,000 in value, for owner occupation.

 

Applies to all areas except those specified within the 0% rate above.

 

Rates for Transfers for Natural Love & Affection   

  • For a transaction to be effected by Natural Love and Affection, no consideration (financial or otherwise) must pass.  Fixed Stamp Duty of CI $50 (US $60.98) will apply.
  • Property may pass for natural love and affection between:
    • Husband and Wife
    • Father or Mother to Daughter or Son
    • Brother and Sister, providing that they have the same parent
    • Grandfather or Grandmother, and Grandson or Granddaughter

Property may pass between extended family members in a single transaction providing that evidence of the relationship chain can be shown and the parties are living. The Stamp Duty fee shall apply separately to each ‘link’ in the relationship chain.

 

Rates for Natural Love & Affection (example)

Notional Transfer – Uncle to Mother

 CI$50 Stamp Duty

Notional Transfer – Mother to Daughter

  CI$50 Stamp Duty

 Registration Fee

  CI$50

Rates for Transfers through Death of an Owner, or subsequent divestment of estate

No Stamp Duty is payable on Transactions the are effected as a result of the death of a proprietor of a land, where the land is being inherited either directly, or otherwise dealt with by way of the Administrator of the Estate. 

Submission Requirements

In submitting a document for Stamp Duty you should enclose the following;

  • Payment, based on the anticipated rate of Duty and the consideration paid. If additional Duty is required you will be advised accordingly.
  • A chattels list, if a deduction for chattels is being made. Further guidance on the completion of a chattels list can be found here.
  • Any waiver letter issued by the Minister of Finance in relation to Stamp Duty.
  • The Purchase Agreement (or receipt of Duty payment) if the Transfer document relates to an Agreement on which Stamp Duty was previously paid.
  • Additional information relating to the purchase, in particular where you are aware that the consideration may deviate significantly from a Valuation on the transaction date. Such information may include;
    • The date when the purchase price was agreed
    • Any damage to the property
    • Details of any other property which has been acquired as part of a larger transaction

If further information is required in order to undertake the Stamp Duty Assessment you will be advised accordingly.


Historic Stamp Duty Rates

The rate of Stamp Duty has varied over time, and the summary below outlines the date of rate changes.  In every case the rate is applied to the consideration or the Market Value, whichever is higher:

Date Criteria Rate
12 July 1973   7.5%
4 April 1995

Consideration less than CI $250,000

7.5%
4 April 1995 Consideration of CI $250,000 or more 10%
9 June 1997 Blocks OPY, 5C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 5D, 10A, 10E, 11B, 11C, 11D, 12C, 12D, 12E, 13B, 13C, 13D (parcels with frontage to Eastern Avenue), 13E, 13EH (parcels with frontage to West Bay Road, Eastern Avenue and North Church Street), 14BG, 14BH, 14BJ, 14CJ, 17A, 18A 9%
9 June 1997 All areas except those specified above 7.5%
14 November 2001   5%
1 July 2006 Blocks OPY, 5C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 5D, 10A, 10E, 11B, 11C, 11D, 12C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 12D, 12E, 13B, 13C, 13D (parcels with frontage to Eastern Avenue), 13E, 13EH (parcels with frontage to West Bay Road, Eastern Avenue and North Church Street), 14BG, 14BH, 14BJ, 14CJ, 17A, 18A 7.5%
1 July 2006 All areas except those specified above, where the purchaser is not Caymanian 6%
1 July 2006 All areas except those specified above, where the purchaser is Caymanian 4%
1 April 2009 Blocks OPY, 5C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 5D, 10A, 10E, 11B, 11C, 11D, 12C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 12D, 12E, 13B, 13C, 13D (parcels with frontage to Eastern Avenue), 13E, 13EH (parcels with frontage to West Bay Road, Eastern Avenue and North Church Street), 14BG, 14BH, 14BJ, 14CJ, 17A, 18A 5%
1 April 2009 All areas except those specified above, where the purchaser is not Caymanian 5%
1 April 2009 All areas except those specified above, where the purchaser is Caymanian 3%
1 October 2009 Blocks OPY, 5C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 5D, 10A, 10E, 11B, 11C, 11D, 12C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 12D, 12E, 13B, 13C, 13D (parcels with frontage to Eastern Avenue), 13E, 13EH (parcels with frontage to West Bay Road, Eastern Avenue and North Church Street), 14BG, 14BH, 14BJ, 14CJ, 17A, 18A 7.5%
1 October 2009 All areas except those specified above, where the purchaser is not Caymanian 6%
1 October 2009 All areas except those specified above, where the purchaser is Caymanian

4%

11 December 2012 All areas except the following Blocks: OPY, 5C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 5D, 10A, 10E, 11B, 11C, 11D, 12C (parcels with water frontage, including any parcel subsequently derived from a parcel with water frontage), 12D, 12E, 13B, 13C, 13D (parcels with frontage to Eastern Avenue), 13E, 13EH (parcels with frontage to West Bay Road, Eastern Avenue and North Church Street), 14BG, 14BH, 14BJ, 14CJ, 17A, 18A 7.5%