The introduction of the Duty on Documents and Transfers (Amendment) Rules of 2014 brought about a number of changes to the Duty on Document and Transfers Act in particular on the manner in which the value of immovable property is calculated for the purposes of calculating the duty on documents due.
Upon a transfer of immovable property, either inter vivos or causa mortis, which takes place after 15th November 2014 and where the transfer is effected by public deed, the transferee may produce to the notary publishing the deed, a professional valuation drawn up by an architect. Such a valuation must include an explanation of how the value of the property has been computed including a description of the physical and legal attributes of the property, a description of the extent and scope of the work undertaken to determine the valuation of the property and a market analysis and valuation approaches and procedures which have been followed.
For a valuation to be valid, it must have been drawn up not earlier than forty days prior to the date on which the deed is published and not earlier than twelve months from the date of death of the person from whom the transfer causa mortis originates.
The Director General will take into account the said valuation in determining whether the property has been undervalued or otherwise. He may at his absolute discretion accept such valuation, in which case, the real value of the immovable property which is taken into account in determining the duty due, will be the amount as determined by the architect in his valuation.
Where the value on the deed of transfer or on the declaration causa mortis is at least 85% of the value determined by the architect in his valuation, the duty payable is computed on the higher of the value on the deed of transfer/declaration causa mortis and the architect’s valuation.
In the circumstances where the Director General is of the opinion that the valuation report (including any information, records or computations in respect of which such report was made) provided by an architect constitutes or contains evidence of any act or omission on that part of the warrant holder, then he may report this to the Chamber of Architects. The latter will conduct the necessary enquiries and will submit the decision of the enquiry to the Director General.