Are you about to pay too much?
SDLT is a self-assessed tax based on the value of the property, paid by the buyer, and due upon completion of the transaction. It replaced the old Stamp Duty tax on the statute books in 2003 and has been plagued by alterations and amendments ever since, making some parts incomprehensible to professionals and laypersons alike.
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Since SDLT was established through the Finance Act 2003, it has undergone a huge number legislative changes with one of the most recent being the 3% surcharge on second homes introduced in 2016. The legislation provides for many reliefs, discounts and exemptions often available to reduce the SDLT payable. However, the relevant information is not easily accessible even property professionals find it hard to decipher, never mind the general public.
The HMRC tax calculator produced by the HMRC is undeveloped and fatally flawed. Yet, solicitors, buyers, investors and developers routinely use it despite HMRC conceding it should only work as a "mere guide". It lacks the necessary sophistication to evaluate the complexities of transactions involving the property tax system, causing many to overpay.
The task of calculating SDLT is not a terrain of expertise for property lawyers and solicitors. Quotations they gain from the HMRC online calculator all too often result in incorrect SDLT payments being made. This can leave solicitors exposed to claims from clients.
We make claiming for a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) refund efficient and straightforward. Complete our online form or contact us via phone 24/7, 365 days a year so one of our specialist consultants can review your SDLT return and advise if you are due a refund or about to overpay to HRMC.
Our service runs on a no claim, no fee basis, and if we find an existing claim, we will process it as your representative, for a transparent fixed fee.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has been mired with frequent changes that have resulted in legislation that is insufficiently comprehended and impacts the ability of solicitors to file accurate returns for their clients.
To compound the problem, the SDLT calculator on the HRMC website is wholly inadequate to factor in all of the circumstances that work to calculate the value of SDLT on a purchase. The HRMC even acknowledged to a national newspaper in 2018 that buyers and solicitors should utilise the calculator only as "a guide".
Discounts based on the buyer's status, classification of property or any of the thirty exemptions written into SDLT legislation can be overlooked by solicitors when completing SDLT returns. Ultimately, this makes errors commonplace, resulting in 20% of all SDLT assessments being submitted incorrectly and HRMC being overpaid to the tune of millions each year.
As a result of all the above, many purchasers will pay or have paid considerably more SDLT than is legally required, often by as much as three times.
• The property/land you are purchasing is over half a hectare in size
• If the grounds feature any non-residential or commercial structures such as a workshop
• Annexes, cottages or flats are included on the land
• There are rights over or interest pertaining to the land that do not benefit the property in any way, such as commons rights to pass through it
• Monies have been paid to the vendor before the exchange of contracts because of an existing formal reservation agreement
• Any other consideration which might mean the property is not solely for residential use including licenses, commercial rents and wayleaves
• If any of the above applies to your purchase, then there’s a high probability that your SDLT may be incorrectly assessed. Our expert advisers can help you reclaim overpaid monies or prevent you from paying too much.
The challenges of SDLT tax assessments and the frequency of
incorrect payments are beginning to become the focus of increased media attention.
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