For this reason you need to inform the tax office PRIOR to buying. It is getting more acceptable now – today I have a completion, the old owner bought from me earlier this year at 365k (good price) and then sold today at 310k (excellent price!)
He has offset the loss against a big tax bill in Ireland so if worked fro him and the new owners are resident! They still could be hit, but its very unlikely and the notaries I have noticed are becoming more used to it now!
How awful for these guys, but I suspect its more to do with the lawyer not doing his job property, plus valia is ALWAYS paid by the sellers (it should even be in the reservation contract) and should be paid at notary by the purchasing lawyer!