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Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is complex and ever-shifting; in fact, it’s been subject to more alterations since its inception in 2003 than any other comparable tax. The legislation governing it is now full of exceptions, exemptions and reliefs covering a vast variety of property types and property buyers.
However, not all of these are obvious to conveyancers who are generally inclined – thanks to lack of help from HMRC and conflicting messages from their regulator, the SRA – to differentiate simply between a whether a property is residential or commercial for purposes of SDLT calculation.
This means people buying property with land, outbuildings, woodland or separate annexes, for example, may find themselves paying a higher SDLT bill on their purchase than they should and will be entitled to a refund. It may also be that you qualify for multiple dwellings relief or mixed-use, which could substantially reduce the applicable SDLT rates and save significant tax. In addition, if you have 6 or more residential properties as part of one transaction, there may be a choice between multiple dwellings relief and commercial rates of SDLT.
However, as buyers are often wholly reliant on their accountant for all tax matters, reliefs can be missed as the complexity of the tax system means that most accountants are no longer experts in this field and are not aware of the fine detail of these exemptions.
It should also be noted that this is not a small issue. Estimated SDLT over-payments in 2018 totalled £2bn and around 900 refunds were issued per month.
To determine whether you are entitled to a refund, it’s important to speak to an expert in SDLT refunds. At PRIMOtax we pride ourselves on our knowledge of this complex and specialist area and we have many happy clients who have successfully received a refund thanks to our expertise and advice.
To find out more, give us a call or book an initial 15-minute consultation.