No further government architects’ assessment of property prices

The Department of Inland Revenue will no longer send its architects to ensure that the declared purchase price of a property reflects its commercial value.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said a legal notice will be issued in the coming days.

He said the government architect would only be dispatched in exceptional cases, when the Inland Revenue Department suspected the declared selling price as being too low, amounting to tax fraud.

He said that under the new system the buyers may opt to appoint their own architect to estimate the property on a number of criteria like floor area ratio, locality, views and property type. His report would be attached to the contract of sale.

There was also the option of not appointing the architect at all, in which case the Department of Inland Revenue would still carry out its verifications to ensure that the declared price fell within a certain bracket.

The finance minister said that this measure will help to cut a lot of red tape.

The measure was announced in the Budget for this year. The Developers’ Association in a statement a few days ago complained that the measure had not yet come into force.

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