Newsletter Autumn 2015

Stamp Duty Land Tax now due

When you buy a new home your conveyancing solicitor will normally handle the land registration and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) forms. In the past some conveyancers offered schemes to help purchasers avoid paying the SDLT.

If you took up such an SDLT avoidance scheme it is advisable to contact HMRC without delay and pay the SDLT liability due. There is likely to be interest due on any late paid SDLT, and possibly penalties. The quicker you contact the tax office, the lower the level of penalties that are likely to be charged.

You may believe you were sold a 'watertight' SDLT avoidance scheme, so you shouldn't pay up until HMRC have proved that your particular scheme doesn't work. Unfortunately, the Government can change the tax law with retrospective effect, and a recent case has shown that taxpayers have no grounds on which to argue against that where SDLT is at stake.