Land Sales Duty Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-236.pdf
Published: 1965

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236 1

CHAPTER 236

THE LAND SALES DUTY ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

Part I

Preliminary

1. Short title.
2 . Interpretation.
3 . Application.
4. Gazette Notice.
5. Administration.

Part 11

Duty on Sales of Land

6. Imposition of duty on capital gains.
7 . Ascertainment of capital gains.
8. Reduction of special land sales duty on payment of

income tax.
9. Collection of duty.

Part I11

Appeals

10. Appeals.
1 1. Constitution of Appeal Board.
12. Power of Appeal Board.
13. Appeal to Judge in Chambers.
14. Special land sales duty to be paid pending further appeal.
15. Provisions relating to appeals to Judge in Chambers.

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2 CAP. 236) Land Sales Duty

Section
Part IV

General

16. Determination of value of consideration.
17. Duty of person served with notice to make return, to

attend before Commissioner and to produce
documents.

18. Penalty for offences for which no specific penalty other-
wise provided.

19. Proceedings.
20. Power to remit duty.
21. Rules.
22. Power to exempt categories of persons or categories of

lands.
SCHEDULE.

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236 3

LAND SALES DUTY

Part I - Preliminary
1. This Act may be cited as the Land Sales Duty Act. Short title.

2. (1) In this Act unless the context otherwise Interpretation.
requires-

"Appeal Board" means the persons appointed by the
Governor-General to be the Appeal Board for the
purposes of this Act;

"Commissioner" means the person for the time being
performing the duties of Commissioner of Inland
Revenue and includes any officer duly authorised
to act on his behalf;

< ' concession" means every relief in respect of customs
duties, income tax or any kind of tax whatsoever
granted by Government to persons to encourage
the expenditure of monies upon the construction
or equipment of hotels in Antigua and Barbuda or
upon the development of land used in connection
with any industry or enterprise;

"fee sim~le" means an estate in fee s i m ~ l e in Dosses-
sion and also the estate of a Registered Proprietor
under the Title by Registration Act: Cap. 429.

Provided that for the purpose of determining
the value of anv land or fo; determining the value "
of any consideration for the transfer of land, the
expression "fee simple" shall be deemed to mean
the estate of a Registered Proprietor of any land
held under the Title bv Registration Act or the

2 "
estate in fee simple in possession in any land free
from any lesser estate or interests therein or any
encombrances thereon and free also from any
restrictive covenants other than restrictive covenants
created by a Crown Grant or by law;

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4 CAP. 236) Land Sales Duty

"fair value" means in relation to land, the amount
which the land, if sold in the open market by a
willing seller, might be expected to realise if offered
for sale on such reasonable terms and conditions
existing at the time as a bona fide seller would
require;

"land" includes all tenements and hereditaments and
also all messuages, houses, buildings or other con-
struction whether the property of any corporation,
or of any private individual, and all trees growing
or standing thereon;

"special development area" means an area deemed by
section 3 to be a special development area;

"transfer" includes conveyance and memorandum of
transfer under the Title by Registration Act;

< L transferor" includes all joint owners who join in a
transfer but does not include any persons who join
in the execution of the instrument by which the
transfer is effected, or agreed to be effected, for
the purpose only of conveying any estate vested in
them as trus ees or encumbrancers, or of i acknowledging ,the receipt of the consideration
money, or of giving consent.

(2) For the purposes of this Act the expression "the date
of the grant of the concession" in relation to any special
development area or part thereof means, the date of the grant
of a concession by Government to the owner with respect
to that special development area or part thereof, and in the
case of more than one concession with respect to any par-
ticular area of land, the date of the grant of the first
concession.

Application. 3 . (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of
this section all land in Antigua and Barbuda belonging to
persons who have received, or to persons who after the com-
mencement of this Act receive, the benefit of concessions

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236 5

by Government in respect of either the development of such
land or the establishment of any facilities on such lands to
be used in connection with any industry or enterprise shall
be deemed to be a special development area for the purposes
of this Act.

( 2 ) The Governor-General may by order-

( a ) declare that the provisions of this Act shall not
apply in relation to any special development area;

(b) declare that the provisions of this Act shall no
longer apply in relation to any special development area.

4. The Minister shall cause to be ~ublished in the Gazette notice.
Gazette from time to time lists of properties comprised in
special development areas in Antigua and Barbuda contain-
ing a short description of each area, the person or persons
to whom a concession has been granted by the Government
and the date of the grant of the concession in each case.

5 . The administration of this Act is vested in the Administration-
Commissioner.

Part I1 - Duty on Sales of Land

6. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this
Act there shall be charged, levied and paid on the capital gain,.
gains arising on any occasion specified in subsection ( 2 ) of
this section a duty called special land sales duty at the rate
specified in accordance with subsection ( 3 ) of this section.

( 2 ) Subsection ( 1 ) of this section shall apply on the
occasion of every transfer on sale of the fee simple of any
land subject to this Act at any time while it is subject to
the provisions of this Act.

( 3 ) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of this
section the Governor-General may from time to time by
order, having regard to the value of the concessions made
in respect of any special development area, determine the
percentage not exceeding twenty-five per centum chargeable
under this Act as special land sales duty.

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6 CAP. 236) Land Sales Duty

(4) No order under this section shall come into force
unless it is approved by resolution of the Legislature.

Ascertainment of
capital gains.

7. For the purpose of this Part of this.Act, the capital
gain made by any person on sale of the fee simple of land
in a special development area shall be deemed to be the
amount (if any) by which the value of the consideration for
the transfer of land exceeds the sum of-

(a) the fair value of the land at the date of the grant
of the concession by Government in respect thereof; and

( b ) any expenditure of a capital nature on the land
by the transferor or his predecessor in title subsequent
to the date of the grant of the concession by Govern-
ment; and

(c) an amount equivalent to five per centum of the
value of the consideration.

Reduction of
special land sales

8. Where a person who has paid special land sales
duty on payment duty on the sale of land subject to this Act is liable under
of income tax. the Income Tax Act to pay income tax in respect of profit
Cap. 212. or gains made on the sale of such land the amount paid by

such person as special land sales duty shall for the purpose
of section 10 of the Income Tax Act be regarded as an ex-
pense wholly and exclusively incurred by such person for
the purpose of acquiring such profit or gain during the year
in which the special land sales duty is paid.

Collection of 9. (1) On any transfer on sale of the fee simple of
duty. any land subject to this Act special land sales duty shall be

assessed by the Commissioner and paid by the transferor
to the Commissioner.

(2) It shall be the duty of the transferor on the occasion
of any transfer on sale of the fee simple of land subject to
this Act to present to the Commissioner within three months
of such transfer the instrument by means of which the transfer
is effected or agreed to be effected or reasonable particulars
thereof for the purpose of the assessment of duty thereon.

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236

(3) Any such instrument shall not for the purposes of
the Stamp Act, notwithstanding anything in that Act, be Cap. 410.
deemed to be duly stamped unless it is stamped by the Com-
missioner either-

(a ) with a stamp denoting that the special land sales
duty has been assessed by the Commissioner and paid
in accordance with the assessment; or

(6) with a stamp denoting that all particulars have
been delivered to him which in his opinion are necessary
for the purpose of enabling him to assess the duty and
that security has been given for the payment of duty
in any case where he has required security; or

(c) with a stamp denoting that upon the occasion
in question no duty is payable,

but where a document is so stamped, it shall, notwithstanding
any objection relating to the special land sales duty be deemed
to be duly stamped so far as respects that duty.

(4) Any duty assessed by the Commissioner under this
section shall be a debt due to the Government from the
transferor of the land and may be sued for and recovered
in the High Court or in the Magistrate's Court, as the
circumstances of the case may require, by the Commissioner
or by a person acting on the Commissioner's instruction with
costs of suit from the person charged therewith as a debt
due to the Government.

(5) Where joint owners join in transferring any land
the Commissioner may proceed against all or any of them.

(6) In any case where special lind sales duty shall have
been paid under the provisions of this section, but the trans-
action in respect of which the duty shall have been paid was
subsequently not carried into execution, the duty shall be
returned to the transferor on his making application to the
Commissioner within two years after the payment of the duty
in accordance with the regulations made under this Act.

(7) Where any agreement for a transfer is stamped in
accordance with this section it shall not be necessary, for
the purposes of this Act, to stamp any conveyance or assign-

CAP. 236)

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Land Sales Duty

ment made subsequently to and in conformity with the agree-
ment but the Commissioner shall, if application is made to
him for the purpose, denote on the conveyance or assign-
ment the amount of duty paid.

( 8 ) If the transferor fails, without reasonable excuse,
to comply with the provisions of this section, he shall be liable
on summary conviction before a Magistrate to a fine not
exceeding twenty thousand dollars and treble the amount
of land sales duty with which he ought to be charged under
this Act, or to imprisonment, with or without hard labour,
for a term not exceeding twelve months.

(9) Where a company is guilty of a contravention of
the provisions of this section, every director, manager, agent,
and officer of the company in Antigua and Barbuda who
is knowingly a party to the contravention shall be liable to
the penalties specified in subsection ( 8 ) of this section.

Part 111 - Appeals
Appeals. 10. ( 1 ) Except as expressly provided in this Act, any

person aggrieved by a decision of the Commissioner may
appeal to the Appeal Board constituted as provided in sec-
tion 11 of this Act within such time and in such manner
as may be provided by rules made under section 21 of this
Act against-

(a) the amount of any assessment of special land
sales duty under this Act; or

'(6) a refusal of the Commissioner to make any
allowance or to make any allowance claimed where the
Commissioner has power to make such an allowance
under this Act; or

( c ) any apportionment of special land sales duty
or apportionment of any values or any consideration
on any transfer made by the Commissioner under this
Act; or

(4 the determination of any other matter which
the Commissioner is to determine or may determine
under this Act.

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236 9

(2) Upon the hearing of an appeal, the Appeal Board
after hearing the person aggrieved and the Commissioner,
and any evidence which may be adduced by the person
aggrieved and the Commissioner, or by either of them, may
affirm, reverse or vary the decision appealed against in such
manner as they think just and may make such order as to
the costs of the appeal, not exceeding in any case one hun-
dred dollars, as they think just.

(3) The decision of the Appeal Board upon any appeal
before them shall be that of the majority of the members
present; but if no such majority decision is reached, the deci-
sion of the chairman shall prevail.

(4) The Appeal Board shall hear all appeals in camera.

(5) The person aggrieved or the Commissioner may be
represented before the Appeal Board by counsel, solicitor
or agent.

(6) The onus of proving that any assessment appealed
against is excessive shall be on the person aggrieved.

(7) Evidence shall be given on oath and the proceedings
before the Appeal Board shall be deemed to be judicial pro-
ceedings for the purposes of the Perjury Act. C a p . 324.

(8) The Appeal Board may in any appeal give such
directions and regulate its procedure in such manner, as they
may think just.

11. (1) The Appeal Board shall consist of such per- ~;;~j~~;;f
sons as shall be appointed by the Governor-General and such
persons shall hold office for such period as the Governor-
General may think fit.

(2) The Appeal Board shall meet as often as cir-
cumstances may require. Three members shall form a
quorum.

(3) The Appeal Board shall appoint one of the members
to be chairman and every decision of the Appeal Board shall
be signified under the hand of the chairman.

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CAP. 236) Land Sales Duty

Power of Appeal
Board.

Appeal to Judge
in Chambers.

Special land sales
duty to be paid
pending further
appeal.

(4) The Governor-General shall appoint some person
to be secretary to the Appeal Board and all notices and
documents other than decisions of the Appeal Board may
be signified under the hand of the secretary.

12. (1) The Appeal Board may, by not less than four-
teen days notice in writing, require any person to attend
before the Appeal Board and give evidence with respect to
any transaction or thing which affects or is connected with
any question to be determined by the Appeal Board and to
produce all books and other documents in his custody or
under his control relating to such transaction or thing.

(2) Any person who without lawful excuse refuses or
neglects to attend or to give evidence in pursuance of such
notice, or to produce such books, or other documents, or
who refuses to answer any lawful question touching the mat-
ters under consideration, or who knowingly or wilfully gives
any false evidence before the Appeal Board shall be guilty
of an offence against this Act.

13. . (1) If either the Commissioner or the person
aggrieved-is dissatisfied with the decision of the Appeal Board
upon the determination of any appeal before them, he may,
within thirty days after the decision, appeal against such deci-
sion by summons to a Judge in Chambers.

(2) Written notice of such appeal shall be given to the
secretary of the Appeal Board within the period specified
in subsection (1) of this section and the party appealing shall
within such time pay to the Appeal Board the sum of six
dollars to cover the cost of preparing a statement of the case
setting forth the facts and the determination of the appeal.

14. Notwithstanding that any notice of appeal to a
Judge in Chambers against any decision of the Appeal Board
has been given and notwithstanding any other provision of
this Act special land sales duty shall be paid in accordance
with the decision of the Appeal Board until the Judge in
Chambers before whom the appeal is heard, shall otherwise
order.

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236 11

15. On appeal to the Judge in Chambers the follow- FZ;.~;;;
ing provisions shall have effect- appeals to Judge

in Chambers.
( a ) fourteen clear days notice shall, unless rules

made hereunder otherwise provide, be given to the per-
son aggrieved and to the Commissioner of the date fixed
for the hearing of the appeal;

(6 ) the onus of proving that the assessment com-
plained of is excessive shall be on the person aggrieved;

(c) all appeals shall be heard in camera, unless the
Judge, on the application of the person aggrieved, other-
wise directs;

(d) the costs of the appeal shall be in the discretion
of the Judge hearing the appeal and shall be a sum fixed
by the Judge;

(e) the decision of the Judge hearing the appeal shall
be final;

V) the Chief Justice may make rules governing such
appeals:
Provided that until varied or revoked by rules made

under this paragraph the rules contained in the Schedule to Schedule.
this Act shall be in force.

Part IV - General
16. ( 1 ) Where the value of any consideration for a Determination of

value of transfer is to be determined for the purpose of this Act, that
value shall, so far as the consideration consists of the pay-
ment of a capital sum, be taken to be the amount of that
capital sum, and so far as the consideration consists of a
periodical money payment, be taken to be such sum as
appears to the Commissioner to be the capital value of that
payment.

(2) If the Commissioner is satisfied that any convenant
or undertaking or liability to discharge any encumbrance
has formed part of the consideration the Commissioner shall
regard, or, as the case may be, allow such sum as he thinks
just in respect thereof as an addition to the value of the
consideration.

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12 CAP. 236) Land Sales Duty

(3) Where it is necessary for the purposes of this Act
to apportion any values or any consideration as between
properties or between parts of properties, such values or such
consideration shall be apportioned by the Commissioner in
such manner as he may determine.

Duty of person
served with

17. (1) Every person, whether or not he is liable to
notice to make pay special land sales duty, upon whom the Commissioner
return, to attend may cause a notice to be served requiring him to make and
before
Commissioner deliver a return of such particulars as may be specified in
and to produce the notice shall, within fifteen days of the service of such
documents.

notice make and deliver to the Commissioner a return as
aforesaid.

(2) The Commissioner may by not less than fourteen
days notice in writing personally signed by the Commissioner
require any person to attend before him and give evidence
with respect to any transaction in relation to land in a special
development area.

(3) If any person on whom a notice has been served
under this section fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply
with the requirements of the notice, he shall be guilty of an
offence against this Act.

Penalty for
offences for

18. Any person guilty of an offence against this Act
which no specific for which no specific penalty is provided in this Act shall
pena!ty otherwise be liable on summary conviction before a Magistrate to a
provided.

fine not exceeding five thousand dollars and in default of
payment to imprisonment with or without hard labour for
a term not exceeding six months.

Proceedings. 19. Any proceedings for offences under this Act may
be taken in the name of the Commissioner or the Commis-
sioner of Police.

Power to remit
duty. 20. If the Governor-General is satisfied that it would

be just and equitable to do so, he may remit the whole or
any part of the special land sales duty payable by any person.

Rules. 2 1. The Governor-General may make Rules in regard
to-

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236 13

(a ) methods and procedure to be adopted for
denoting documents in relation to special land sales duty;

( b ) all forms which he may deem desirable in
connection with special land sales duty;

(c) the time within which appeals to the Appeal
Board under section 10 of this Act should be made and
the procedure to be adopted in relation to such appeals.

22. T h e Governor-General may, by order, exempt Power to exempt
categories of

from all o r any of the provisions of this Act such categories persons or
of persons or categories of lands as he may deem fit. categories of

lands.

SCHEDULE (Section 15)

1. These Rules may be cited as the Special Land Sales Duty
(Appeals) Rules.

2. In these Rules "the Act" means the Land Sales Duty
Act, "Appeal Board" has the same meaning as is assigned to that
expression by the Act, and "Registry" means the Registry of the
High Court.

3. (1) Every summons under section 13 of the Act shall
be prepared by the appellant or his solicitor, and shall be sealed
in the office of the Registrar, and when so sealed shall be deemed
to be issued. The person obtaining a summons shall leave at the
office of the Registrar a copy thereof, which shall be filed and
stamped in the prescribed manner. The summons shall contain
an address for service.

(2) The grounds of appeal shall be filed by the person
obtaining the summons at the time of the issue of the summons
and shall contain-

(a) a concise statement of the facts on which the appellant
relies in support of his appeal; and

( b ) the points of law, if any, on which the appellant
intends to rely in support of his appeal.

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CAP. 236) Land Sales Duty

4. The summons together with a copy of the grounds of
appeal shall be served by or on behalf of the person obtaining
the summons on the Commissioner (if he is not the appellant)
and upon the respondent if the Commissioner is the appellant and
also upon the secretary of the Appeal Board not less than twenty-
eight clear days before the date fixed for the hearing of the appeal.

5 . Within twenty-one days of the service on him of the sum-
mons and grounds of appeal the secretary of the Appeal Board
shall-

(a) file in the Registry the statement of the case setting
forth the facts and the determination of the Appeal Board; and

( 6 ) serve a copy of such statement on the parties to the
appeal.

6 . (1) The parties to an appeal shall be entitled to tender
evidence orally and by affidavit at ,the hearing of the appeal.

(2) Notice of intention to tender oral evidence shall be filed
in the Registry and a copy of such notice shall be served on the
opposite party at least seven days before the date fixed for the
hearing of the appeal.

(3) The notice of intention to tender oral evidence shall state
the nature of the evidence to be tendered.

(4) Except with the leave of the Judge affidavits containing
evidence to be used at the hearing shall be filed in the Registry
and copies thereof served on the opposite party not less than five
days before the date fixed for the hearing of the appeal:

Provided that counter-affidavits for the purpose of rebutting
evidence contained in previous affidavits filed by the opposite party
may be filed in the Registry and copies thereof served on the
opposite party not less than two days before the date fixed for
the hearing of the appeal.

(5) Either party may, by notice in writing served upon the-
opposite party not less than two days before the date fixed for
the hearing of the appeal, require the attendance at the hearing,
for the purpose of cross-examination, of the deponent to any
affidavit intended to be used by the opposite party. A notice
requiring the attendance of a deponent to a counter-affidavit filed
in accordance with the proviso to paragraph (4) of this rule may
be served on the day before the date fixed for the hearing.

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Land Sales Duty (CAP. 236 15

7. The Judge may give leave to amend the grounds of appeal
or the statement of reasons.

8. All summonses and other documents required to be
served by these Rules on the Commissioner or on the respondent
if the Commissioner is the appellant shall be sufficiently served
if left at the address for service contained in the summons with
any person resident at or belonging to such place before the hour
of four in the afternoon, except on Saturdays when it shall be
effected before the hour of one in the afternoon. Service effected
after four in the afternoon on any week day except Saturday shall,
for the purpose of computing any period of time subsequent to
such service, be deemed to have been effected on the following
day. Service effected after one in the afternoon on Saturday shall
for the like purpose be deemed to have been effected on the follow-
ing Monday.

9. Save as aforesaid the procedure and practice for the time
being of the High Court so far as applicable shall be followed.